Graduate Student Paper Prize!

APLA Graduate Student Paper Prize Competition
Deadline: August 1, 2014

The Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (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, The Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR).

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 Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 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 –

Meet the new APLA Board Members!

APLA election outcomes are out!

Catherine Besteman (Colby College) is now our President-Elect, Roberto Gonzales (San Jose State University) will serve as Senior Board Member and Karin Friederic (Wake Forest University) as Junior Board Member. Their appointments will begin officially at the close of our upcoming AAA meeting in early December. Below you will find their nomination materials in case you didn’t get a chance to look at them. Welcome Catherine, Roberto and Karin to your new positions!

Catherinebesteman_150x150Catherine Besteman (PhD, University of Arizona, 1991) Positions Held: Associate and Full Professor of Anthropology, Colby College (1994-present); Department of Anthropology, Queens College-CUNY (1991-1994); Interests: security and precarity, refugees, engaged anthropology; Significant Publications: The Insecure American (co-edited with Hugh Gusterson), University of California Press, 2009; Transforming Cape Town, University of California Press, 2008; Why America’s Top Pundits are Wrong (co-edited with Hugh Gusterson), University of California Press, 2005.

Because of the potential of new approaches to engaged and public anthropology and shifting structures for publishing, APLA will face several exciting challenges and opportunities in the next decade. Building upon the vibrant recent work of APLA’s leadership, I would like to continue to develop several APLA initiatives: forging connections between political and legal anthropologists working in the academy and those working outside the academy; developing mentoring opportunities for younger scholars and graduate students working on political and legal anthropology; promoting anthropological research on political and legal issues in the public arena; and opening conversations about the most challenging dimensions of research on secrecy, security, and political and legal practices.  I would work to ensure that APLA has a dynamic, innovative, robust presence in showcasing the power of anthropological research, continues to challenge the boundaries that constrain anthropological engagement in the public arena, and offers the next generation of political and legal anthropologists a strong platform within and outside the academy.

Roberto J. González (PhD, University of California-Berkeley, 1998)Positions Held: Professor (2012-present), Associate Professor (2006-2012), Assistant Professor (2001-2006) of Anthropology at San Jose State University; Lecturer (1998-2000) University of California-Berkeley; Interests: Militarism and culture; environmental anthropology; Latin America and United States; Selected Publications: Up, Down, and Sideways: Anthropologists Trace the Pathways of Power, Berghahn, 2014; Militarizing Culture: Essays on the Warfare State, Left Coast; 2010; American Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain, Prickly Paradigm, 2009.

My record of collaboration will provide me with the experience and knowledge needed to serve on the APLA Board.  From 2011 to 2013, I served on the AAA’s Committee on Ethics, and chaired it in 2012. In my capacity as chair I was involved in many different activities, including organizing meetings, serving as liaison between the Committee and the AAA’s Executive Board, and coordinating Committee responses to ethical queries from members.  Apart from my involvement in this AAA committee, in 2007 I helped to found the Network of Concerned Anthropologists (along with 11 other colleagues) to promote a more ethical anthropology in the wake of recruitment efforts being launched by military and intelligence agencies.  In my capacity as graduate coordinator of San Jose State University’s M.A. Program in Applied Anthropology, I recruit, mentor, and advise students on a regular basis.  Based on these experiences, I think I would be able to contribute a great deal to APLA. Friederic (PhD, University of Arizona, 2011) Positions Held: Assistant Professor (2012-present), Anthropology, Wake Forest University; Faculty Fellow (2011-12), Global Studies, Colby College; Interests: human rights, gender and violence, Ecuador, and Latin America; Recent Publications: “The ‘Sony Nightclub”: Rural Brothels, Gender Violence, and Development in Coastal Ecuador, Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, 2014; “Violence Against Women and The Contradictions of Rights-In-Practice in Rural Ecuador,” Latin American Perspectives, 2014; “The Challenges of Advocacy in Anthropological Research on Intimate Partner Violence,” Practicing Anthropology, 2011.

My broader work explores how intimate violence of gendered bodies indexes broader forms of structural violence in rural coastal Ecuador. More specifically, my research examines the effects of human rights discourse and development politics on gender violence and family health in rural Ecuador over the past twelve years. For my book project, I am currently examining men’s and women’s changing access to legal services, and how this is reconfiguring gendered dimensions of citizenship. Thus, my book will also examine the articulations between international human rights and global health policy and programming in Latin America. I look forward to joining the APLA board after serving as an APLA member for many years and benefitting from multiple APLA-sponsored workshops while I was a graduate student. I am thus eager to support APLA book and article prizes, as well as mentoring activities, in order to continue this strong tradition of excellent mentorship and research.  Also, with my experience in applied medical anthropology, community-based participatory research, and anthropology of-and-in NGOs, I hope to strengthen collaboration between APLA and related interest groups.