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.
History of the Elsie Clews Parsons Award
The Elsie Clews Parsons Prize for the best Graduate Student Essay was awarded by the American Ethnological Society as long ago as the 1960s, well before the AES became fully incorporated into the AAA in 1984. It was suspended for approximately a decade and reinstated in the 1990s. The American Folklore Society, for whom Parsons served as President 1919 -20, presented an Elsie Clews Parsons Book Prize during the 1980s.