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The Conference on the History of Women Religious administers three awards: the Distinguished Book Award, the Distinguished Historian Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award. Awards are presented at a banquet during each triennial conference. Award citations are linked below.


Distinguished Book  |  Catherine O’Donnell, Elizabeth Seton: American Saint (2018)

Distinguished Historian  |  Deirdre Raftery


Distinguished Book  |  Margaret M. McGuinness, Called to Serve: A History of Nuns in America (2013)

Distinguished Historian  |  Carol K. Coburn

Lifetime Achievement  |  Karen Kennelly, C.S.J.


Distinguished Book  |  Anne M. Butler, Across God’s Frontiers: Catholic Sisters in the American West, 1850–1920 (2012)

Distinguished Historian  |  Caroline Bowden


Distinguished Book  |  ​​​​​​​Emily Clark, Masterless Mistresses: The New Orleans Ursulines and the Development of the New World, 1727–1834 (2007)

Lifetime Achievement  |  ​​​​​​​Elizabeth M. Smyth


Distinguished Book  |  ​​​​​​​Elizabeth Makowski, “A Pernicious Sort of Woman”: Quasi Religious Women and Canon Lawyers in the Later Middle Ages (2005)

Distinguished Historian  |  ​​​​​​​Elizabeth Kolmer, A.S.C.

Lifetime Achievement  |  ​​​​​​​Suellen Hoy

Lifetime Achievement  |  ​​​​​​​Irene Mahoney, O.S.U.


Distinguished Book  |  ​​​​​​​Anita Caspary, I.H.M., Witness to Integrity: The Crisis of the Immaculate Heart Community of California (2003)

Distinguished Book  |  ​​​​​​​Diane Batts Morrow, “Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time”: The Antebellum Experience of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, 1828–1860 (2002)

Distinguished Historian  |  ​​​​​​​Elizabeth Rapley

Lifetime Achievement  |  ​​​​​​​Mary Hermenia Muldrey, R.S.M.


Distinguished Book  |  ​​​​​​​Martha Smith, C.S.J., and Carol K. Coburn, Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life, 1836–1920 (1999)

Distinguished Historian  |  ​​​​​​​Mary Oates, C.S.J.


Distinguished Historian  |  ​​​​​​​Mary Ewens, O.P.

Distinguished Historian  |  ​​​​​​​Jo Ann McNamara


Distinguished Historian  |  ​​​​​​​Karen Kennelly, C.S.J.


Distinguished Historian  |  ​​​​​​​Sister Marie Augusta Neal, S.N.D. de N.


Distinguished Historian  |  Sister Mary Evangeline Thomas, C.S.J.


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