Student Prize

APLA Graduate Student Paper Prize Competition
The APLA Board invites individuals who are students in a graduate degree-granting program (including M.A., Ph.D. and J.D.) to send stand-alone papers centering on the analysis of political and legal institutions and processes. Topics may include citizenship; colonialism and post-colonial public spheres; cosmopolitanism; cultural politics; disability; environment; globalization; governance; humanitarianism; medicine, science, and technology; multiculturalism; nationalism; NGOs and civil society; new media; immigration and refugees; resistance; religious institutions; sovereignty; war and conflict.  We encourage submissions that expand the purview of political and legal anthropology and challenge us to think anthropologically in new ways about power, politics and law.
APLA awards a cash prize of $350.00, plus travel expenses of up to $650.00 if the prize winner attends the 2014 annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association (Washington, DC) to receive the prize in person. The prize winner will be announced in Anthropology News, and the winning paper will be published in the peer-reviewed journal of the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology, PoLAR: The Political and Legal Anthropology Review.
This year, learning from other sections, the process will be a little different. The committee will select five finalists. Each finalist will be assigned a mentor who has shared substantive interests, and who will offer feedback. APLA will sponsor a session at the AAA meetings in Washington with the finalists and their mentors.
Authors must be enrolled in a graduate program through at least May 1, 2015. Papers should not exceed 8,000 words (including notes and references) and should follow the style guidelines of PoLAR, which are detailed in the American Anthropological Association Style Guide.
Please submit papers as PDF attachments.
Submissions and questions should be sent to Mark Schuller –

Deadline: August 1, 2014



Congratulations to our 2013 winner:

Stacy Vandenhurst (Brown University) for “God Rescued You: Divine Intervention & Sovereign Power in Nigeria’s Counter-Trafficking Programs.”

and the committee was pleased to award an Honorable Mention to:

Alyse Bertenthal (University of California-Irvine) for “The Meaning of Justice.”

Past Awardees:

  • 2012: Rachel Dotson, Citizen-Auditors and Visible Subjects: Mi Familia Progresa and Transparency Politics in Guatemala
  • 2011: Chika Watanabe, Return and Repetition in Development Work: Discipline as a Temporal Modality in a Religiously-based Japanese NGO
  • 2010: Ceren Ozgul, Legally Armenian: Secular Politics of Multicultural Tolerance and Name Change in the Mid-Level Courts of Istanbul
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