Elsie Clews Parsons Prize


October 14, 2022


Award winners will receive a $300 cash prize and $200 towards attending the AES/APLA “Indeterminacy” spring conference at Princeton University, March 23-25, 2023. The winner will be announced in Anthropology News and on the AES website.

The Elsie Clews Parsons Prize is awarded yearly for the best graduate-student paper that engages with AES's core commitments to combining innovative fieldwork with rich theoretical critique.

The AES Board invites individuals who are students in a graduate degree-granting program (including M.A. and Ph.D.) to submit stand-alone papers demonstrating outstanding ethnography for consideration for the Parsons Prize.


Papers should engage with AES core commitments to combining innovative fieldwork with rich theoretical critique. Papers should not exceed 8,000 words (including notes and references) and should follow AAA style guidelines. Submissions should be unpublished manuscripts not currently under review elsewhere, forthcoming, or in press. Submission is open to current students and those who received their degree in the calendar year of submission.

Submission details

Please submit two PDFs: One containing a cover sheet with the author’s name, contact information, paper title and acknowledgments and the other containing the paper’s title, text, notes and references but not otherwise identifying the author and excluding acknowledgements. Papers will be read in a double-blind process by a committee of AES members. The committee members will be identified when the prizewinner is announced. Submission portal: forms.gle/sysveFSUbEt49VxX8


The Elsie Clews Parsons Prize for the best graduate student essay began in the early 1960s and is named for Elsie Clews Parsons, a past president of AES (1923-25) who was also the first woman president of the AAA (1941). Parsons was known especially for her work among the Hopi and Pueblo in the southwest United States, and for her commitment to anthropology as a vehicle for social change.