Now Open: 2020 APLA Book Prize in Critical Anthropology


Book image 2
Books by Christopher. CC BY 2.0.

*Note: Due to COVID-19, the submission instructions and mailing addresses have been updated – they are now current for April 2020.*

Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we have changed the name of the APLA book prize to the “APLA Book Prize in Critical Anthropology.

The Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA) is pleased to invite nominations for the 2020 APLA Book Prize in Critical Anthropology competition. The association will recognize work that best exemplifies creativity and rigor in the ethnographic exploration of politics, law, and/or their interstices. The 2020 APLA book prize will be awarded at the American Anthropological Association meeting in St. Louis, Missouri 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 (2019).  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 in Critical Anthropology 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:

  1. Email a cover letter to
  2. Send a copy of the nominated book no later than May 15, 2020 directly to each of the APLA Book Prize in Critical Anthropology committee members. These addresses have been updated due to COVID-19 and are current as of April 2020:

Dr. Rebekah Park
39 Woodhail Street,
Lido Beach, NY, 11561

Dr. Matthew Canfield
Drake University
105 Medbury Hall
2507 University Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311

Dr.  Susan Ellison (2019 winner)
629 Washington St. #2
Wellesley, MA 02482

Dr. Yael Berda (2019 honorable mention)
34b Fernald Drive
Cambridge Massachusetts 02138

Dr. Saida Hodzic
204 McGraw Hall
Department of Anthropology
Cornell University
Ithaca NY 14853

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