The Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA) is pleased to award the 2020 APLA Book Prize in Critical Anthropology to Dr. Alpa Shah (London School of Economics) for her book Nightmarch: Among India’s Revolutionary Guerrillas!
Dr. Shah’s book provides a riveting account of the Naxalites—one of the longest-running guerilla insurgencies in the world. The book’s thick description of the everyday lives of these insurgents and combined with her insights drawn from her long-standing fieldwork among the Adivasi communities in Jharkhand, India provides profound insights into the endurance of the Naxalites’ struggle against capitalism and the contemporary contradictions they encounter. The book’s creative writing promises to expand the audience for anthropology and shows the power of ethnography to engage in questions of profound political importance.
In addition, the Committee awarded two honorable mentions to Dr. Katherine Lemons (McGill University) for her book Divorcing Traditions: Islamic Marriage Law and the Making of Indian Secularism and Dr. Ayse Parla (Boston University) for her book Precarious Hope: Migration and the Limits of Belonging in Turkey.
The 2020 APLA Book Prize Competition was co-chaired by Rebekah Park and Matthew Canfield and included committee members Yael Berda, Susan Ellison, and Saida Hodžić. We thank the committee for its service!