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.

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, 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.

Naveeda Khan (Chair)

Elizabeth Ferry

Sameena Mulla

Hoon Song

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Past Awardees

  • Progressive Utopia

    by Savannah Shange

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  • Waste Siege

    by Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins

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  • The Spirit Ambulance

    by Scott Stonington

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  • Guerilla Marketing

    by Alexander Fattal

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  • A Diagram for Fire

    by Jon Bialecki

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  • Paper Tiger

    by Nayanika Mathur

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  • Renegade Dreams

    by Laurence Ralph

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  • Mohawk Interruptus

    by Audra Simpson

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  • Guerrilla Auditors

    by Kregg Hetherington

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  • Addiction by Design

    by Natasha Dow Schüll

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  • Pretty Modern

    by Alexander Edmond

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  • Spiritual Economies

    by Daromir Rudnyckyj

    View Details