Amelia Davidson awarded 2024 Porter Prize for an outstanding work of scholarship across the university

June 6, 2024

Congratulations to Amelia Davidson, winner of the Porter Prize! This university-wide prize recognizes a written work of scholarship in which it is possible, through original effort, to gather and relate facts and to make the product of general human interest. Amelia’s thesis, titled “The Color of Empire: Indigo Dye as an Agent of British and Early American Imperialism,” marries various local histories into one cohesive narrative of indigo in moments of encounter with the British empire and develops an understanding through primary sources of how imperalism shifted the meaning of indigo and color in general. In doing so, it makes clear that the story of indigo is not just a historic one, revealing that the present-day denim industry and concepts like “Yale Blue” are continuous echoes of indigo’s colonial history. Amelia’s thesis was advised by Professor Gary Okihiro.