Category Students

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

Law and Rurality Workshop at AAA 2013 in Chicago:

law and rurality2

Workshop on “Law and Rurality,”

by Michele L. Statz, University of Washington.

Taking “rurality as a continuum” (Pruitt 2006) as its point of departure, the APLA “Law and Rurality” workshop welcomed scholars who explore the shifting parameters, regulation, and significance of rural spaces domestically and abroad. Facilitated by Professors Kathryn Marie Dudley (Yale U) and Daniel Murphy (U Cincinnati), the conversation considered the gendered outcomes of land titling programs in Peru; invocations of rurality in the management of ethically produced high quality handloom cloth in India; negotiated attachments to property, or pai, in agrarian Ukraine; and the creative and localized strategies of public interest immigration attorneys in small U.S. towns. Together, the group explored intersections of law and landscape, temporality, gender and generation in rural contexts (however ambiguously defined), and we interrogated the categorical significance, and even usefulness, of “rurality” itself. As all of the workshop participants are nearing the end of fieldwork or are in the early stages of dissertation write-up, facilitators also offered helpful guidance about the practicalities and poetics of ethnography. This portion of the workshop covered everything from literary aesthetics to work-life balance, and the personal reflections and professional strategies Dudley and Murphy shared were invaluable to students who admitted to feeling somewhat “adrift” in the isolation of fieldwork and writing. Given the breadth and relevance of the topics discussed, as well as the overall warmth and collegiality of the conversation, APLA’s aim of supporting future legal anthropologists was certainly met in this workshop!