2019 Call for Submissions: Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing

The Society for Humanistic Anthropology (SHA) announces the annual juried competition for the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. The late Victor Turner devoted his career to seeking an accessible language that would reopen anthropology to the human subject, and the competition recognizes the innovative books that further this project.


A $1,000 first-place, a $500 second place and a $250 third-place prize will be awarded at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 20-24, 2019.


Eligible genres include single and co-authored ethnographic monographs, narratives, historical accounts, biographies, memoirs, dramas, creative nonfiction and fiction works, and single-authored collections of essays, short stories, or poems. Book publication year may be 2017, 2018, or 2019 (through the submission deadline). Books may be entered into the competition by authors, publishers, book editors, or colleagues. No formal letter of nomination is needed. Books published in 2017-2018 entered in last year’s competition may be resubmitted this year with the appropriate entry fee.


For authors who are already or become SHA members, the entry fee is $25/book. For authors who are not SHA members, the entry fee is $75/book. (Publishers: for all books you submit, please check with authors first to discover whether they are current SHA members and please encourage authors to join SHA). The fee may be paid either online here (log into Anthro Gateway to get the SHA member rate of $25), or by check (made out to the American Anthropological Association) with the Submission-Fee-Form sent to:

Kathy Ano, Controller
American Anthropological Association
2300 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 1301
Arlington, VA 22201-3386
Phone: 703.528.1902 ext. 1161
Fax: 703.528.3546

SUBMISSION: BOOKS (a total of 4 copies)

Send one copy of the book to be entered to each of the four judges:

Victor Turner Prize
c/o Emma Tarlo
3 Edis Street
London NW1 8LG
United Kingdom

Victor Turner Prize
c/o Professor Sarah Strauss
Department of Anthropology
University of Wyoming
1000 E. University Ave, Box 3431
Laramie, WY 82071

Victor Turner Prize
c/o Professor Neni Panourgiá
Prison Education Program
409 Schermerhorn Hall
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027

Victor Turner Prize
c/o Julia Offen
1986 Paquita Dr.
Carpinteria, CA 93013


All submitters to the contest must also send a cover letter to SHAVictorTurner@gmail.com with the following four items of required information:

  1. book title, publication year, and publisher;
  2. author’s contact information including mailing address, all telephone numbers and e-mail address;
  3. author’s biographical sketch (1-2 paragraphs) including highest degree awarded, discipline, and institution;
  4. current affiliation (university or otherwise).

Biographical information will be used for presenting the winners and publicizing the results of the competition and will not be used for judging the quality of the entries. Entrants may also include an optional short statement about intellectual training/ orientation, and the circumstances surrounding the research/ writing of the book.

The deadline for receipt of all required materials is April 1, 2019.

All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Neni Panourgiá, prize coordinator, at SHAVictorTurner@gmail.com

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