Soundscapes of Liberation: African American Music in Postwar France, by Associate Professor of History Celeste Day Moore, was recently awarded the 2023 Woody Guthrie First Book Award for the most outstanding book in popular music by the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-US). Soundscapes of Liberation was published in 2021 by Duke University Press as part of the Refiguring American Music series.
The award committee noted in the announcement that Soundscapes of Liberation is an “examination of international and intercultural exchange, which carefully considers the people and institutions that benefit and/or suffer from resultant power dynamics, national mythmaking, and the perpetuation of American exceptionalism. Members of the committee were especially struck by Moore’s meticulous research and beautiful presentation.”
This is the third award for the book, which traces the popularization of African American music in postwar France. In 2022, it received the Gilbert Chinard Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies, and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence for best history in the category Best Historical Research on Recorded Jazz. Soundscapes of Liberation was also shortlisted for the 2022 Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award sponsored by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Authors of Woody Guthrie Award-winning books receive a monetary award. They are also invited to deliver a keynote address, the Woody Guthrie Lecture, at the following year’s IASPM-US conference. In addition, they are invited to have the lecture published in the organization’s Journal of Popular Music Studies.