William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology
The William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology honors the best book published annually in Europeanist anthropology as determined by a panel of senior Europeanist anthropologists, chaired by the Society’s President-elect.
Nominations are now open for the 2023 prize!!
Eligible volumes must be available in English, whether published in the US or abroad. They must have been published in the calendar year before the prize adjudication. Multi-author volumes are eligible as well, but edited collections of essays are not.
The deadline for submission of nominations is MAY 1, 2023.
Books submitted for the 2023 prize consideration must have been published in 2022 (as indicated on the copyright page); books translated into English must have appeared in English in 2022 though they may have been published in another language earlier.
The prize recipient(s) is/are named shortly before the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, with suitable publicity provided for the winning entry at the annual meeting and on the SAE website.
To be considered for the Douglass Prize a hard copy of the eligible volume (no manuscripts, photocopies or electronic files will be accepted) must be sent to each of the three judges on the selection panel (for a total of three submitted copies). For instructions on where to send the books please contact the current SAE President-elect, Professor Dorothy Zinn, by email at email@example.com.
Each nomination must also include a submission fee of $50. You can pay online at the AAA website by clicking this link. You can also pay by check. The check should be made out to AAA/SAE and clearly marked as a submission fee. Please send checks to the attention of:
Christian Martinez, Controller
American Anthropological Association
2300 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 1301
Arlington, VA 22201-3386
703.528.1902, ext 1160 – fax: 703.528.3546
The current awardees
The 2022 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded jointly to two authors: to Siv B. Lie for Django Generations: Hearing Ethnorace, Citizenship, and Jazz Manouche in France (University of Chicago Press, 2021) and to Filippo Bonini Baraldi for Roma Music and Emotion (Oxford University Press, 2021).
Both books investigate ethnographically the lives and artistry of Romani musicians. But they address two very different sites in Europe, explore different problems, and work within two distinct national traditions of research, analysis and writing.
Trained in anthropology and ethnomusicology in the US and a practicing musician, Lie offers a lively account of the “art world” of jazz manouche, a genre of guitar-centric swing music, built on the style developed by Django Reinhardt, as it is practiced by Romani musicians (self-designating as Manouche) living in and around Strasbourg.
Paradoxically perceived as typically French yet also as ethno-racially marked, jazz manouche generates profound ambivalence for both musicians and listeners as it exposes contradictions in France’s dominant republican discourse with its denial of race and racism. Lie probes jazz manouche’s polyvalent meanings as they are negotiated in encounters between Manouches musicians and the non-Manouche French society. She critically interrogates how non-Manouche French enthusiasts, promoters and critics “hear” race in the voice, timbres and emotions of jazz manouche, as well as the complicated, and contextually shifting, political and musical stances that Manouche musicians adopt in response. Django Generations explores the dilemmas of musicians caught between embracing exoticization for economic survival and rejecting it as harmful to their struggle for full French citizenship.
Focusing on the culturally patterned, contextually varying interactions between musicians and their customers, kin and friends, the French-trained Italian ethnomusicologist, electronic engineer and classical violinist Bonini Baraldi seeks to understand how “good music makes you cry”. Complemented by evocative photos, video recordings and a film, his vivid, gracefully written text draws the reader into the musicians’ social, material, ethical and affective world. Using an unconventional toolkit of analytical methods, from thick description and attention to emotion talk and embodiment, to videoed motion capture of gestures such as viola bowing to track the stretching of rhythms and embellishing of melodies that render tunes “sweet” or “sorrowful”, Bonini Baraldi analyzes how musicians skillfully and compassionately arouse the emotions of those for whom they play. He offers, moreover, a groundbreaking theorization of relationships between music, empathy and emotion from an anthropological perspective.
Both books invite readers not to only read but also to see, hear and feel the ethnography of Europe in novel and exciting ways. Yet we find the contrasts between them—in terms of subject, focus, problematique, conceptual apparatus, mode of analysis—equally inspiring. In making a joint award, we hope to encourage conversation on the value of multiple ways to undertake, and to present, Europeanist anthropology.
SAE president-elect Jane Cowan (Sussex) chaired the 2022 William A. Douglass Prize Committee, which included Stef Jansen (Sarajevo) and Andrea Muehlebach (Bremen). The committee warmly congratulates the awardees.
Previous years’ awardees
The 2021 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Darryl Li for his book The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity (Stanford University Press, 2020).
The judges awarded two honorable mentions: to Noelle Molé Liston for The Truth Society: Science, Disinformation, and Politics in Berlusconi’s Italy (Cornell University Press, 2020) and Fabio Mattioli for Dark Finance: Illiquidity and Authoritarianism at the Margins of Europe (Stanford University Press, 2020).
Jane Cowan (Sussex), SAE President-Elect, chaired the 2021 Selection Committee, which included Andrew Graan (Helsinki) and Nitzan Shoshan (El Colegio de México).
The 2020 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Anya Bernstein for her book, The Future of Immortality: Remaking Life and Death in Contemporary Russia (Princeton University Press, 2019). Gerald Creed (CUNY), SAE President-Elect, chaired the Prize Committee, which included Elizabeth Dunn (Indiana University) and Yael Navaro (Cambridge).
The 2020 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology honorable mention was awarded to Michał Murawski for his book, The Palace Complex: A Stalinist Skyscraper, Capitalist Warsaw, and a City Transfixed (Indiana University Press, 2019).
The 2019 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Anna Tuckett for her book, Rules, Paper, Status: Migrants and Precarious Bureaucracy in Contemporary Italy (Stanford University Press, 2018).
The 2019 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology finalists were School of Europeanness: Tolerance and Other Lessons in Political Liberalism in Latvia by Dace Dzenovska (Cornell University Press), Power Struggles: Dignity, Value, and the Renewable Energy Frontier in Spain by Jaume Franquesa (Indiana University Press) and Tight Knit: Global Families and the Social Life of Fast Fashion by Elizabeth L. Krause (University of Chicago Press).
The 2018 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Elif M. Babül for her book, Bureaucratic Intimacies: Translating Human Rights in Turkey (Stanford University Press, 2017). Sarah F. Green (University of Helsinki), President of SAE, chaired the Prize Committee, which included Catarina Frois (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa) and Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov (Higher School of Economics).
Honorable mentions were awarded to Naor Ben-Yehoyada for his book The Mediterranean Incarnate: Region Formation Between Sicily and Tunisia Since World War II (University of Chicago Press, 2017) and to Naomi Leite for her book Unorthodox Kin: Portuguese Marranos and the Global Search for Belonging (University of California Press, 2017).
The 2017 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Nitzan Shoshan for his book The Management of Hate: Nation, affect, and the governance of right-wing extremism in Germany (Princeton University Press, 2016). Sarah F. Green (University of Helsinki), President-elect of SAE, chaired the Prize Committee, which included Catarina Frois (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa) and Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov (Higher School of Economics).
The 2016 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Maple Razsa for Bastards of Utopia: Living Radical Politics after Socialism (University of Indiana Press, 2015). Betsy Krause (University of Massachusetts Amherst) chaired the committee, which included Adriana Petryna (University of Pennsylvania) and Paul Silverstein (Reed College) as members.
The 2015 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Lilith Mahmud for The Brotherhood of Freemason Sisters: Gender, Secrecy and Fraternity in Italian Masonic Lodges (University of Chicago Press, 2014). Betsy Krause (University of Massachusetts Amherst) chaired the committee, which included Doug Rogers (Yale University) and Miriam Ticktin (The New School for Social Research) as members.
Honorable mention for 2015 was awarded to Mayanthi L. Fernando for The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism (Duke University Press, 2014).
The 2014 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Krisztina Fehérváry for her book Politics in Color and Concrete: Socialist Materialities and the Middle Class in Hungary (Indiana University Press, 2013). Pam Ballinger chaired the committee, which included Mark Ingram and Tanya Richardson as members.
The 2013 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to The Make-Believe Space: Affective Geography in a Postwar Polity (Duke University Press, 2012) by Yael Navaro-Yashin. The committee was chaired by Pamela Ballinger and included Keith Brown and Andrea Smith.
Honorable mention for 2013 was awarded to Andrea Muehlebach for her book The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
The 2012 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded jointly to Masquerade and Postsocialism: Ritual and Cultural Dispossession in Bulgaria (Indiana University Press, 2011) by Gerald Creed (CUNY Graduate Center)
and to Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France (University of California Press, 2011), by Miriam Ticktin (The New School). Caroline Brettell (Southern Methodist University) and Andrea Smith (Lafayette College) served on the committee chaired by Jeffrey Cole.
The 2011 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Kristen Ghodsee (Bowdoin College), for her book, Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria (Princeton University Press, 2010). Caroline Brettell and Susan Carol Rogers served on the committee chaired by Jeffrey Cole.
The 2010 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology winner was The Empire of Trauma: An Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood (Princeton University Press, 2009) by Didier Fassin.
Honorable Mention for 2010 goes to: Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination (University of Chicago Press, 2009) by Karin Sanders.
The 2009 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology winner was Ruth Mandel (University College London) for Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish Challenges to Citizenship and Belonging in Germany (Duke University Press, 2008).
The 2008 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology was awarded to Catherine Wanner for Communities of the Converted: Ukrainians and Global Evangelism (Cornell University Press, 2007).
In 2007, two books were co-awardees: Defending the Border: Identity, Religion, and Modernity in the Republic of Georgia (Cornell University Press, 2006) by Mathijs Pelkmans (London School of Economics)
and Colonial Memory and Postcolonial Europe: Maltese Settlers in Algeria and France (Indiana University Press, 2006) by Andrea L. Smith (Lafayette College).
Previous winners include books authored by Sarah F. Green, Christopher Tilley, Katherine Verdery, Jenny Wright, and Marilyn Silverman.