Senior Book Prize


Next deadline May 21st 2022



The prize goes to a work that is deeply ethnographic and speaks to contemporary social issues with relevance beyond the discipline and beyond the academy.


Ethnographies and critical works in contemporary theory — single-authored or multi-authored but not edited collections are eligible. The book should have been published in 2020 or 2021, and may not have been previously submitted for this prize.


The jury for the prize is chaired by an AES councilor, who selects two or three other scholars as jury members.


Letters of nomination must come from scholars; self-nominations are not invited.


Criteria may include: originality, rigor, and maturity of research; an innovative approach to ethnography; theoretical sophistication and depth; thematic prescience; and an enduring contribution to Anthropology and beyond.


Announcements regarding the deadlines and other specifics will be posted on this website, as well as through the Anthropology News “AES Section News” column and other e-mail and social media-based publicity.


May 21st 2022

If possible, the jury requests hard copies and eBook versions of all submissions. Additional questions can be directed to the jury chair, Tomas Matza (

Jury Members:

Tomas Matza (Chair)
Department of Anthropology
University of Pittsburgh
WWPH 3302
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA

Mythri Jegathesan
Department of Anthropology
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA

Ramah McKay
Dept of History and Sociology of Science
University of Pennsylvania
303 Cohen Hall
249 S 36th St.
Philadelphia, PA

Jemima Pierre
Department of African American Studies
1308 Rolfe Hall
P.O. Box 957109
Los Angeles,
CA 90095


2020 Joint Winner

Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation

by Deborah A. Thomas
2020 Joint Winner

The Fetish Revisited

by By J. Lorand Matory
2018 Winner

Caravan of Martyrs

by David B. Edwards
2018 Honorable Mention

The Art of Life and Death

by Andrew Irving
2018 Honorable Mention


by Janet McIntosh
2016 Winner

Land's End

by Tania Murray Li
2016 Honorable Mention

The Outcast Majority

by Marc Sommers
2014 Winner

Haunting Images

by Tine Gammeltoft
2014 Honorable Mention

Precarious Japan

by Anne Allison
2012 Winner

Rainforest Warriors

by Richard Price
2012 Honorable Mention

Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous

by Dorothy Hodgson
2010 Winner

Alien Ocean

by Stefan Helmreich
2010 Honorable Mention

Just One Child

by Susan Greenhalgh
2007 Winner

Dramas of Nationhood

by Lila Abu-Lughod
2005 Joint Winner

Emergent Forms of Life and the Anthropological Voice

by Michael M. J. Fischer
2005 Joint Winner


by Anna L. Tsing
2003 Winner

Cholas and Pishtacos

by Mary Weismantel
2001 Winner
2001 Honorable Mention

The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics

by Susan Hardin
1999 Winner

Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America

by Rayna Rapp
1999 Honorable Mention

Exotics at Home: Anthropologies, Others, and American Modernity

by Micaela Di leonardo
1999 Honorable Mention

Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality

by Aihwa Ong
1997 Joint Winner

The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World

by Loring Danforth
1997 Joint Winner

At Home in the World

by Michael Jackson
1997 Honorable Mention

Metaphysical Communities: The Interplay of the Sense and the Intellect

by Greg Urban
1996 Winner

Dancing with the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas.

by Jose Limón