The MES Book Award

The Middle East Section book award is awarded bi-annually to an anthropological work (single- or multi-authored, but not edited volumes) that speaks to issues in a way that holds relevance beyond our subfield. Criteria may include: innovative approaches, theoretical sophistication, and topical originality. The jury for this award is chaired by an MES board member, usually the Past President, who selects two other scholars as jury members.

Submissions must take place via a brief letter of nomination from another scholar; self-nominations and nominations directly from presses are not accepted. Deadlines and details will be posted on the MES website, as well as in the AN “MES Section News” column and via email publicity. The award will be presented at the MES business meeting at the AAA annual meeting.


CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: 2013 MES Distinguished Scholar Award

The MES Distinguished Scholar Award

Established in 2006, the biennial MES Distinguished Scholar Award includes a cash award of $500, and recognition at the Middle East Section business meeting at the annual AAA conference. The Distinguished Scholar award is granted to an anthropologist of the Middle East whose teaching and whose contributions to the literature and the profession have substantially advanced the field. The call for nominations is typically issued in the spring and the deadline is April 15. Please see the link above or check the news announcements for more details.

Past Winners:

  • 2014: Dr. Susan Slymovics (UCLA)
  • 2013: Dr. Marcia Inhorn (Yale University)
  • 2011: Dr. Dale Eickelman (Dartmouth College)
  • 2009: Dr. Brinkley Messick (Columbia University)
  • 2007: Dr. Lila Abu Lughod (New York University)


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: 2014 MES Student Paper Award

The MES Student Paper Prize

The MES proudly sponsors an annual paper prize for students in anthropology and related disciplines. Established in 2000, the MES Student Paper Prize includes a cash award of $500, ideally to help defray the costs of travel to the annual AAA conference, and recognition at the Middle East Section meeting at the conference. Papers from current undergraduate or graduate students on any aspect of Middle East anthropology will be evaluated according to originality, significance, use of data, and quality of writing. Papers may not have been published at the time of submission. The call for papers is typically issued in the spring, and the deadline for submission is June 15. Please see the link above or check the news announcements for more details.

Past Winners:

  • 2014 Student Paper Prize Winner: Zachary Cuyler, Georgetown, for “’The Invasion of the Desert': Expertise, Nationalism, and the Development of Egypt’s Western Desert, 1954-61.” Honorable Mention: Mathew Gagne, Toronto, for “The Many Scenes of Queer Damascus.”
  • 2013 Student Paper Prize Winner: Jess Bier, for “The Colonizer in the Computer: The British and Israeli Influence on Palestinian Authority Cartography in the West Bank.”
  • 2012 No Prize Awarded
  • 2011 Student Paper Prize Winner: Elif Babül, for “‘Smells Like Translation’: Pedagogies of Human Rights and Transnational Standardization in Turkey.” Honorable mention: Dorothée Kellou.
  • 2010 Student Paper Prize Winner: Rosi Greenburg, for “Cultural Boycott: A Study of (Anti-) Normalization in the Palestinian Art World.” Honorable Mention: Natalia K. Suit.
  • 2009 Student Paper Prize Winner: Canay Ozden, for “The Wardrobe Republic.” Honorable Mention: Jeremy Walton.
  • 2008 Student Paper Prize Winner: Suncem Kocer, for “Media Production and Transpolitics.” Honorable Mention: Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins.
  • 2007 Annual Student Paper Prize: Ali Scotten for “Magic and Inter-Communal Relations in Sasanian Iraq: The Case of the Incantation Bowls.” Honorable Mention: Berna Yazici.
  • 2006 MES Student Paper Prize Winner: Devon Liddell, for “Celebrity Body, Qur’anic Propriety: Beauty and Respectability in a Changing Cairo.”
  • 2005 No Prize Awarded
  • 2004 MES Student Paper Prize Winner: Lori Allen, “Suffering through a National Uprising: The Cultural Politics of Violence, Victimization and Human Rights in Palestine”
  • 2003 No Prize Awarded
  • 2002 No Prize Awarded
  • 2001 MES Student Paper Prize Winner: Andrew M. Gardner, for “Political Ecology, Causation and the Bedouin of Saudi Arabia.”