2011 Student Award Winners

Best Graduate Student Paper Prize

14 papers written by graduate students were submitted for this national competition.

SUNTA awarded the prize for best graduate student paper for 2011 to Lindsay Bell. Lindsay is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, with a significant portion of her training in anthropology. She was nominated by Dr. Monica Heller, who has a cross-appointment in OISE and Anthropology.

Her paper, titled, “In Search of Hope: Mobility and Citizenships on the Canadian Frontier” presents a ethnographically rich case study that uses historical and ethnographic analysis to examine the intersection of indigenous identity, patterns of mobility and migration, and shifting economic and political situations in urbanized areas of the Canadian frontier. We found her approach to be novel and insightful in raising questions about the received categorization of indigeneity. The paper was also well-written and is suitable for publication in City and Society.

Click here for a summary this paper as published in the April 2012 SUNTA news column.

SUNTA also awarded an honorable mention to Anna Jefferson, of Michigan State University. Her paper, “Narratives of Moral Order in Michigan’s Foreclosure Crisis,” is both timely and relevant. The arguments are backed by rich empirical data and the conclusions make significant recommendations for interventions. She was nominated by Elizabeth Drexler, Director of Peace and Justice Studies and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Michigan State.


Best Undergraduate Student Paper Prize

Eight papers written by undergraduate students were submitted for this national competition.

SUNTA awarded the prize for best undergraduate student paper for 2011 to Nicholas Caverly for his paper, “Anti-Suburban Desire, Suburban Capital Financial, Politics and Detroit’s (Sub)Urban Migration.” Caverly is currently a PhD student at the New School for Social Research. His paper was nominated by Dr. Andrew J. Shryock, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan.

Caverly’s paper was based on original research conducted in Detroit for his honors thesis. Instead of focusing on urban decline and white flight, Caverly explores another aspect of Detroit and examines the return of suburban dwellers to the city. He calls them “anti-suburbanites” and explains their return to the city as an escape from the homogeneity and standardization of the suburb. He gives a vivid account of how anti-suburbanites describe their return to the city as a desire to live in an architecturally diverse environment. Yet as Caverly concludes, the discourse on property and financial capital that led to the suburban expansion is still implicated in the anti-suburbanites’ decision to move back to Detroit.

The paper shows a sensitive appreciation of fieldwork in an urban setting, is clearly and thoughtfully written, and displays a deep understanding of the relevant literature.

Click here for a summary this paper as published in the February 2012 SUNTA news column.


Best Graduate Student Panel Submitted for SUNTA Review for the 2011 AAA Meeting

There were no submissions for this national competition, and therefore SUNTA did not award this prize in 2011.

Any panel organized by a graduate student with graduate student paper presenters is eligible via self nomination by the organizer for this prize. This prize provides each graduate student presenter on the best panel organized by a graduate student with a travel subvention of up to $250. (The discussant need not be a graduate student.)

SUNTA encourages all organizers of graduate-student-organized panels submitted to SUNTA for 2012 to indicate to the SUNTA Program Chair (nabelman@illinois.edu ) via separate e-mail that they are eligible to compete for this award at the time they formally submit the panel abstract to the AAA.


Click here for a list of previous student award winners.