Society for Psychological Anthropology

2023 SPA Boyer Prize

The Society for Psychological Anthropology awards the Boyer Prize for Contributions to Psychoanalytic Anthropology annually to a book and/or an article published between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022 that addresses the psychodynamic process in cultural context. If you have previously submitted for this award, you are no longer eligible to submit again. By “psychodynamic process” we mean the implicit and often unconscious assumptions that shape emotions, relationships, dreams, and other aspects of subjective experience. By “cultural context” we mean the social world in which individuals are embedded and which is the usual focus of anthropological work. The Boyer Prize seeks to encourage and to reward work that takes a psychodynamic approach to a cultural phenomenon, an anthropological perspective on the psychodynamically oriented clinical context, or in some way integrates the theoretical or clinical insights of psychoanalysis with the traditional methods or subject matter of anthropology. Winners of the Boyer Prize are members of future selection committees on a three-year rotation.

The Boyer Prize is named for Dr. L. Bryce Boyer (1916-2000), a psychoanalyst who advanced the concept of countertransference and who, with his anthropologist wife, Ruth Boyer, conducted long-term research with the Mescalero Apache.

The Boyer Prize comes with a $500 award. Nominations are made by the selection committee, and also may be made by the author or other party. Winners will be announced at the AAA in Fall 2023, and formally recognized at the SPA Biennial meetings in Spring 2025. There is a preference for the award to be given to those who are members of the SPA, although this is not a requirement of the award. Two separate awards may be issued (one for a book and one for an article), depending on submissions.

All nominations, including self-nominations, must be accompanied by a cover letter discussing the significance of the work’s contribution to psychodynamic anthropology. If the nominated work is an article, the nominator must provide a PDF of the work to the chair of the selection committee. If the nominated work is a book, the nominator needs to arrange for copies to be sent to each member of the committee.

If you are submitting a paper, all nomination materials (article PDF, cover letters) should be emailed to the chair of the committee, Dr. Andrea Chiovenda. In the subject line of the email, please write “SPA Boyer Prize Submission.”

If you are submitting a book, books need to be sent individually to ALL committee members. Please email the committee Chair, Andrea Chiovenda at for mailing addresses for submission of hard copy books well in advance of the deadline. The email subject line must read: “SPA Boyer Prize Address.”

All materials must be received no later than June 1, 2023.

Prize Committee:

Please direct any questions to the committee Chair, Andrea Chiovenda and/or Sonya Pritzker Secretary of the SPA:

All award and selection committees abide by the SPA’s Conflict of Interest Statement and Recusal Policy