The Western History Association announces the Owens Book Award given annually for the best book on the history of the Pacific West, including Alaska, Hawaii, Western Canada, and the U.S. Pacific territories. The Award is $500 to the author and a certificate to the publisher. The award is supported by the Sally and Ken Owens Trust and administered by the Western History Association.
-2021 Awards Cycle opens January 25, 2021
-2021 Award Submission (Postmark) Deadline: April 15, 2021
The WHA office sends award notifications in August. View a list of past recipients.
Coll Thrush, Chair
University of British Columbia
103 - 1930 West Third Ave.
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6J 1L1
University of California, Los Angeles
315 Portola Plaza
7349 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Life-long residents of the Pacific Northwest, Sally and Ken Owens met and married while attending Lewis and Clark College. Subsequently they moved to Minneapolis, where in 1959 Ken completed his Ph.D. in western history at the University of Minnesota. They then moved to DeKalb, where he taught at Northern Illinois University. Following the birth of their two daughters, Sally began grad school at NIU in microbiology. In 1968 Ken took a position at California State University, Sacramento. Sally finished her microbiology Ph.D. at University of California, Davis, in 1974, and she too then became a member of the CSUS faculty. They remained at CSUS until retirement, Sally in 1996 and Ken in 2000.
2021 | Aaron Goings, The Port of Missing Men: Billy Gohl, Labor, and Brutal Times in the Pacific Northwest (University of Washington Press, 2020)
2019 | Beth Lew-Williams, The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America (Harvard University, 2018)
2018 | Joy Schulz for Hawaiian By Birth: Missionary Children, Bicultural Identity, and U.S. Colonialism in the Pacific (University of Nebraska Press, 2017)
2017 | John W. Troutman for Kīkā Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music (University of South Carolina Press, 2016).
2016 | Joshua Reid for The Sea is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs (Yale University Press, 2015)
2014 | David Igler for The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush (Oxford University Press, 2013).