2019 APLA Book Prize

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The Shelf by José Duarté. CC BY-NC-ND.

The Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA) is pleased to invite nominations for the 2019 APLA Book Prize competition. The association will recognize work that best exemplifies creativity and rigor in the ethnographic exploration of politics, law, and/or their interstices. The 2019 APLA book prize will be awarded at the American Anthropological Association meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) and will be reviewed in PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. It also carries an award of $1,000. An honorable mention may be identified by the committee, if appropriate.


The Association will recognize work that best exemplifies creativity and rigor in the ethnographic exploration of politics, law, and/or their interstices. Either single- or multi-authored books are eligible, however edited volumes, reference works, or second editions of previously published works are excluded from consideration.  The book must have been published during the year prior to the competition (2018).  Books translated into English from another language are eligible for consideration.  In such cases, the year that the translation was published is considered the year of publication for purposes of eligibility. Authors of nominated books must be members of APLA. Authors of the book prize and honorable mention are expected to serve on the APLA book prize committee the following year.

The Committee will look for books that: are ethnographically strong; advance theoretical insights related to political/legal anthropology; have original and well-substantiated arguments; speak to compelling issues and problems beyond its geographic location/particular topic; are well-written; and have the potential to be a major work in its field/s.

Nomination Process:

For consideration, authors or their publishers should send a cover letter and a copy of the nominated book no later than May 1, 2019 directly to each of the APLA book prize committee members:

Dr. Liv Stone
Dept of Sociology & Anthropology
Illinois State University
503 West College Ave
Normal, IL 61790

Dr. Georgina Ramsay
University of Delaware
109 Munroe Hall
Newark, DE 19716

Dr. Isaias Rojas-Perez
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
360 Martin L. King Blvd.
Hill Hall Rm. 603
Newark, NJ 07102

Dr. Shiri Pasternak
Ryerson University,
355 Victoria St.
Ontario M5B
Office: Jorgensen Hall 823

Dr. Nikhil Anand
Department of Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania
3260 South Street #325
Philadelphia PA 19104

2018 APLA Book Prize:

mourning remains

The 2018 APLA Book Prize was awarded to Isaias Rojas-Perez (Rutgers) for Mourning Remains: State Atrocity, Exhumations, and Governing the Disappeared in Peru’s Postwar Andes (Stanford University Press 2017).

Honorable mention went to Nikhil Anand (University of Pennsylvania) for Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai(Duke University Press 2017) and Shiri Pasternak (Ryerson University) for Grounded Authority: The Algonquins of Barriere Lake against the State(University of Minnesota Press, 2017).

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