SPA Stirling Prize

Nominations Due by:
May 15, 2024

2024 SPA Stirling Prize: Call for Submissions

The Stirling Prize is awarded to a previously published work (this year, it will be awarded for a book) that makes an outstanding contribution to any area of psychological anthropology. The Stirling Award was originally established in 1968 by Rebecca and Gene Stirling. Winners of this prestigious award recognizing the best published work in psychological anthropology become members of the selection committee for a three-year rotation.

Books published between June 1, 2022 and May 15, 2024 are eligible for consideration. Unpublished manuscripts, dissertations, and web publications are not eligible. Edited volumes are not eligible for the book prize. The deadline for submission is May 15, 2024.

The winner will be announced at the Spring 2025 Biennial SPA meeting and will receive a $500 cash prize.

Nominations may be made by any active member of the American Anthropological Association, including the author. To nominate an eligible book, please send a cover letter outlining the book’s contribution to the field of psychological anthropology to the chair of the Stirling Prize committee, Anita von Poser at anita.poser@ethnologie.uni-halle.de, cc’ing SPA Secretary Bridget M. Haas (bmh7@case.edu) with the subject line “Stirling Prize submission” by May 15, 2024. We will then provide you with the mailing addresses of the three committee members to which hard copies of the book must be sent (postmarked no later than May 31, 2024). If possible, we ask that you also include a PDF of the book with your nomination cover letter or arrange to have a PDF of the book sent to the committee chair, Dr. von Poser, in addition to the hard copies. Submissions that do not include a nomination letter will not be reviewed.

Any questions regarding the prize can be directed to SPA Secretary, Bridget Haas at bmh7@case.edu.

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

Stirling Prize

Anita Von Poser (Chair)

Institute of Cultural and Social Anthropology

Freie Universität Berlin

Jonathan Yahalom

Department of Psychology

University of California, Los Angeles

Nicholas Long

Department of Anthropology

London School of Economics

Past Stirling Prize Recipients:

Year Published Work
2023Yahalom, J., Frankfurt, S., & Hamilton, A. B. (2023). Between Moral Injury and Moral Agency​: Exploring Treatment for Men with Histories of Military Sexual Trauma. Medicine Anthropology Theory, 10(1), 1-21.
2022Merav Shohet. Silence and Sacrifice: Family stories of care and the limits of love in Vietnam (UC Press, 2021)
2022Chikako Ozawa-De Silva. The Anatomy of Loneliness: Suicide, Social Connection and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan (UC Press, 2021)
2021von Poser, Anita & Edda Willamowski. The Power of Shared Embodiment. Renegotiating Non/belonging and In/exclusion in an Ephemeral Community of Care. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 44 (4): 610-828, 2020.
2020Sarah WIllen. Fighting for Dignity: Migrant Lives at Israel’s Margins, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019.
2019Nicholas Long. Suggestions of Power: Searching for Efficacy in Indonesia’s Hypnosis Boom. Suggestions of Power: Searching for Efficacy in Indonesia’s Hypnosis Boom. Ethos, 46(1), 70-94.
2018Naomi Leite, Unorthodox Kin: Portuguese Marranos and the Global Search for Belonging, UC Press, 2017.
2017Rebecca Lester. Self-governance, psychotherapy, and the subject of managed care: Internal Family Systems therapy and the multiple self in a US eating-disorders treatment center. American Ethnologist, 44: 23–35.
2016Julia Cassaniti. Living Buddhism: Mind, Self and Emotion in a Thai Community. Cornell University Press 2019.
2015Kristin Yarris, “‘Pensado mucho’ (‘Thinking too much’)”: Embodied distress among grandmothers in Nicaraguan transnational families,” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 38: 473-498, 2014.
2014Geoffrey Saxe, Cultural Development of Mathematical Ideas: Papua New Guinea Studies. University of Cambridge Press
2013Talia Weiner, “The (Un)managed Self: Paradoxical Forms of Agency in Self-Management of Bipolar Disorder,” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, 35(4): 448-483, 2011.
2012Cheryl Mattingly, The Paradox of Hope: Journeys through a Clinical Borderland (University of California Press)
2011Anand Pandian, “Interior Horizons: An Ethical Space of Selfhood in South India,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 16(1): 64-83, 2010.
2010Elly Teman, Birthing a Mother: The Surrogate Body and the Pregnant Self. University of California Press
2009Rebecca Lester “Brokering Authenticity: Borderline Personality Disorder and the Ethics of Care at an American Eating Disorder Clinic,” Current Anthropology 50(3), 2009.
2009Angela Garcia, “The Elegiac Addict: History, Chronicity, and the Melancholic Subject,” Cultural Anthropology 23(4): 718-746, 2008.
2008Alex Hinton, Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide, University of California Press, 2005
2007Everett Yuehong Zhang, “Rethinking Sexual Repression in Maoist China: Ideology, Structure, and the Ownership of the Body,” Body and Society 11(3): 1-25, 2005.
2006Joao Biehl, Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment, University of California Press, 2005
2005Susan Seymour, “Multiple Caretaking of Infants and Young Children: An Area in Critical Need of a Feminist Psychological Anthropology,” Ethos 32 (4:) 416-413, 2004.
2003*Carmella Moore, Kim Romney, and Ti-Lien Hsia, “Cultural, Gender, and Individual Differences in Perceptual and Semantic Structures of Basic Colors in Chinese and English,” Journal of Cognition and Culture, 2(1): 1-28, 2002
1999Linda Garro, “Remembering what one knows and the construction of the past: a comparison of cultural consensus theory and cultural schema theory,”Ethos 28: 275-319, 2000.
1997Yoram Bilu and Yehuda C. Goodman. “What does the soul say?: Metaphysical uses of facilitated communication in the Jewish ultraorthodox community. “Ethos, 25(4), 375-407. 1997
1995 (after ’95 award on biennial basis)Christopher Boehm, “Egalitarian behavior and reverse dominance hierarchy” Current Anthropology 34: 227-254, 1993
1993Begoña Aretxaga. “Dirty Protest: Symbolic Overdetermination and Gender in Northern” Ireland Ethnic ViolenceEthos, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 123-148
1992Penelope Brown and Stephen Levinson, “Immanuel Kant among the Tenejapans: anthropology as empirical philosophy,” Ethos 22(1):3-41 1994
1991Steve Derné, “Beyond institutional and impulsive conceptions of self: family structure and the socially anchored real self,” Ethos 20(3):259-88
1990Janis Jenkins, “Anthropology, Expressed Emotion, and Schizophrenia,” Ethos 19: 387-431, 1991
1989Charles W. Nuckolls, “Culture and Causal Thinking: Diagnosis and Prediction in a South Indian Fishing Village,” Ethos 19(1):3-51, 1991
1988Thomas J. Csordas and Thomas Gregor
1987Dennis B. McGilvray
1986T. M. Luhrmann, The magic of secrecy,” Ethos 17(2):131-166, 1989
1985Nancy Scheper-Hughes
1984Lila Abu-Lughod
1983Claudia Strauss, “Beyond ‘formal’ vs. ‘informal’ education: Uses of psychological theory in anthropological research,” Ethos 12(3):195-222, 1984
1980Catherine Lutz
1979William W. Dressler
1978Susan Abbot and Ruben Klein, “Depression and Anxiety among Rural Kikuyu in Kenya”
1977Geoffrey White
1976Lorraine Kirk and Michael Burton
1975Nancy G. Graves and Theodore D. Graves
1974Charlene Bolton, Ralph Bolton, Carol Michelson and Jeffrey Wilde
1972Ralph Bolton
1971Theodore Graves
1970Carolyn Henning Brown
1969James P. Spradley
1968Victor Barnouw
*prize redefined as best published work