Professor Mary Katzenstein selected to receive 2021 Grain of Sand Award

By: Jerrica Brown, 
Wed, 10/06/2021

Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, the Stephen and Evalyn Professor of American Studies, Emerita, in the Department of Government, has been selected by the Executive Committee of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods related group of APSA to receive its 2021 Grain of Sand Award!

The award honors a political scientist whose contributions to interpretive studies, broadly speaking, of the political, and, indeed, to the discipline itself, its ideas, and its persons, have been longstanding and merit special recognition. Drawing combined inspiration from the opening lines of William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence” and Wislawa Szymborska’s “View with a Grain of Sand,” the Grain of Sand Award honors a scholar whose contributions demonstrate creative and sustained engagement with questions of enduring political importance from an interpretive perspective. Echoing Szymborska’s “We call it a grain of sand,” the award underscores the centrality of  meaning making in both the constitution and study of the political; drawing on Blake’s “To see a world in a grain of sand,” the award honors the capacity of interpretive scholarship to embody and inspire imaginative theorizing, the intentional cultivation of new lines of sight through an expansion of literary and experiential resources, and the nourishing of a playfulness of mind so necessary to the vitality of social science.

Previous award winners are:

  • 2020: Hanna Fenichel Pitkin
  • 2018: Lee Ann Fujii (posthumously)
  • 2017: Peregrine (Peri) Schwartz-Shea and Dvora Yanow
  • 2016: Mary Hawkesworth
  • 2014: Deborah A. Stone
  • 2013: James C. Scott
  • 2011: Anne Norton
  • 2010: Bud Duvall
  • 2009: Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolp
Mary Katzenstein