The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Breeding, and Race in the Renaissance (University of Chicago Press, 2022) by Assistant Professor of History Mackenzie Cooley has been awarded honorable mention for the Morris D. Forkosch Prize. The award, established by the Journal of the History of Ideas, recognizes the best book in intellectual history each year.
Eligible submissions are limited to the first book published by a single author, and to books published in English. The subject matter of submissions must pertain to one or more of the disciplines associated with intellectual history and the history of ideas broadly conceived: history (including the histories of the various arts and sciences); philosophy (including the philosophy of science, aesthetics, and other fields); political thought; the social sciences (including anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology); and literature (including literary criticism, history and theory).
According to the publisher, Cooley’s book traces early modern artisanal practice, and “shows how the idea of race and theories of inheritance developed through animal breeding in the shadow of the Spanish Empire.”