MES Book Award

The MES Book Award

The Middle East Section book award is awarded biennially to an anthropological work (single- or multi-authored, but not edited volumes) that speaks to issues in a way that holds relevance beyond our subfield. Criteria may include: innovative approaches, theoretical sophistication, and topical originality. The jury for this award is chaired by an MES board member, usually the Past President, who selects two other scholars as jury members.

Submission deadlines and details are posted on the MES website, as well as in the AN “MES Section News” column and via Facebook, Twitter, and email. The award is presented at the MES business meeting before/during the AAA annual meeting.

2023: Nominations for the MES Book Award.  2023 Book MES Book Award


We are thrilled to announce that the 2021 MES Book Award winner is Dr. Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins, for Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (Stanford U Press)The honorable mention for this competition cycle goes to Dr. Salih Can Açiksöz, for Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey (UC Press). Congratulations to both Sophia and Can, whose accomplishments we will celebrate at the MES business meeting and awards ceremony!

Past winners:

  • 2019
    Winner: Nathalie Peutz, Islands of Heritage: Conservation and Transformation in Yemen (Stanford University Press, 2018)
    Honorable mention: Elif M. Babül, Bureaucratic Intimacies: Translating Human Rights in Turkey (Stanford University Press, 2017)
  • 2017
    Winner: Zuzanna Olszewska, St. John’s College, Oxford: The Pearl of Dari: Poetry and Personhood Among Young Afghans in Iran (Indiana University Press, 2015).
    Honorable mention: Alice Wilson, University of Sussex: Sovereignty in Exile: A Saharan Liberation Movement Governs (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).
  • 2015
    Winner: Diana Allan, McGill University: Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Palestinian Exile (Stanford University Press, 2013)