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 comprising SAE senior members, chaired by the Society’s President-elect.
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, although edited collections of essays are not.
The deadline for submission of entries for consideration is MAY 1st
Books submitted for the 2022 prize consideration must have been published in 2021 (as indicated on the copyright page); books translated into English must have appeared in English in 2021 though they may have been published in another language earlier.
The prize recipient is 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 Jane Cowan, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Each entry 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:
Kathy Redner, Controller
American Anthropological Association
2300 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 1301
Arlington, VA 22201-3386
703.528.1902, ext 1160 – fax: 703.528.3546
Books published in 2020 were eligible to be considered for the 2021 William A. Douglass Prize in Europeanist Anthropology. The prize received 16 nominations, and the judges found the field exceptionally strong: a gratifying sign of the vitality and diversity of work currently being carried out in Europe.
The judges are delighted to award the prize to Darryl Li for his book, The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity (Stanford University Press, 2020).
This provocative and compelling text examines the lives, narratives and fates of some of the several thousand foreign Muslim men who, in the name of jihad, fought alongside their co-religionists in the Bosnian war. Situating his analysis in the context of the racialized violence of American empire, Li challenges stereotypes of jihadist fighters as enemies of humanity. He asks us to take seriously these men’s commitment to jihad as a universalist political and moral project and a lived practice of transnational solidarity. Li critically probes their visions of jihad: its logics and aspirations, its moral imagination, its gendered dynamics, and its inevitable contradictions. He considers jihad’s parallels and overlaps but also its entanglement with other universalist projects playing out in Bosnia: socialist Non-Alignment, United Nations peacekeeping and the Global War on Terror. The Universal Enemy stands out for its originality, its erudition, its ethnographic reach, its eloquent writing and its broader implications for understanding and analysis in anthropology.
The judges awarded two honorable mentions.
In The Truth Society: Science, Disinformation, and Politics in Berlusconi’s Italy (Cornell University Press 2020), Noelle Molé Liston develops a timely and highly original anthropological analysis of the politics of post-truth.
Across its vibrant chapters, the book takes Italian anxieties around truth—the lack of truth, the emptiness of truth, the threats against truth—and treats them as an ethnographic object. Examining political phenomena ranging from Berlusconi’s crass humor to the Five Star Movement’s “algorithmic governance”, Liston uncovers both the social moorings of popular distrust in knowledge and the political interests that variously attempt to address and profit from this condition. She also examines the impulses motivating pro-science, anti-superstition advocacy groups in their efforts to recuperate truth. Illuminating the Italian case, this book speaks to a larger politics of truth that has come to afflict so many, ostensible democracies in these times.
In Dark Finance: Illiquidity and Authoritarianism at the Margins of Europe (Stanford University Press, 2020), Fabio Mattioli examines how shifts in global finance following the 2008 financial crisis aided and abetted Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s effort to exert his control over Macedonia’s political, social and economic life.
Rooted in ethnography at a Skopje construction firm, the book analyzes how Gruevski’s loan-fueled government used government contracts and its control over payments to create an illiquid economy that deepened firms’ and individuals’ dependencies on the Gruevski regime. In his brilliant, page-turning account, Mattioli unravels the social, political, and gendered relations that mediated financialization and that produced a centralized power apparatus. In so doing, Mattioli develops a chilling diagnosis of both financialization and authoritarianism, while demonstrating how research in “the margins of Europe” may deepen our grasp of global political economic processes.
Jane Cowan (Sussex), as SAE President-Elect, chaired the Douglass Prize Committee, which also included Andrew Graan (Helsinki) and Nitzan Shoshan (El Colegio de México). The committee warmly congratulates the awardees, and thanks the authors of all 16 books for the pleasures of reading them.
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).
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). An honorable mention was awarded to Mayanthi L. Fernando for The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism (Duke University 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.
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 Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2012) by Andrea Muehlebach received honorable mention. The committee was chaired by Pamela Ballinger and included Keith Brown and Andrea Smith.
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 Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France (University of California Press, 2011), by Miriam Ticktin (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
by Didier Fassin. Princeton University Press, 2009.
Honorable Mention for 2010 also goes to: Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination, by Karin Sanders. The University of Chicago Press 2009.
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. Communities of the Converted: Ukrainians and Global Evangelism. Cornell University Press, 2007.
In 2007, two books were co-awardees:
Mathijs Pelkmans (London School of Economics), Defending the Border: Identity, Religion, and Modernity in the Republic of Georgia. Cornell University Press, 2006 and Andrea L. Smith (Lafayette College), Colonial Memory and Postcolonial Europe: Maltese Settlers in Algeria and France. Indiana University Press, 2006.
Previous winners include books authored by Sarah F. Green, Christopher Tilley, Katherine Verdery, Jenny Wright, and Marilyn Silverman.