2010 Undergraduate Student Paper Prize

The 2010 SUNTA Undergraduate Student Prize is awarded to Adom Philogene-Heron of the University of Sussex (who was nominated by Dr. Jon P. Mitchell) for “Taming the Spider Man: From Anti-Colonial Hero to Neoliberal Icon.”

“Taming the Spider Man” is a fascinating account of the popular representation of Anancy the Spider Man in the modern-day Caribbean and its diaspora. Anancy is a Creole Caribbean folk-tale hero whose antics have for centuries embodied a subaltern anti-colonial ethic. The essay analyzes the association of Anancy first with the ‘reputation’ orientated informal economic activities of market ‘higglers’, ‘hucksters’, ‘hustlers’ and ‘middlemen’ in decades past and then, under more recent neoliberal conditions, with private microfinance initiatives. The essay shows how these initiatives indebt and discipline those that they purport to help. In this situation, Anancy tactics have become co-opted, captured and tamed to further the elaboration of neoliberal logic into the Caribbean region. Yet the essay insists that even in this moment of neoliberal contradiction, a genuine spirit of subaltern Caribbean autonomy continues to live on in the informal economy.”

(Provided by Councilor Jeff Maskovsky, Undergraduate Prize Committee Chair)


2010 Graduate Student Paper Prize

The Graduate Student Paper Prize for 2010 is awarded to Marina Gold, a Ph.D. student at Deakin University, for her paper “Urban Gardens: Private Property or the Ultimate Socialist Experience?”

Among the papers submitted “Urban Gardens” was selected for its theoretical sophistication and quality of ethnographic evidence included. The paper was well organized and well structured, and takes the reader on an interesting journey through some of Havana’s urban gardens.

(Provided by Councilor Gautam Ghosh, Graduate Prize Committee Chair)


2010 Annual Award for Best Student Panel

“The Anthropology of Mass Incarceration: Global Ethnographic Perspectives on Prisons and Policing” was named SUNTA’s 2010 Best Student Panel. Panelists Andrea Morrell (CUNY Graduate Center), Stephanie Campos (Unaffiliated), Karen Williams (CUNY Graduate Center), Hollis Moore (University of Toronto) and Lillian Nyampong (Wageningen University) will split a $1,000 stipend.

“This panel, through its session abstract and panel abstracts, promises to do new and important research in an area whose study is vital for a contemporary urban and global anthropology — the processes of mass incarceration that have criminalized millions of people within the new coercive order of oligarchic and neoliberal nation-states in the US, Peru, Ghana, and Brazil.

“The individual papers bring rich and original (and very hard-won) ethnographic data to bear on different aspects of the theorization and understanding of the processes of criminalization and incarceration within an emergent form of capitalist social regulation, the ‘carceral state.’ The Program Committee was impressed by the originality of the session, its integrated thematics, and the courage reflected in the fieldwork undertaken by ethnographers presenting papers in it.”

(Provided by Program Chair Don Nonini)