SANA Book Prize

2018-2019 SANA Book Prize

The Delmos Jones and Jagna Sharf Memorial Prize for the Critical Study of North America is awarded every year for a single or multiple authored book (not edited collections). Nominated books need to have been published in 2017 or 2018. Nominations are now being accepted through August 30, 2019.

Nominated books should:

  1.   deal with an important social issue within the discipline of anthropology
  2.   have broader implications for social change or justice; and
  3.   be accessible beyond the discipline of anthropology.

Authors, publishers, or other scholars may nominate a book. Nominations must include a letter of nomination specifying how the book meets the criteria, a C.V. or bio-bibliography of the author, and three copies of the book. The nomination letter and C.V. may be sent by E-mail or postal service to each of the three committee members.  Ordinarily, publishers send hard copies of the book to each of the committee members, but the author may do so as well. Both nomination material and books must be received by August 30, 2019.

Contact information for Selection Committee:

Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz,, Loyola University Chicago, Department of Anthropology 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660

Aimee Meredith Cox,, 515 Madison Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11221

Jeff Maskovsky,,  Ph.D. Program in Anthropology, The CUNY Graduate Center, Rm 6402-10, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10016-4309

2016-2017 Prize Winners: The Land of Open Graves   and   Shapeshifters

There were many excellent nominations for the 2017 SANA Book award. The committee decided to share the award this year between two awardees.


2016-2017 Honorable Mention:

Sarah Horton, for the book They Leave their Kidneys in the Fields: Illness, Injury and Illegality among US workers (University of California Press).

2013-2014 Prize Winner: We are the Face of Oaxaca

Lynn Stephen & Collaborators, for the book We are the Face of Oaxaca: Testimony and Social Movements (Duke University Press 2013).

Duke University Press 2013
Duke University Press 2013

2013-2014 Honorable Mentions:

Audra Simpson, for the book Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Duke University Press 2014).

Kenneth MacLeish, for the book Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertaintly in a Military Community (Princeton University Press 2013).

2011-2012 Prize Winner: Tobacco Capitalism

Peter Benson, for the book Tobacco Capitalism: Growers, Migrant Workers, and the Changing Face of a Global Industry (Princeton University Press 2011).

Tobacco Capitalism

Peter Benson expertly handles grounding his topic in a broader historical and political economic context, telling a rich story while avoiding – and expressly dismantling – the oversimplified narratives that permeate the themes he engages. He succeeds in his aim to situate a nuanced, sensitive account of the workers’ experiences within a critical analysis of broader structural forces, illuminating a range of political projects that shape the contemporary historical moment.

2011-2012 Honorable Mention: Hound Pound Narrative

James Waldram, for the book Hound Pound Narrative: Sexual Offender Habilitation and the Anthropology of North America (University of California Press).

Hound Pound Narrative

Taking seriously and, without romanticization, James Waldram attempts to understand the situations of a nearly universally reviled group – sexual offenders – and does it well.  He dodges the pitfalls of conventional tropes around these topics, problematizing and disrupting a range of assumptions along the way while examining the production and roots of the numerous discourses discussed.  The rich ethnographic detail makes this a compelling story.