2018 Award Winners

Browne Honored with Boas Award for Exemplary Service

Katherine E. Browne

Katherine E. Browne’s academic research and engaged anthropology have energized the fields of economic anthropology, disaster studies, and visual ethnography. She is currently a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Colorado State University.

In her first book, Creole Economics: Caribbean Cunning under the French Flag (2004), Browne investigated the informal economy among Afro-Creole people in Martinique. Continuing her interest in the relationship between community and economic values, Browne shifted her research focus to New Orleans to address the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast. Her NSF-funded documentary film on this work, Still Waiting: Life after Katrina, was broadcast on more than 300 PBS stations and was followed by her 2015 monograph, Standing in the Need: Culture, Comfort and Coming Home After Katrina. Subsequently, Browne presented a co-authored document to a House committee considering senior appointments to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Browne’s research and engaged anthropology extend to the classroom. She has earned Colorado State University’s two most prestigious teaching awards and is widely praised by her students.

As president of the Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA), Browne led others in reimagining the association. By joining the SEA with the AAA as a new section—and recreating the SEA’s online visual and publication presence—Browne built new audiences for the field.

With tireless compassion, Browne has pursued a rigorous anthropological understanding of the lives people make under vulnerable circumstances. She is a powerful model for what can happen when imagination and commitment inform the heart of anthropology.

Jennifer Mack Honored with SfAA/AAA Margaret Mead Award

Jennifer Mack

Jennifer Mack’s The Construction of Equality (2017) is an innovative foray into urban design, architecture, and anthropology, combining meticulous archival research of nation-state building and modernization in Sweden and rich ethnography of the daily life of Syriac immigrants living in Södertälje on the periphery of Stockholm. Mack illustrates how design aesthetics and urban planning principles, housing size and style imagine an ethnically homogeneous “equality” framed by Swedish “values.” These are in sharp contrast to the styles and communities of the assyrier and syrianer, enacted through cultural associations and football clubs, Syriac Orthodox and other Christian churches, theatre, and the architecture of the homes of those who have realized economic success and of those who have not. In a compelling and beautifully written account, Mack weaves together cultural intimacy, migrant enclaves, and city planning, and in doing so she demonstrates how ordinary acts and everyday life resignify space and belonging.

At a moment when ideals of multiculturalism and diversity are rapidly being replaced in Europe and elsewhere by nationalist policies, state techniques of exclusion, and border security, Mack’s monograph is timely. Her account of urban planning, its execution through the settling of Syrians within a Swedish city, and its materialization of debates over migration, belonging, and identity, would have made Margaret Mead proud.

The Margaret Mead Award is awarded jointly by the Society for Applied Anthropology and the American Anthropological Association.

Crown Wins Alfred Vincent Kidder Award for Eminence in the Field of American Archaeology

Patricia L. Crown

Patricia L. Crown is a Southwestern archaeologist whose work is as big picture, pioneering, and exemplary as that of A. V. Kidder. She earned her PhD from the University of Arizona in 1981 and is currently the Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor at the University of New Mexico and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Crown has studied the Hohokam, Mogollon, and Ancestral Pueblo peoples. Following her graduate work using ceramics to explore migration in the Southwest United States, Crown joined the staff of the Arizona State Museum’s Cultural Resources Management Division, where she was tasked with synthesizing the results of the Salt-Gila Project, the first “mega-project” in Arizona cultural resources management (CRM). Crown then engaged in the archaeology of the Chaco World and collaborated with Jim Judge to bring about a major comparative study of Chaco and Hohokam, Prehistoric Regional Systems in the American Southwest (1991). She followed this work with a synthesis of Salado Polychrome pottery that redefined the Salado phenomenon and helped transform 60 years of earlier interpretations of these ceramics and their producers. Crown’s work was pivotal in reintroducing the study of migration into archaeological interpretations of change and societal transformation in the Southwest/Northwest; it also has contributed broadly to many topics of anthropological significance (e.g., the origins and adoption of pottery containers, pottery specialization, women’s role in changing cuisine, and learning and apprenticeship).

Most recently, Crown, along with her co-director, W.H. Wills, conducted major work at the iconic site of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. Because of the preservation focus of the National Park Service, almost no research-based excavations had been conducted within the park or Chaco Canyon itself for decades.

AAA/Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology Recipient

Laura Tubelle de González

Laura Tubelle de González has been teaching anthropology for 19 years in San Diego, California, mostly at San Diego Miramar College. Through her cultural and biological anthropology courses, she’s learned that talking less and doing more in the classroom engages students in ways that makes anthropology relevant to their lived experience. Her emphasis is on inclusion, authenticity, and transformative learning. She loves a classroom filled with talking and laughter

González has an expansive whole-student focus, which compels her to advocate for students in other areas that support their retention and success. This has included building an organic garden (2010), helping create a campus food pantry (2012), initiating and running Safe Zones training workshops (2015), and starting the first campus LGBTQ+ cross-campus alliance (2017).

González seeks out fieldwork and travel opportunities when she can, especially for the enrichment of her classroom. In 2013, she took a sabbatical in Mumbai, India, to study modern, urban, arranged marriage, which translated into educational materials and an ethnographic-based card game for the classroom. In 2017, she spent three days trekking with the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, and uses her images and videos in class to illustrate primate behaviors.

Knowing that engagement in the field makes a more informed teacher, González served as president of the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges from 2011 to 2012 and counts many members among her mentors. She is co-author, with Bob Muckle, of the four-field textbook Through The Lens of Anthropology (2016) and serves on the editorial board of Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology, the first peer-reviewed, open access cultural anthropology textbook.

Gina Athena Ulysse Wins Anthropology in Media Award

Gina Athena Ulysse

This year, we honor Gina Athena Ulysse, who identifies as artist-anthropologist-activist, for her powerful and effective work communicating anthropological insights to a broad general public. Through her anthropological writings, blogs, talks, and her widely shared performance pieces, Ulysse has worked to expand her reach, presence, and impact to connect with as many people as possible, both within and beyond anthropology, academia, and the United States. She presents a breathtaking list of spoken word performances across the country and the world each year, including a recent commission for the British Museum. In addition, her passionate analyses of a range of global injustices spark lively public discussion on the platforms on which she publishes (regularly for Huffington Post, Ms., Tikkun, and occasionally for a number of other outlets). Ulysse’s work is also widely available via a TED talk and other videos of performances and interviews. Her books range from ethnographic monographs to the trailblazing Why Haiti Needs New Narratives (2015), which was published in three languages, to her recently published poetry collection, Because When God Is too Busy (2017). In all of these varied venues Ulysse uses anthropology and the insights it provides, in her words “engaging the visceral with the structural,” as a means to address and work towards dismantling the racism, sexism, and other structures of inequality that cause such harm and terror in the world.

Kaufman Receives Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology

Sharon Kaufman

Sharon Kaufman’s two books, Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives, and Where to Draw the Line (2015) and …And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life (2005), probe how and why the structures, ethos, and organization of our health care bureaucracy, largely hidden from public view, determine the kinds of medical treatments patients receive. The books investigate the present and future impacts of health care delivery on practitioners, patients, families, and the American public. They describe the sociopolitical and institutional sources of current US health care practice—and the disquiet that accompanies that practice—and suggest policy choices for health care reform.

Ordinary Medicine traces the ethical underpinnings of the multi-billion dollar biomedical health care enterprise, from research funding for treatments to what gets reimbursed by Medicare to what is considered standard and why to what patients and doctors talk about, agonize over, and decide to do. By providing a map to the sociocultural sources of our health care dilemmas, Kaufman offers a way to renew the goals of medicine, so it can serve as a social good in the twenty-first century. …And a Time to Die has resonated across society for a decade as greater numbers of practitioners and health consumers seek reasons for why the “technological imperative,” with its “do everything” ethos even as death approaches, continues to have such a tenacious hold on medical practice. Both volumes are taught and read widely (including internationally) among physicians, nurses, other health professionals, and scholars in many disciplines. Both pay attention to what the future will look like: ever-older patients receiving high-tech treatments, many of which prolong dying; a growing burden of dilemmas for families; and higher economic cost. As works in anticipatory anthropology, they are part of the national dialogue paving the way for preferable futures for our medical and care delivery system.

AAA President’s Awards

AAA President Alex Barker honored five incredible people with President’s Awards in 2018:

Ben Orlove

Ben Orlove was honored for his scholarship and contributions to documenting Anthropogenic Climate Change.

Vesna Vucinic Junji Koizumi Faye Harrison Chandana Mathur

Vesna Vucinic, Junji Koizumi, Faye Harrison, and Chandana Mathur were honored for helping to unite global anthropology under the World Anthropological Union.

Executive Director’s Awards

The American Anthropological Association is pleased to recognize two individuals with the Executive Director’s Award for innovative contributions to the field.

Chip Colwell

Chip Colwell, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, received an award for his creative, resourceful, and risk-taking work as founding editor-in-chief of SAPIENS, a digital magazine launched in 2016, and now a podcast series about the human world. SAPIENS is committed to bringing anthropology to a broad public audience. It explores thought-provoking ideas about being human including how we communicate with one another, why we behave kindly and badly, where and when we evolved, our laws, our ethics, our cities, the environment, and much, much more.  

Robert Lemelson

Robert Lemelson, Elemental Productions and University of California, Los Angeles, is recognized for his innovative ethnographic filmmaking and his philanthropy. Lemelson pushed the boundaries of sensory ethnography that is gorgeously affecting, with rich multimedia production values. And, with his generous support, he is committed to the rising generation of promising students and early career anthropologists.

2018 Minority Dissertation Fellowship Recipient

Saira Mehmood

The Minority Dissertation Fellowship Committee is pleased to award Saira Mehmood with the 2018–2019 Minority Dissertation Fellowship. Mehmood’s doctoral work, which looks at mental health services available to medically underserved racially minoritized communities in post-Katrina New Orleans, Louisiana, is needed research. Moreover, her work is situated in medical anthropology examining race and disease in the United States, which is critically important for the further development of the subfield.

Not only does Mehmood demonstrate intellectual rigor and present a clear argument that is grounded in anthropology, but her work extends to and engages with other fields of research. The methods she uses are innovative in the sense that they draw on interdisciplinary techniques, toolkits, and insights including anthropology, public health, public policy, and government. With a strong public anthropology bent, her work is positioned to potentially contribute important findings to the field of anthropology as well as public health and public policy. Mehmood demonstrates clear practical applications for her work that clearly illustrates the importance of stellar anthropological research to address social issues in context. 

Gender Equity Award

Gender equality award

M. Gabriela Torres, Dianna Shandy, and Kathryn Clancy are recognized for their leadership and service to the profession in developing policies and procedures for addressing issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault for the American Anthropological Association. This is a critical time in our nation’s history when these issues are front and center. Their hard work in developing the AAA’s Comprehensive Policy on Sexual Harassment and Assault should be recognized, and we are proud of what they have accomplished in MPAAC’s first year.

2018 Leadership Fellows

The AAA is thrilled to introduce the 2018 class of Leadership Fellows: Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein, Carla Pezzia, and Matthew Reilly. The AAA Leadership Fellows Program provides a unique opportunity for anthropologists early in their careers to learn about leadership opportunities within the Association. Mentors provide fellows with an in-depth “behind the scenes” look at AAA’s governance system, offering a clear sense of the range of opportunities for leadership service to the Association, as well as advice on making room for AAA service along with research, teaching, and other services to the community and profession. Fellows shadow their mentors at the AAA Annual Meeting in meetings of the Executive Board, Association Committees, and Section Committees. In addition, fellows are invited to attend the AAA Donors Reception and a Leadership Fellows Social bringing together past and present cohorts of fellows.

Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein

Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein
New Knowledge Organization, Ltd.

I lead media research at an interdisciplinary New York City-based think tank. I consider myself primarily a linguistic anthropologist, with a focus on various kinds of large-scale communication and theories of community and identity. I’m particularly interested in the role of mass media in inequality.

There is relatively little overlap between the communities of practicing anthropologists and linguistic anthropologists, at least at the AAA. As a Leadership Fellow, I hope to create more connections between these groups, advocate for the needs of practicing anthropologists, support more mentorship opportunities for linguistic anthropologists. I did not have access to a lot of resources when I was looking at careers outside the academy, and I’d like to help change that.

My ongoing professional service has been in outreach and mentorship, both mostly informal. I’m excited to take on this kind of service in a more structured way and become more involved with the AAA.

Carla Pezzia

Carla Pezzia
Assistant Professor
Human Sciences Center,
University of Dallas

I am a medical anthropologist with particular interests in mental health care among medically underserved populations, both in the United States and Latin America.

I have previously served in leadership roles for the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) and the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology, which sparked my interest in serving in other capacities for both the SfAA and AAA.

As a Fellow, I would like to figure out where I may be of most service to AAA and its members. I would like to actively engage with leadership to address issues experienced by traditionally underrepresented groups in the profession and in the AAA membership.

I would also like to take the opportunity to learn more about the “business” of the Association to better understand my purpose in being a member as well as to better promote the Association and discipline to my students.

Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Gender Studies, and International Studies
City College of New York

I am an anthropological archaeologist interested in race, class, colonialism, and capitalism in the Atlantic World. My two current research projects are based on the Caribbean island of Barbados and the West African nation of Liberia. My research interests also include the role that whiteness and white supremacy have played, and continue to play, in shaping archaeology.

Being a new faculty member at the City College of New York pushed me to apply for the program. The experience of coming to a public university with passionate and dedicated students and faculty and with limited resources, motivated me to seek opportunities to more effectively engage with a wider student base in underserved communities.

I am thrilled to be part of the Leadership Fellows Program. The past plays a crucial role in understanding our present and shaping our future, and it is my intention to work with the AAA to facilitate more substantive dialogue between archaeologists and cultural anthropologists with the shared goal of striving for social justice. I will work hard to encourage student involvement and participation in the AAA and strive to build an inclusive, public-facing association that affects change at all levels of society.

Section Awards

Association for Political and Legal Anthropology

Annual Book Prize
Isaias Rojas-Perez

Annual Graduate Student Paper Prize
Dario Valles

General Anthropology Division

Diana Forsyth Prize
Sara Ann Wylie

Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship
Tatiana Chudakova

New Directions Awards
Somatoshpere, Group
C. Todd White, Individual

CASTAC/David Hakken Graduate Student Paper Prize
Timothy McLellan

Society for Urban, National, and Transnational/Global Anthropology

Anthony Leeds Award
Caroline Melly

Student Paper Prizes
Tzu-Chi Ou, Graduate Winner
Sarah Mahoney, Undergraduate Winner

Best Paper in City & Society
Allison Formanck

Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges

Student Award for Academic Excellence
Gavin Heady

Student Award for Creativity, Leadership, and Community Service
Nikki Karapanos

President’s Award for Contribution to Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology
Kelsie Aguilera, Lara Braff, Katie Nelson, and Beth Shook

Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

Roseberry-Nash Graduate Student Paper Prize
Jennifer Cearns

SLACA Book Prize
Alex E. Chávez

Cultural and Agriculture

Netting Graduate Award
Alyssa Paredes

Society for Economic Anthropology

Halperin Award
Megan Parker and Dawn Rivers

M. Estellie Smith Award
Benita Menezes

Schneider Student Paper Competition
Christina Cheung, Undergraduate Winner
Kelly McKowen, Graduate Winner

Society for the Anthropology Of Religion

Clifford Geertz Book Prize
N. Fadeke Castor

SAR Student Prize
Jane Saffitz

Society for Linguistic Anthropology

SLA Undergraduate Essay Prize
Emily A. Ricker

SLA John Gumperz Graduate Student Paper Prize
Nikolas Sweet

SLA Interdisciplinary Public Engagement Award
Rusty Barrett, Jeremy Calder, Chantal Gratton, Jenny Davis, and Lal Zimman

SLA Award for Public Outreach and Community Service for 2018
Georgia Ennis

Archaeology Division

Patty Jo Watson Distinguished Lecture
Charles R. Cobb
Gordon R. Willey Prize
Angelo Dante

Student Membership Awards
Annalisa Bolin, Kasey Diserens Morgan, Chandler Fitzsimmons, Laura Heath-Stout, Jade Robinson, Anne Sherfield, and Liam Wadsworth

Student Diversity Travel Grants
Nicole Smith and Aja M. Lans

Society for Cultural Anthropology

Gregory Bateson Prize
Louise Meintjes

Cultural Horizons Prize
Hannah Appel

Association for the Anthropology Of Policy

Graduate Student Paper Prize
Rachel Silver

Middle East Section

MES Student Paper Award
Noha Fikry

MES Distinguished Scholar Award
Dr. Saba Mahmood
In Memoriam

Society for the Anthropology Of Europe

William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology
Elif M. Babül

SAE-CES Pre-Dissertation Research Fellowship
Maria Lechtarova

Graduate Student Paper Prize
Nina Dewi Horstmann

William A. Douglass Distinguished Lecture
Professor Loïc Wacquant

Society for East Asian Anthropology

Theodore C. Bestor Prize for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper
Jieun Cho

Francis L.K. Hsu Book Prize
Priscilla Song

David Plath Media Award
Aaron Litvin and Ana Paula Kojima Hirano

Anthropology & Environment Society

Junior Scholar Award
Susannah Chapman

Roy A. Rappaport Prize
Patrick F. Nason

Next Generation Award
Stefanie Graeter

Society for the Anthropology of Work

SAW Book Prize
Penny Howard

Diana Forsythe Prize co-sponsored with GAD
Sara Ann Wylie

SAW Eric R. Wolf Prize
Juan Manuel Del Nido

Conrad Arensberg Prize
Stephen Barley

Society for Humanistic Anthropology

Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing
Katherine Verdery

SHA Ethnographic Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Contest
Annalisa Bolin

SHA Ethnographic Poetry Contest
Darcy Alexandra

Society for Anthropological Sciences

H. Russell Bernard Student Paper Prizes
Erik Ringen and Amy Reinhardt

SAS Travel Awards
Sheina Lew-Levy, Summar Saad, Maria Lizette Rangel, and Nicole Henderson

Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

Thomas Marchione Award
Miguel Cuj

Christine Wilson Undergraduate Award
Jared Belsky and Mackenzie Nelsen

Christine Wilson Graduate Award
Alyssa Paredes

Association for Queer Anthropology

Ruth Benedict Prize
George Paul

Kenneth W. Payne Prize
Paula Martin

Career Achievement Award
Elizabeth Kennedy and Esther Newton

AQA Travel Grant
Fadhi Salam, Afshan Kamruden, and Christopher Baum

Central States Anthropological Society

Leslie White Award
Jessica Vinson

CSAS Student Paper Competition
Oliver Shao, Graduate Winner
Alexander Norris, Undergraduate Winner

Society for Visual Anthropology

SVA Film & Media Festival Best Feature Film
“Heartbound,” directed by Sine Plambech

SVA Film & Media Festival Best Interactive Documentary
“The River Runs Red,” directed by Isabelle Carbonell

Jean Rouch Award
“The Impact,” Adreanna Rodríguez

SVA Film & Media Festival Best Short Film
“A Place in the Sun,” Christian Zipfel

SVA Film & Media Festival Best Student Film
“At the Crossroads,” Savyasachi Anju Prabir

Collier Award
Danny Hoffman

Lifetime Achievement Award
Fadwa El Guindi

Society for Psychological Anthropology

Condon Prize for Best Student Paper in Psychological Anthropology
Courtney Cecale

SPA/RLF Fellowships
Zoe Berman, Mary Cook, Christos Panagiotopoulos, Rafaella Seymour, and Mengqing Shang

Biological Anthropology Section

W.W. Howells Book Award
Sang-Hee Lee

BAS Distinguished Lecture
Barbara J. King

Association for Africanist Anthropology

Elliott P. Skinner Book Award
Jean Hunleth

Bennetta Jules-Rosette Graduate Student Essay Award
Laura Meek

Nancy “Penny” Schwartz Undergraduate Student Essay Award
Andrea Kvietok

Association for Feminist Anthropology

Senior Book Prize in Feminist Anthropology
Marisol de la Cadena

Dissertation Award
Suyun Choi

Sylvia Forman Student Paper Prizes
Maira Hayat, Graduate Winner
Allegra Wyatt, Undergraduate Winner

Zora Neale Hurston Travel Award Winners
Elisha Oliver and Symone Johnson

Society for Medical Anthropology

MASA Graduate Student Mentorship Award
Joan Stevenson

Charles Hughes Graduate Student Paper Competition
Laura Meek

Eileen Basker Memorial Prize
Anita Hannig

Career Achievement Award
Joan Ablon

AAA Meeting Student Travel Awards
McCall Bromelkamp, Chelsey Carter, Rebecca Henderson, Raphaelle Rabanes, Bonnie Ruder, and Feroz Ali Sadruddin

Contingent Faculty Travel Awards
Kasey Jernigan and Emily Metzner

AIDS and Anthropology Research Group Moher Downing Distinguished Service Award
Patricia Whelehan

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Integrative Medicine (IM) Special Interest Group Graduate Student Paper Prize
Jane Saffitz

Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group Graduate Student Paper Prize
Sydney Silverstein

Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group Graduate Student Travel Award
Richard Karl Deang

CAGH Rudolf Virchow Award
Thurka Sangaramoorthy, Professional Category
Elizabeth Roberts, Professional Category
Raphael Frankfurter, Graduate Student Category
Sabine Shaughnessy, Undergraduate Student Category

Dying and Bereavement Interest Group Paper Awards
Shannon Blanch, Emerging Scholar
Ji Yea Hong, Doctoral Student

Council on Anthropology and Reproduction Graduate Student Paper Prize
Charlotte Waltz

Council on Anthropology and Reproduction Book Award Prize for an Edited Volume
Jennifer Cole and Christian Groes

Council for Museum Anthropology

Council for Museum Anthropology Distinguished Service Award
Candace S. Greene

Michael M. Ames Award for Innovative Museum Anthropology
Suzanne Seriff and Marsha Bol

Council for Museum Anthropology Book Award
Margaret M. Bruchac

Council for Museum Anthropology Student Travel Awards
Elizabeth Derderian and Amanda Guzmán

National Association of Student Anthropologists

Carrie Hunter-Tate Award
Yesmar Oyarzun

Emerging Leaders in Anthropology Program
Delaney Glass

Evolutionary Anthropology Society

EAS Student Award
Nicole Naar

New Investigator Award
Helen Davis and Sean Prall

National Association for the Practice of Anthropology

Student Paper Prize Competition
Saira Akhtar Mehmood

Volunteer Award
Joshua Liggett

American Ethnological Society

Senior Book Prize
David B. Edwards

Society for the Anthropology of North America

Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America
Maria D. Vesperi

Eleanor “Happy” Leacock Award
Sharmin Sadequee

St. Clair Drake Award
Bailey Duhé

Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists

ALLA Book Prize
Alex Chavez