It is with great pleasure that we announce the ethnography, Guerrilla Marketing: Counterinsurgency and Capitalism in Colombia, by Alexander Fattal as the 2019 winner of the American Ethnological Society’s Sharon Stephens Prize. The Sharon Stephens Prize was established to honor the memory of an exceptional scholar by recognizing an excellent ethnography that addresses contemporary social issues beyond the academy. We are delighted to recognize Dr. Fattal’s monograph, which reveals the disturbing convergence of consumer marketing and counterinsurgency, as a brave, theoretically innovative and important contribution to public knowledge.
Our committee read a book list that covered a remarkable range of areas and subjects, and showcased impressive ethnography and writing. We feel compelled to acknowledge two other outstanding ethnographies: Empire in the Air: Airline Travel and the African Diaspora by Chandra Bhimull and Reclaiming the Discarded: Life and Labor in Rio’s Garbage Dump, by Kathleen Millar. The committee found Bhimull’s writing poetic and her consideration of the intersection of race and state power in the creation of air travel wonderfully imaginative and illuminating. The committee was also deeply impressed by Millar’s courageous ethnographic research in the garbage dumps of Rio De Janeiro. Millar’s work revealed compelling insights about the changing nature of work and inequality in the modern world.
At the conclusion of a lengthy process, all committee members felt that we had read the very finest new ethnographies in our discipline. We are thankful to our colleagues who invested considerable time writing eloquent letters advocating for a number of fascinating, well written and important books.
Committee members: Katherine McCaffrey, Shirley Lindenbaum and Nayanika Mathur