Sharon Stephens Prize


The June 1st 2021 deadline has now passed. Decisions have now been announced.



The Sharon Stephens Prize is awarded biennially for a junior scholar’s first book. The prize goes to a work that 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 be a first monograph by a junior scholar, have been published in the last two years, and may not have been previously submitted for this prize.


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


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


Announcements regarding the deadlines and other specifics will be posted on this website, and other email based and social media platforms.


The 2021 deadline has now passed. Please contact Naveeda Khan ( if you have any questions regarding the submissions process.

Jury Members

Naveeda Khan (Chair)

Elizabeth Ferry

Sameena Mulla

Hoon Song


2021 Honorable Mention

The Spirit Ambulance:

by Scott Stonington
2021 Joint Winner

Waste Siege:

by Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins
2021 Joint Winner

Progressive Utopia:

by Savannah Shange
2019 Winner

Guerilla Marketing

by Alexander Fattal
2017 Joint Winner

Paper Tiger

by Nayanika Mathur
2017 Joint Winner

A Diagram for Fire

by Jon Bialecki
2015 Winner

Mohawk Interruptus

by Audra Simpson
2015 Honorable Mention

Renegade Dreams

by Laurence Ralph
2013 Winner

Addiction by Design

by Natasha Dow Schüll
2013 Honorable Mention

Guerrilla Auditors

by Kregg Hetherington
2011 Joint Winner

Cosmologies of Credit

by Julie Chu
2011 Joint Winner

Spiritual Economies

by Daromir Rudnyckyj
2011 Honorable Mention

Pretty Modern

by Alexander Edmond
2009 Joint Winner

Counting the Dead

by Winifred Tate
2009 Joint Winner

Lydia's Open Door

by Patty Kelly
2007 Joint Winner

Markets of Dispossession

by Julia Elyachar
2007 Joint Winner

The Ethical Soundscape

by Charles Hirschkind
2005 Joint Winner

Being a Buddhist Nun

by Kim Gutschow
2005 Joint Winner

Landscapes of Devils

by Gaston Gordillo
2003 Joint Winner

Life Exposed

by Adriana Petryna
2003 Joint Winner

Advocacy After Bhopal

by Kim Fortun
2003 Honorable Mention

In Amazonia

by Hugh Raffles
2001 Winner

Marketing Democracy: Power and Social Movements in Post-Dictatorship Chile

by Julia Paley
2001 Honorable Mention

Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit

by John Jr. Hartigan
2001 Honorable Mention

Screening Culture, Viewing Politics: An Ethnography of Television, Womanhood and Nation in Post-Colonial India

by Purnima Mankekar
1999 Winner

No Aging in India: Alzheimer’s, The Bad Family and other Modern Things

by Lawrence Cohen
1999 Second Runner Up

Post-Colonial Developments: Agriculture in the Making of Modern India

by Akhil Gupta
1999 First Runner up

Vision, Race and Modernity: a visual economy of the Andean image world

by Deborah Poole
1997 Winner

Gifts, Favors, and Banquets: The Art of Social Relationships in China

by Mayfair-hui Yang
1997 Honorable Mention

Tournaments of Value: Sociability and Hierarchy in a Yemeni Town

by Anne Meneley
1996 Winner

In the Soviet House of Culture :A Century of Perestroikas

by Bruce Grant