(Fenn, Elizabeth - 2015) -- Pulitzer Prize
Award or Honor Receipt
Professor Fenn won the Pulitzer Prize for history for her book Encounters at the Heart of the Word: A History of the Mandan People. Pulitzer judges called her work “an engrossing, original narrative showing the Mandans, a Native American tribe in the Dakotas, as a people with history.” Fenn specializes in the early American West, focusing on epidemic disease, Native American and environmental history. Her 2001 book Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 unearthed the devastating effects of a smallpox epidemic that coursed across the North American continent during the years of the American Revolution. She is now at work on an expansive biography of Sakagawea, using her life story to illuminate the wider history of the northern plains and Rockies. She is also the coauthor, with Peter H. Wood, of Natives and Newcomers: The Way We Lived in North Carolina before 1770, a popular history of early North Carolina. Fenn joined the CU-Boulder faculty in 2012 and is also a faculty affiliate of the CU-Boulder Department of Ethnic Studies.