In recognition of his commitment to graduate students and the organization in general and “especially to honor the iconic place of his own scholarship and intellectual influence in our field,” The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities (ASLCH) voted this past May to institute a new award named for Austin Sarat, Amherst’s William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and chair of the political science department. The Austin Sarat Prize, as it will be called, will honor the best graduate student paper presented at the ASLCH conference each year.

Austin Sarat

“Austin Sarat is one of our founders, and it is through his foresight and hard work that the association exists,” said Linda Meyer, professor of law at Quinnipiac University and president of the ASLCH organizing committee. “He is responsible—either directly or indirectly, through his work—for mentoring and inspiring so many of us in the association. This is a very small way to say ‘Thank you.’” 

“I am truly thrilled and grateful to have this award named in my honor,” said Sarat. “It recognizes the important work done by younger scholars, and I feel privileged to have been able to play a role in advancing that work. Having the award carry my name is a most wonderful recognition.”

According to its website, the ASLCH is an organization of scholars engaged in interdisciplinary, humanistically oriented legal scholarship. The 16-year-old organization brings together a wide range of people engaged in scholarship on legal history, legal theory and jurisprudence, law and cultural studies, law and literature, law and the performing arts and legal hermeneutics. The group seeks to encourage dialogue across and among these fields about issues of interpretation, identity and values; about authority, obligation and justice; and about law’s place in culture.