University of Pittsburgh
August 1, 2007

Pitt Communications Professors Win Annual History Book Award

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Ronald J. Zboray, University of Pittsburgh communications professor, and Mary S. Zboray, visiting scholar in communications at Pitt, will be honored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) for winning the Best Journalism and Mass Communication History Book of 2006 award.

The award-winning book, "Everyday Ideas: Socioliterary Experience Among Antebellum New Englanders," was published by the University of Tennessee Press in April 2006. The book's subject spans the late 1820s to the beginning of the Civil War; its central theme is the impact literature had in molding the American Renaissance.

To write "Everyday Ideas," the Zborays gathered information from more than 4,000 manuscript letters and diaries of factory workers, farmers, clerks, storekeepers, domestics, and teachers. The book addresses a wide range of issues from political campaigns and religious controversies to the personal challenges of maintaining ties with separated loved ones.

"The results of this vast archival work is a rich picture of what New Englanders were thinking and how they were acting," wrote Ray B. Browne in the March 2007 edition of the "Journal of American Culture." "The book is rich in the detail of everybody's everyday life in New England, and as such those of our ancestors. It is a rich thesaurus indeed and should be owned, read, and treasured by everyone."

Seventeen other history books were nominated for this year's honor. The annual award will be presented to the Zborays at the AEJMC conference Aug. 9-12, in the Renaissance Hotel, Washington D.C.

The AEJMC is an international nonprofit, educational association made up of more than 3,500 journalism and mass communication faculty, administrators, students, and media professionals. The organization was founded in Chicago, Ill., in 1912.