MES Distinguished Scholar Award

The MES Distinguished Scholar Award

Established in 2006, the biennial MES Distinguished Scholar Award includes a cash award of $500, and recognition at the Middle East Section business meeting at the annual AAA conference. The Distinguished Scholar award is granted to an anthropologist of the Middle East whose teaching and whose contributions to the literature and the profession have substantially advanced the field. The call for nominations is typically issued in the spring and the deadline is April 15. Please see the link above or check the news announcements for more details.

Past Winners:

  • 2021: Dr. Julie Peteet (University of Louisville)
  • 2018: Dr. Saba Mahmood (UC-Berkeley, in memoriam)
  • 2016: Dr. Suad Joseph (UC-Davis)
  • 2014: Dr. Susan Slymovics (UCLA)
  • 2013: Dr. Marcia Inhorn (Yale University)
  • 2011: Dr. Dale Eickelman (Dartmouth College)
  • 2009: Dr. Brinkley Messick (Columbia University)
  • 2007: Dr. Lila Abu Lughod (New York University)


The Middle East Section requests nominations for its bi-annual distinguished scholar award. This award is for a senior scholar in Middle Eastern anthropology who is an outstanding academic in terms of scholarly publications, teaching, and service to Middle Eastern anthropology, including mentorship and interventions in public debates. The MES Distinguished Scholar Award carries a prize of $500.

MES includes members specializing in cultural, linguistic and biological anthropology and archaeology and nominees from all subdisciplines are welcome. To nominate a senior scholar for this award please submit a 500-word statement on the merits of the nominee and a link to their website (official university or personally curated websites are fine, provided that they include a CV).Nomination statements should be sent to the co-chairs of the award committee, Ayşe Parla ( and Tessa Farmer (, by August 1, 2022. The award will be presented at the 2022 AAA meetings in Seattle, where the winner will be invited to give a talk at the MES business meeting.