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When and Where
  • 4/23/2023 12:00 PM EDT
  • 6/15/2023 11:45 PM EDT

Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing

The Society for Humanistic Anthropology (SHA) announces the annual juried competition for the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. The late Victor Turner devoted his career to seeking an accessible language that would reopen anthropology to the human subject, and the competition recognizes the innovative books that further this project. We seek graceful, accessible ethnographic writing which deeply explores its subject and contributes in innovative and engaging ways to the genre(s) of ethnography and the field of humanistic (and/or post-humanistic) anthropology.

2022 Edie Turner First Book Prize in Ethnographic Writing

Authors for whom their submission to the Victor Turner Prize is also their first book publication will also be eligible for consideration for the Edie Turner First Book Prize in Ethnographic Writing, a newly created award which recognizes Edie Turner’s support and mentorship of junior scholars. Up to two winners of the Edie Turner Prize may be selected at the discretion of the prize committee with an award of $250 per winner. Eligibility for this prize will not affect any book’s consideration for the Victor Turner Prize, and a book may win both awards. There is no separate entry form for the Edie Turner Prize.  

All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Alex Blanchette, prize coordinator, at SHAVictorTurner@gmail.com 


A $1,000 first-place, a $500 second place and a $250 third-place prize will be awarded in autumn of 2021 (either via online SHA awards ceremony, or in person at the American Anthropological Association meetings in Seattle, November 9-13, 2022).


  • Eligible ethnographic genres include single or co-authored book-length monographs, narratives, historical accounts, biographies, memoirs, dramas, and creative ethnography (including nonfiction, fiction, and poetic works); as well as single-authored collections of essays, short prose, or poems (sorry, no edited collections with multiple contributors).
  • Book publication year may be 2020, 2021, or 2022 (through the submission deadline). (We allowed books an extra year of eligibility these last two years due to coronavirus; our 2022 contest returns to normal eligibility rules that books must have been published in the last two years.)
  • Books must have been peer-reviewed independently of its author(s).
  • Books may be entered into the competition by authors, publishers, book editors, or colleagues. No formal letter of nomination is needed.
  • Books published in 2020-2021 entered in last year’s competition are welcome to be resubmitted for consideration again this year with the appropriate entry fee.