The next Senior Book Prize competition will take place starting in 2024. Stay tuned for more information.

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 author must be an anthropologist who has held a PhD, or equivalent, for at least 10 years. This award is opened to scholars working inside or outside the academy who have already published a previous monograph or co-authored book. The book should have been published in the last two years from the date of nomination, 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 (

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

Past Awardees