Newsletter of the Society for Medical Anthropology
June 2016 / Vol. 4, Issue 2
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In This Issue:

Letter from the President
Development of the SMA Zika Temporary Interest Group 
The Political Economy of Zika Virus in Puerto Rico 
SMA Welcomes New Listserv Moderator
2016 SMA Prize Competitions 
2016 SIG Prize Competitions
Book Announcements
MAQ Seeks Book Reviews Editor

Letter from the President

Esteemed Members: 

Although the academic year is winding to a close, SMA’s board members and staff remain hard at work. In this issue of Second Opinion, you’ll be reading about our Temporary Interest Group (or TIG) mechanism pilot, which has so far been quite a success. But TIG work is not all that we’ve been up to, and I want to take just a minute to provide updates on various other (but to keep this short, not all) behind-the-scenes efforts. 

Committee News. Our Membership Committee has been working on a very special mentoring event for the 2016 AAA meetings, in partnership with the Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA). The call for mentors and mentees will go out in a few months. The same committee also has cooked up a way to honor SMA’s sustaining members at the meetings: stay tuned for details! Meanwhile, the Program Committee has been reading and grouping the many (many!) abstracts received to ensure that the scientific program for the meetings is of the highest standard. Even further behind the scenes, the Communications Committee has been working on a recommendation report regarding how to upgrade our digital presence, including in regards to the MAQ website (stay tuned!). 

Prizes Update. Our Prize Committee chairs, too, have been working very hard: we’ve instituted a unified deadline this year so that all submissions are due in on July 1. Many of our SIGs have prize or travel award competitions also. Please help by publicizing the competitions among your students and through your various networks (for details, see below in this newsletter and/or click here)—and do consider entering one of the competitions yourself!

Fundraising. Among other efforts, I should mention the creation of an online donations page. Your membership dues help support valuable SMA services such as mentorship initiatives, student travel awards, paper prizes, publications (MAQ, Second Opinion), and so on. Tax-deductible donations further extend SMA’s ability to make an impact, not only for members but as the major voice of medical anthropology, nationally and internationally. To donate, click here.

Further, in advance of a targeted fundraising drive, we have established a dedicated donations link for the Eileen Basker Memorial Prize endowment—itself created with a generous gift of funds in 1987. The prize has played a vital role in highlighting and encouraging scholarly work on gender and health. Its endowment has grown over the years, but still falls short of the amount needed to fully support the prize each year. To help us build the endowment and secure the future of this prize, click here

Personnel Changes. Finally, I want to give everyone a ‘heads up’ regarding some impending changes. One you may already have heard about, through our prior formal announcement (so I can be brief here): Vincanne Adams will replace Lance Gravlee as MAQ’s editor starting in January 2017. 
We will also soon be looking for a new Digital Communications Editor, to manage our social media and Second Opinion. Recruitment for that post will take place in early fall. Graduate students: this is an excellent opportunity. If you have any questions about the post, please let me or Elizabeth Lewis know. 

More immediately, Carolyn (Cari) Merritt, SMA’s administrative assistant, and Lily Shapiro, our founding Listserv Moderator, are heading off to do fieldwork. Lily is being replaced by Stephanie Cruz, who is on board already: you can read about her in this issue. Cari’s replacement will begin work this month, so we will introduce her next time. By then, election results will be in and new board members also can be announced. In the meantime, happy summer! 


Elisa (EJ) Sobo


Development of the SMA Zika Temporary Interest Group
Kristin Hedges (University of Arizona)

In recent epidemics and outbreaks, medical anthropologists have engaged in providing rapid and effective responses. The Society for Medical Anthropology has been working on a 'rapid response' mechanism so that we can mobilize quickly to medical anthropological issues of public or grave concern. One way to do this is through Temporary Interest Groups (TIGs), which would complement the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) by offering a networking mode with a limited life-span and immediate focus.  

The SMA Zika TIG is the first such group. The Zika TIG provides an arena for interested parties to network and organize around Zika prevention, health services for affected mothers and infants, and abortion-related issues, and to collaborate on community and national response efforts. This interdisciplinary group of social scientists was formed in February 2016. 

The organizational structure of the Zika TIG is still in progress.  Currently the group is organized by a five-person steering committee.  Members come together via a closed Facebook group, which offers an easy format to interact and exchange up-to-date information on Zika as the epidemic unfolds.  There are currently 75 members of the Zika TIG Facebook group.  In order to become a member, simply click here and submit a request to join the group. 

On April 29 of this year, the Zika TIG and the AAA hosted a webinar, “Understanding and Responding to the Zika Crisis from an Anthropological Perspective.” This webinar covered a broad range of issues associated with the Zika epidemic. Topics included disease ecology/biology of the virus, information on the principal mosquito vector, sociocultural dimensions of risk (including poverty and pregnancy), and current response efforts. The event had 80 registered participants, making it the second most popular webinar hosted by AAA.  A recording of the webinar can be found at this link

The group is now in the process of forming of response sub-committee.  Working closely with Juliet Bedford from Anthrologica the group is able to track the progress of the international community in terms of responding to the Zika epidemic. However, there is a lack of information on what is happening at each national level and also local grassroots levels. This is an area where anthropologists can make important contributions. The response committee will begin by surveying and developing a database of TIG and AAA members at-large who are involved in Zika-related research or whose research in Latin America may be impacted. Understanding local and national responses will contribute to the wider understanding of how the disease is impacting local communities and specific considerations that need to be taken into account for successful response efforts. If you are interested in participating in the SMA Zika Response Sub-Committee please click here to email Kristin Hedges for more information. 

On May 7, 2015, tests conducted in Brazil concluded that the over 7,000 cases of mild illness and skin rashes were indeed caused by the Zika virus (WHO 2016a).  For more information on the timeline of the Zika epidemic refer to this page. Currently the World Health Organization has listed Zika as a Public Health Emergency. To date, there are 46 countries experiencing a first outbreak of Zika virus since 2015 (WHO 2016b). Feminist anthropologist Débora Diniz and the Anis Bioethics Institute just released a documentary on women affected by Zika in the Brazilian state of Paraíba.

While the Zika virus itself does not pose a large threat to population health globally, the risks for and long-term consequences of neurological complications in affected communities has increased the urgency for concerted and effective action. It was announced in April 2016 that the Zika virus is a definite and direct cause of microcephaly and other brain-related birth defects (NIH 2016). There are currently 10 countries with cases of microcephaly malformation cases, totaling 1423 infections (WHO 2016b).  Brazil contains the majority of these infections (1384), while Puerto Rico is the latest territory to report a case (WHO 2016b). Complications from microcephaly can range from mild to severe. For babies with severe microcephaly, there will be a need for developmental and therapeutic services early in life (Castro 2016). 



Castro, M (2016). Zika Virus and Health Systems in Brazil: From Unknown to a Menace. Health Systems & Reform. April 25, 2016. DOI: 10.1080/23288604.2016.1179085

NIH (2016). Zika Virus Causes Brain Defects in Babies: CDC Agency says evidence confirms infection during early pregnancy leads to severe forms of microcephaly. Medline Plus. April 13, 2016. 

WHO (2016a).  One year into the Zika outbreak: how an obscure disease became a global health emergency. May 2, 2016.  

WHO (2016b). Situation Report: Zika Virus, Microcephaly, Guillain-Barre Syndrome. May 19, 2016.  

The Political Economy of Zika Virus in Puerto Rico
Adriana Garriga-López (Kalamazoo College)

In her recent book, Judith Butler (2015) argues that, “in some of our most vulnerable experiences of social and economic deprivation, what is revealed is not only our precariousness as individual persons—though this may well be revealed—but also the failure and inequalities of socioeconomic and political institutions” (21). Butler further asserts that precarious forms of life lived in a context of economic deprivation and with a profound deficit in democratic access to political institutions “implies a heightened sense of expendability or disposability that is differentially distributed throughout society” (15). Anyone who knows the history of epidemics and public health in Puerto Rico has good cause to be concerned about the governmental response to the current Zika outbreak on the island, because of the ways it reinforces the sense of expendability Puerto Ricans are feeling in this political moment when the prospect of a federally imposed fiscal control board looms large.  

From the heroic scientific/military imaginary of Bailey K. Ashford (1934), whose investigations into the germ of Puerto Rican laziness led to the discovery of extensive hookworm (Necator americanus) infestation in Puerto Rico causing widespread anemia,  to the mass sterilization campaigns carried out from the 1930s to the 1980s, wherein a third of women in Puerto Rico were sterilized by force or without informed consent, the disposability of Puerto Rican lives is reinforced by the historical record. To the mid-twentieth century experiments carried out in collusion with eugenicist organizations for which women in Puerto Rico served as guinea pigs for birth control drugs that contained much higher hormonal levels than are currently present in pharmaceutical products, public health in Puerto Rico has historically understood its central task as population control, including the eradication of the ‘overpopulation problem,’ which was even until recently postulated as the source of social degradation in Puerto Rico (Briggs 2002). 

Many Puerto Ricans remember the history of military experiments with Agent Orange and Napalm, among other deforestation agents and highly polluting chemicals used in war games in Vieques and Culebra islands. Puerto Rican scientists and environmental activists have called attention to the increasing presence of controversial biotechnology companies like Monsanto, who conduct experiments with insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, and transgenic or genetically modified organisms on the island (Marrerro 2013, Torres-Abreu 2016). This is our history and it shapes our present realities. 

Yet, Puerto Rico is not a laboratory in service to the United States and Puerto Ricans are not disposable. Puerto Rican lives matter. Earlier this year, a group of scholars including myself put out a call for epidemiological accountability to the population of Puerto Rico in view of the Zika outbreak, meaning that responses to the disease should increase forms of democratic access in favor of reorganization of the representational structures. This would require a deep consideration not only of data on the transmission of Zika virus in Puerto Rico, nor merely careful study of the mosquito vector and effective mitigation strategies, but an unflinching appraisal of the entire public health panorama in Puerto Rico. In view of proposed austerity measures and the likely strangulation of public services, the Zika epidemic is intimately linked to the political-economic crisis facing Puerto Ricans, and generalized infection among the population is understood as inevitable.

Puerto Rico, like other US territories, does not have access to the Obamacare provisions due to the Republican-led rollback. Nonetheless, Puerto Ricans are paying higher health insurance premiums on the basis of the cost of the very provisions to which they do not enjoy access. Even worse, the congressional cap on federal funding for health care first established in the 1960s has not been removed, despite assurances in 2008 from Obama that this was the first step in a common sense approach to addressing health care disparities in Puerto Rico. 

In this context, how should we understand the state focus on the reproductive capacities of Puerto Rican schoolgirls? Why is teenage pregnancy stigmatized while also the preferred site of intervention in a context of increasing poverty and gender violence? Who establishes federal research and spending priorities and what notions of the public good do those decisions imply? How can Puerto Ricans be democratically included in public health planning, when forms of political representation for Puerto Ricans are in their worst ever crisis of viability? 

While the government has appropriated funds earmarked for Ebola to fight Zika virus, authorities appear not to have learned the lessons of the most recent (and largest ever) outbreak of the former; specifically, the limited effectuality of funding public health “crisis by crisis” (Krisberg 2016). Ebola showed us how emergency interventions in contexts of systemic inequality and resource insufficiency reproduce rather than reduce structural violence. Neither are some of the lessons of the HIV/AIDS epidemic applied with regard to sexual transmission between groups of diverse sexualities; in other words, the non-exclusivity of sexual behaviors is elided. Instead, most science seeks good taxonomical subjects who populate categories of sexual innocence, risk, vulnerability, or identity that ignore the complexity of people’s desires, relations, and bodies.

Ethnic studies scholar John D. Márquez (2012) has proposed a model for thinking about state violence against Latinxs, positing that we inhabit a “racial state of expendability” in the United States. From the US perspective, Zika in Puerto Rico is seen predominantly as a threat to continental public health and to tourism, which is understood as necessary to any plausible economic recovery plan for the island.  As we witness the Zika epidemic expand in the Caribbean and Central America, we would do well to examine the racialized forms of death-in-life presumed by imperialist public health formations at the margins of the US nation-state, and to undo the disposability of black and brown people. We would also do well to consider the strategies and tactics available to us in resistance to such prescribed inevitabilities.


Ashford, Bailey K. (1934) A Soldier in Science, with a foreword by Major General M.W. Ireland. New York: William Morrow and Co.

Briggs, Laura (2002) Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Butler, Judith. (2015) Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

Krisberg, Kim. “As mosquito season approaches, public health ramps up for Zika.” The Nation's Health, April 2016, 46:6.

Márquez, John D., (2012.) “Latinos as the ‘Living Dead’: Raciality, Expendability, and Border Militarization.” Latino Studies 10 (4).

Marrero, Carmelo Ruiz. “Monsanto Faces Opposition in Puerto Rico.” World War 4 Report, July 11, 2013.

Torres-Abreu, Alejandro. "Justicia ambiental, participación ciudadana y política pública en Puerto Rico." 80 Grados, January 15, 2016.
SMA Welcomes New Listserv Moderator

The SMA is excited to welcome Stephanie Cruz to our team as the new Listserv Moderator! Stephanie is a doctoral candidate in Medical Anthropology at the University of Washington. She holds a BA from Stanford University in Anthropological Sciences and a Master’s in Anthropology from the University of Washington. Stephanie’s dissertation focuses on how professional beliefs and behaviors interact and inform policies on cadaver use in continuing medical education. She also works in public health dentistry on qualitative projects researching patient, practitioner, and family perspectives on dental care access for Medicaid populations or children with special health needs. She hopes to become an applied medical anthropologist with the goal of working in interdisciplinary health research teams.

Please join us in welcoming her!

Click here for more information about the listserv.

2016 SMA Prize Competitions
Lesley Sharp (Barnard College)    

The SMA’s prize committee is pleased to announce that the 2016 Prize Season has begun! 

Below you will find a list of this year’s competitions and links to the appropriate websites detailing qualifying criteria and submission instructions. Note that several of SMA’s prizes rotate (by even or odd years, for example); if you don’t see one listed here, this is because it’s in an “off” year. Here is a link to the general SMA prize webpage (with individual links to all competitions). For detailed information regarding individual awards, click on the prize titles below.

Note that JULY 1 is the deadline for nearly all 2016 prize submissions, with the exception of Student Travel Awards (September 24) and various awards through SMA Special Interest Groups (SIGS), which oversee their own awards. Prizes will be announced at the SMA awards ceremony during the 2016 AAA Annual meetings in Minneapolis.

Please take a moment to read through the list below—established scholars, undergraduates, and graduate students qualify for various competitions. We ask that you help us disseminate this announcement to all whom you think might be interested in submitting a nomination or forwarding materials for consideration.  

Thank you—the members of the prize committees look forward to hearing from you!


The Eileen Basker Memorial Prize (chair: Janelle Taylor, Awarded for a significant contribution to excellence in research on gender and health by scholars from any discipline or nation, for a specific book, article, film or exceptional PhD thesis produced within the preceding three years. The prizes carries a $1000 cash award. Deadline: July 1.  

Steven Polgar Prize (chair: Lesley Sharp, Awarded to a medical anthropologist for the best paper published in the SMA’s flagship journal Medical Anthropology Quarterly (MAQ) during the most recent complete volume year, and carries a $250 cash award. No nominations are needed, as articles published in MAQ by eligible recipients are automatically considered. Deadline: July 1.   

The Charles Hughes Graduate Student Paper Prize (chair: Lesley Sharp, Given for the best paper in medical anthropology written by a graduate student. The Prize carries a $250 cash award. Medical Anthropology Quarterly (MAQ) has the right of first refusal on winning manuscripts. Deadline: July 1. 

The Career Achievement Award (chair: James Pfeiffer, Honors an individual who has advanced the field of medical anthropology through career-long contributions to theory or method, and who has been successful in communicating the relevance of medical anthropology to broader publics. Candidates for this award should be senior scholars, typically those who are retiring, or have achieved emeritus status, or have passed the age of 65. The prize carries a $500 cash award. Deadline:  July 1.   

MASA (Medical Anthropology Students Association) Mentorship Award (chair: Jonathan Stillo, Recognizes excellence in graduate student mentorship, and is aimed at senior or mid-career scholars who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to teaching and mentorship throughout their careers, particularly those who have taken the time to successfully guide their MA and PhD students through fieldwork and the thesis or dissertation writing process. Deadline: July 1.

Student Travel Awards (chair: Alexander Roëdlach, Travel support for five SMA graduate students whose paper or poster abstracts are accepted to the AAA annual meetings. A check of $500 is awarded at the SMA meeting at the AAA. Eligibility restricted to SMA student members. Deadline: September 24.   

SMA Special Interest Group (SIG) Awards (coordinator, Catie Willging, A variety of SIGS oversee a range of competitions, some of which are included in the "Special Interest Group (SIG) Prize Announcements," below. These include awards for undergraduate and graduate student essays, travel reimbursement, and books. NOTE that deadlines vary. Watch your email and the SMA webpage for future updates on these competitions.

Special Interest Group (SIG) Prize Announcements 

Critical Anthropology for Global Health (CAGH) 

2016 Rudolf Virchow Awards

Rudolf Virchow, a 19th century German physician, was a key founder of social medicine. His contributions centered on his recognition that multiple intersecting factors - social, political, and economic – produce disease and illness.  He argued that the circumstances and deprivations of poverty increase people's susceptibility to disease and result in reduced life expectancy and quality of life.  He eloquently articulated the limits of medicine in the absence of material security, a sentiment which informed his view that nation-states play an important role in ensuring health security for a citizenry.  Virchow viewed advocacy as an essential part of health praxis, and, in keeping with this legacy, the Critical Anthropology for Global Health (CAGH) Special Interest Group honors Virchow's work with three awards.

The annual Rudolf Virchow Awards are given by the Critical Anthropology for Global Health Caucus, a special interest group of the Society for Medical Anthropology.  The Professional Award honors a recent published article, and the Graduate and Undergraduate Student Awards honor recent student papers that have not yet benefited from editorial review. Winning submissions combine a critical anthropology focus with rich ethnographic data, and best reflect, extend, and/or advance critical perspectives in medical anthropology. Winners will be honored at the SMA business meeting at the American Anthropological Association meetings and the graduate and undergraduate winners will receive a $150 cash prize.

The submission deadline for the 2016 Rudolf Virchow Awards is July 1, 2016. Awards are made in the following categories: 1) Professional, 2) Graduate Student and 3) Undergraduate Student (see below).   We encourage you to submit your own work and/or to nominate papers of your students or articles of colleagues.

If you wish to submit a paper for consideration, please e-mail the paper and a cover letter of introduction to the Virchow Awards Chair, Dr. Alexa Dietrich, at by July 1, 2016.  Hard copies are no longer accepted.  Confirmation of receipt will be sent.  To ensure a prompt and fair review, papers will not be accepted after the July 1, 2016 11:59 pm PST deadline.

Professional Award Category
The professional award will be awarded for an article or chapter published during 2015 in a peer-reviewed journal (print or online) or peer-reviewed edited volume.  Articles may be single- or co-authored. Technical reports and other contracted works are not considered for this award.  Professional articles must be submitted electronically in Adobe PDF format as they appeared in print.

Graduate Award Category
The graduate student award will be awarded for a paper that was written in 2015 or 2016 and that has not yet been subjected to editorial review.  Papers that have been submitted to a journal or edited volume, but that have not yet benefited from review may be included in this category.  Theses and dissertations will not be accepted.  However, a summary no longer than 30 pages double-spaced (inclusive of references) of a thesis or a dissertation that can stand on its own, or a chapter that has been revised to stand on its own will be considered for this award.  Papers from students who have graduated are still accepted in this category as long as the paper was written in 2015 or 2016.  Graduate student papers must be submitted in Adobe PDF or Word format with a title-only first page.  File sizes must be less than 2MB. The document must exclude the author's name, author's advisor, and university affiliation throughout.  The cover letter should include this information.  Only papers, not interactive media, will be considered for this award.
Undergraduate Award Category
The undergraduate student award will be awarded for a paper written in 2015 or 2016 while the student was still an undergraduate. Honors theses are not accepted. However, a shortened version no longer than 30 pages double-spaced (inclusive of references) of the thesis or a chapter from the thesis that has been revised to stand on its own will be considered for this award. Undergraduate student papers must be submitted in Adobe PDF or Word format with a title-only first page.   File sizes must be less than 2MB.  The document must exclude the author's name, author's advisor, and university affiliation throughout. The cover letter should include this information.  Only papers, not interactive media, will be considered for this award.

Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group

Graduate Student Paper Prize
The Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco Study Group (ADTSG) of the Society for Medical Anthropology invites submissions for the best graduate student paper in the anthropology of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, or other psychoactive substance use. A committee of ADTSG members will judge qualifying submissions.  The author of the winning paper will receive a cash award of $100, and her or his name will be announced in Anthropology News and at the Society for Medical Anthropology awards ceremony at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in November.  Submissions from all anthropological sub-disciplines are encouraged.

Qualifying Criteria
  • No more than 9,000 words
  • Must be based on original fieldwork and data
  • Must have been written in the past 12 months
  • Primary or first author must be a graduate student at time of submission
  • May be unpublished or submitted for publication at the time of submission
Judging Criteria
  • Originality of fieldwork and data
  • Richness of substantive or evidentiary materials
  • Clarity of anthropological methods
  • Linkage of work to social science literature
  • Effective use of theory and data
  • Organization, quality of writing, and coherence of argument
Submission Process
  • Please do not include your name or any identifying information in the paper itself
  • Papers must be double spaced and in PDF format (please include page numbers)
  • References and in-text citations should be formatted according to Chicago Manual of Style
  • Please submit an electronic copy to Shana Harris, Chair of ADTSG, at
Submissions must be received by 5:00PM EST on September 1, 2016 for full consideration

Graduate Student Travel Award
The Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco Study Group (ADTSG) of the Society for Medical Anthropology invites applications for a travel award to attend the 2016 AAA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  An award of $200 will be given to a graduate student presenting a paper at the conference that engages questions related to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, or other psychoactive substance use.  The ADTSG Graduate Student Travel Award is awarded biennially on a competitive basis and reviewed by a committee comprised of ADTSG members.  
Qualifying Criteria
  • Applicant must be currently enrolled in a graduate program
  • Applicant must be presenting a paper at the 2016 AAA Annual Meeting
  • Applicant must be a member of the Society for Medical Anthropology 
Submit your paper abstract, university affiliation, graduate program (M.A. or Ph.D.) and contact information (no additional materials are required) to Shana Harris, Chair of ADTSG, at  Applications must be received by 5:00PM EST on September 15, 2016 for full consideration.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Integrative Medicine

The Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Integrative Medicine (IM) SIG invites applications for a travel grant, as well as submissions for the Graduate Student Paper Prize in the Anthropology of CAM or IM. The CAM/IM special interest group was organized in 2006 to encourage the anthropological study of CAM and IM as emergent socio-medical phenomena having global ramifications in the 21st century. Our members recognize CAM/IM as a contemporary example of medical pluralism, influenced by processes of globalization and hybridization, scientization and commodification.

Graduate Student Travel Grant 
A travel grant of $300 will be awarded to a graduate student presenting a paper that engages CAM/IM-related questions at the 2016 AAA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. To apply, submit your paper abstract, university affiliation, and contact information in the body of an email to George Laufenberg at by August 31, 2016. Please indicate whether you are in an M.A. or Ph.D. program. No additional materials are needed.

Applicants must be SMA members. The membership fee is only $20 for students - please see for instructions on how to join. The student travel grant is awarded on a competitive basis and reviewed by a committee comprised of members from the CAM/IM SIG board. This travel grant is intended for currently enrolled graduate students without a PhD. Only students who are presenting papers at the conference will be considered for the grant.

Papers should relate to the study of CAM/IM and preferably engage interest group members' core concerns with the ways in which healing encounters foreground profound questions of power, culture, and epistemology.

Graduate Student Paper Prize
We are requested submissions of graduate students authored papers related to the anthropological study of Complementary or Alternative Medicine. The author of the winning paper will receive a cash award of $100 and her or his name will be announced in Anthropology News and at the Society for Medical Anthropology business meeting at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in November. Qualifying submissions will be judged by a committee of CAM/IM SIG members. Submissions from all anthropological sub-disciplines are encouraged.

Qualifying Criteria
  • Primary or first author must be a graduate student at time of submission
  • Preferably based on original fieldwork and data, but can be theoretical
  • Must have been written in the past 24 months
  • May be unpublished or submitted for publication at the time of submission
  • Maximum of 8,000 words, not including references.
Judgment Criteria
  • Relevance to the CAM/IM SIG statement of purpose (above)
  • Originality of fieldwork and data
  • Richness of substantive or evidentiary materials
  • Clarity of anthropological methods
  • Effective use of theory and/or data
  • Organization, quality of writing, and coherence of argument
Submission Process
  • Please do not include your name or any identifying information in the paper itself
  • Provide a separate cover sheet that includes your name, mailing address, email address, and school affiliation
  • Papers must be double-spaced and in PDF format (please include page numbers)
  • References should be formatted in the American Anthropological Association style
Please submit an electronic copy to Emery Eaves at  Submissions must be received by 5:00PM EST, July 1, 2016 for full consideration.  Questions may be directed to Emery Eaves or George Laufenberg.

Council on the Anthropology of Reproduction

Graduate Student Paper Award
The Council on Anthropology and Reproduction (CAR) SIG is delighted to announce our 16th annual
award competition for the best graduate student paper on anthropology and reproduction. Submissions from all anthropological sub disciplines are encouraged.

Criteria on which the papers will be judged:
  • Ethnographic richness based on original fieldwork
  • Anthropological methodology
  • Linkage of work to literature in anthropology and reproduction
  • Effective use of theory and data
  • Originality/Creativity
  • Organization, quality of writing, and coherence of argument
The papers will be read by a committee of CAR members. The author of the winning paper will receive a cash award of approximately $250. The winner will be announced in both the CAR Newsletter and at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in 2016, and an abstract will be published in the CAR Newsletter.

All submissions must be received by August 1, 2016 at 11:59 pm, and can be submitted at any time before the deadline. Please send two files, preferably in PDF: 1) the paper with no identifying information, and 2) a cover page that includes your name, mailing address, email address, and school affiliation. Email submission of .pdf files is preferred; if that presents a hardship, please contact us.

Please send electronic copies to the Co-Chair of the CAR Graduate Student Paper Competition Committee, Claire Wendland at

Papers should be double-spaced, no more than 9,000 words including references, and references should be formatted in American Anthropologist style. Papers already published or accepted for publication at time of submission are not eligible.

1) Can the paper be a critical synthetic review of literature? No, the paper needs to be based on original research conducted by the author.
2) Can the author graduate before the submission deadline and still be considered? Yes, as long as the paper is submitted prior to graduation.
3) Can the author be an undergraduate? No. The author must be a graduate student.
4) Can the paper be under review but not accepted? Yes.
5) Can the submission be emailed? Emailed is preferred, but print copies are allowed.
6) Can the paper be co-authored? The paper can be co-authored, if the student is the primary author and can attest to at least 50% of the data collection and analysis and at least 75% of the writing.
7) Can a previous winner submit in another year? No.
8) Can the author be from a program that is interdisciplinary? Yes, if the
student’s primary disciplinary orientation is anthropology. Note that
papers are judged using anthropological research and writing standards
and by anthropologists.

Questions may be directed to Claire Wendland at or Rachel Chapman at

Most Notable Recent Collection in Anthropology and Reproduction Book Award
The Council on Anthropology and Reproduction (CAR) invites nominations for the Most Notable Recent Collection in Anthropology and Reproduction Book Award.  The Council on Anthropology & Reproduction (CAR) Award is one of few awards given to edited volumes, yet it helped establish and foment topics of reproduction as central fields of anthropological inquiry. The Most Notable Recent Collection Award seeks to recognize and celebrate recent (published within 3 years of the nomination deadline) collections of anthropological works addressing: human reproduction, reproductive technologies, population policy, birth control and contraception, pregnancy, the study and application of genetics, childbirth, adoption, and the roles of parents, among others. Entries are evaluated on a variety of factors including: overall contribution to anthropology & reproduction, usefulness for teaching, current and historical value for academic and advocacy work, the strength of the nomination letters, the quality and depth of analysis within the chapters, and the coherence of the volume as a whole.

Nomination letters may be brief but should explain the impact of the volume on your own work, teaching, and students, and how you consider the volume to be influential within the field. To submit nomination letters, email CAR Chair Jan Brunson and Book Prize Chair Lynn Morgan.

Deadline for Nomination is July 1, 2016. Award will be announced at the CAR and SMA business meetings at the American Anthropological Association meetings in November 2016.  To view past award winners, please visit our website.

Disability Interest Research Group 
Travel Award

The Disability Research Interest Group (DRIG) of the Society for Medical Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association is pleased to announce the annual DRIG Travel Award.

The DRIG Travel Award supports both innovation in research pertaining to the anthropology of disability and the participation of people with disabilities in the field of anthropological research. The DRIG believes that people with disabilities are underrepresented in our field, as both scholars and research participants, and therefore, that disabled people’s experiences are frequently left out of anthropological knowledge production. For this reason, the DRIG seeks to honor the research of emerging scholars examining disability experiences and who critically and ethically engage with disability in local and global contexts.

We are offering two $100 one-time awards to honor strong emerging scholarship in Disability Anthropology.

To be considered for one of two $100 awards, please submit the following no later than August 1, 2016:

1. An email including your name, affiliation (or independent scholar status), and contact information;
2. A current CV;
3. The title, abstract, and proof of acceptance for your AAA presentation for the 2016 Meeting in Minneapolis;
4. A statement of no more than 2 pages describing your reason for seeking this award. This statement should include a paragraph about the specific contribution that your work makes to the anthropology of disability/anthropological research on disability.

Please send the application materials to Heather Thomas (, with “DRIG Travel Award Application” in the subject line. Recipients will be selected by the members of the DRIG Steering Committee, and notified by email by September 1, 2016. The awardees will be selected based on a combination of scholarly merit and need. The award will be presented in check form during the AAA annual meeting.

Science, Technology, and Medicine SIG

2016 STM Graduate Paper Prize
The Science, Technology, and Medicine (STM) interest group is pleased to welcome submissions for the 2016 STM Graduate Student Paper Prize. This prize is awarded annually for a paper that offers an innovative approach to issues in science, technology, and medicine. These issues include:
  1. How scientific research, technological transformation and professional medicine inform public health policy and popular culture and affect the intimate realms of bodily experience;
  2. The ways laboratory and experimental medicine (both public and private sector) are influenced by economic and political institutions and patient mobilization;
  3. The specificities of the development, regulation, marketing and distribution of pharmaceuticals and biologics;
  4. How local experiences of illness and health are refracted through established modes of discrimination (such as class, race and gender) and unequal access to new medical technologies; and
  5. The extent to which pragmatic and embodied responses to medical science and technology shape concepts of personhood and degrees of political membership.
Submission rules:
  • The word count should be 6,000-8,000
  • All author(s) must be enrolled as a graduate students at the time of submission
  • Winners of previous STM graduate paper prizes are not eligible to submit new papers 
  • The paper can be under review at the time of submission, but it cannot be in press or published
To enable a blind review process, the submission email should include two word 
documents: (1) a cover sheet with author name, affiliation(s) and acknowledgments, and 
(2) the paper (abstract included) with no identifying information listed. 

The winner of the prize will be announced at the 2016 AAA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN. The winner will receive an award certificate or plaque, detailed suggestions from the committee of judges on ways to prepare the article for publication, and a cash prize of $100 (or $75 in case of two winners).

Submissions should be emailed by Friday, July 1 to NayanTara Sheoran and Danya Glabau.

For more information on the STM interest group, click here.

Dying and Bereavement Special Interest Group 

Graduate Student Paper Award
The Dying and Bereavement Special Interest Group has established an award for the best graduate student paper utilizing an anthropological approach in the study of death, dying, funerary ritual, bodily disposal, or bereavement. This $100 award will be given annually at the AAA annual conference. The selection of awardee will be based on the evaluation of submitted papers by a panel of volunteers from among the members of the SIG. The award will be based on the quality of the papers that have been received. Submissions based on work completed in the 2015-16 academic year should be submitted by July 1 with DBSIG grad in the subject line to Any SIG member who has a student submit a paper will excuse self from the panel of evaluators.  

Undergraduate Student Paper Award
The Dying and Bereavement Apcial Interest Group has voted to award to an undergraduate student $100. This award would be given annually at the AAA annual conference. The selection of awardee will be based on the evaluation of papers submitted to a panel of volunteers from the member of the SIG. The award will be based on the quality of the papers that have been received. Submissions should be submitted by July 1 with DBSIG undergrad in the subject line to Any SIG member who has a student submit a paper will excuse self from the panel of evaluators.

Book Announcements 

Crowley-Matoka, Megan. Domesticating Organ Transplant: Familial Sacrifice and National Aspiration in Mexico (Duke University Press, 2016)

Deomampo, Daisy. Transnational Reproduction: Race, Kinship, and Commercial Surrogacy in India (NYU Press, 2016)

Dow, Katharine. Making a Good Life: An Ethnography of Nature, Ethics, and Reproduction (Princeton University Press, 2016)

Heinemann, Laura L. Transplanting Care: Shifting Commitments in Health and Care in the United States (Rutgers University Press, 2016)

Hay, M. Cameron, ed. Methods that Matter: Integrating Mixed Methods for More Effective Social Science Research (University of Chicago Press, 2016)

Janes, Craig R. and Oyuntsetseg Chuluundorj. Making Disasters; Climate Change, Neoliberal Governance, and Livelihood Insecurity on the Mongolian Steppe (School for Advanced Research Press, 2015)

Kirmayer, Laurence J., Robert Lemelson, and Constance A. Cummings, eds. Re-Visioning Psychiatry: Cultural Phenomenology, Critical Neuroscience, and Global Mental Health (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Laplante, Julie. Healing Roots: Anthropology in Life and Medicine (Berghahn Books, 2015)

Mason, Katherine A. Infectious Change: Reinventing Chinese Public Health after an Epidemic (Stanford University Press, 2016) 

McPherson, Naomi M., ed. Missing the Mark? Women and the Millennium Development Goals in Africa and Oceania (Demeter Press, 2016)

Manderson, Lenore, Elizabeth Cartwright, and Anita Hardon. Routledge Handbook of Medical Anthropology (Rutledge, 2016)

Oaks, Laury. Giving Up Baby: Safe Haven Laws, Motherhood, and Reproductive Justice (NYU Press, 2015)

Rhine, Kathryn A. The Unseen Things: Women, Secrecy, and HIV in Northern Nigeria (Indiana University Press, 2016)

Sanabria, Emilia. Plastic Bodies: Sex Hormones and Menstrual Suppression in  Brazil (Duke University Press, 2016)  

Schensul, Jean J. and M. LeCompte, eds. Ethnographer’s Toolkit 2nd Edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)

Singer, Merrill, ed. A Companion to the Anthropology of Environmental Health (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016)

Smith-Morris, Carolyn, ed. Diagnostic Controversy: Cultural Perspectives on Competing Knowledge in Healthcare (Routledge Press, 2015)

Solomon, Harris. Metabolic Living: Food, Fat, and the Absorption of Illness in India (Duke University Press, 2016)

Tapias, Maria. Embodied Protests: Emotions and Women's Health in Bolivia (University of Illinois Press, 2015)

Medical Anthropology Quarterly Seeks Book Reviews Editor 

Medical Anthropology Quarterly invites applications for the position of Book Reviews Editor. The ideal candidate would be broadly trained in medical anthropology, well organized, and self-disciplined.  This is an excellent opportunity to meet other medical anthropologists and stay abreast of new literature in the field. 

The Book Reviews Editor’s responsibilities include:
  • selecting books for review
  • identifying and soliciting qualified reviewers
  • ensuring that reviews are completed in a timely manner
  • editing reviews for length, clarity, and style
  • working with the main MAQ editorial office

The position requires approximately 4–6 hours per week, on average. The incoming Book Reviews Editor will work with the current Editor, Mara Buchbinder, on a transition plan during fall 2016 and will officially begin a 3-year term in January 2017. Successful applicants should have support from their home institutions.

MAQ is an international journal published by the Society for Medical Anthropology, a section of the American Anthropological Association. The journal publishes research and theory in all areas of medical anthropology. Its goal is to stimulate development of important ideas, methods, and debates in medical anthropology and to explore the links between medical anthropology, the parent discipline of anthropology, and neighboring fields in the health and social sciences.

To apply, send a letter of interest and a CV to the incoming Editor, Vincanne Adams, at  by June 30, 2016.

Comments, questions, or ideas? Please contact the SMA's Digital Communications Manager, Liz Lewis.
Copyright © 2016 Society for Medical Anthropology, All rights reserved.

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