The Bishir Prize, named for longtime member and influential scholar Catherine W. Bishir, is awarded annually to the scholarly article from a juried North American publication that has made the most significant contribution to the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes. In judging the nominated articles, the jurors look for an article that is based on primary research, that breaks new ground in interpretation or methodology, and that contributes generally to the intellectual vitality of vernacular studies. Entries may come from any discipline concerned with vernacular architecture studies. Articles published in the two years prior to the VAF annual conference are eligible for consideration. Please note that essays published as chapters in a book are also eligible if the volume is peer-reviewed, published within the time parameters specified, and the research presented in the essay is new. Anthologized collections are not eligible. The Bishir Prize was awarded for the first time in 2012.
The deadline for nominations for the 2023 Bishir Prize is February 1, 2023.
2022 Bishir Prize Recipient
The 2022 winner of the Catherine W. Bishir Prize is Ryan K. Smith for his article "Disappearing
the Enslaved: The Destruction and Recovery of Richmond’s Second African Burial Ground,"
which appears in the Spring 2020 edition of Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular
Please visit the 2022 Bishir Prize Recipient page for more details about why Ryan was selected.