Graduate and Undergraduate Paper Award Winners and Honorable Mentions

After careful review of many great submissions, we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 AfAA Graduate and Undergraduate Paper Awards.

The winner of the Bennetta Jules-Rosette AfAA Graduate Essay Award is Metasebia Yoseph of Georgetown University.  Metasebia’s master’s thesis, “A Culture of Coffee: Transmediating the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony,” is an outstanding piece. The thesis, which draws upon Metasebia’s extensive field research and work experience in Ethiopia, addresses coffee culture from the micro level of the Ethiopian coffee ceremony to the macro level of the international coffee trade. The work also incorporates rich photographic detail of the objects involved in Ethiopian coffee practice. The majority of the included photographs were collected by Metasebia herself as part of her field research. The overall message highlights the landscape of coffee from an in-depth anthropological perspective.  The thesis demonstrates how the culture of coffee circulates both locally and globally as an important cultural and economic signifier for Ethiopia. As part of the award, Metasebia will receive $500 and a travel stipend for this year’s AAA Annual Meetings in Chicago.

Yang Jiao of the University of Florida, Gainesville, will receive this year’s graduate honorable mention.   His submission, “The Rise of Chinese Transnational Elites in Africa” covers a highly pertinent area of economic anthropology.   He demonstrates the impact of the globalization of Chinese transnational elites, in particular as they participate in Ghana’s growing economy and state investments.  This paper is extremely important and furthers the analysis of globalization and economic development on the African continent.

The winner of the Nancy “Penny” Schwartz Undergraduate Essay Award is Rachel Mueller of Macalester College, for her paper “The Spirits are My Neighbors: Women and the Rab Cult in Dakar, Senegal.”  As part of the award, Rachel will receive $100 and a travel stipend to attend this year’s AAA Annual meetings in Chicago.

Stephen Reynders of the University of California, San Diego, is the recipient of this year’s undergraduate paper honorable mention for his paper “Ritual as Therapy: A Semiotic Theory of Modern and Pre-Modern Ritual Form.”

Congratulations to all our awardees on their great work!

AfAA 2013 Graduate and Undergraduate Paper Awards: Deadline approaching!

The Association for Africanist Anthropology requests submissions of outstanding graduate and undergraduate papers for our annual awards, to be presented during the 2013 AfAA reception at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association, Nov. 20-24 in Chicago, IL.  This year’s deadline for submissions is June 1.

Details about each of the awards and how to submit can be found here. 

We look forward to reading your (and your students’) submissions!

Possible AfAA Panel Sessions for Annual Meeting

We have developed a tentative list of possible AfAA panel sessions related to this year’s meeting theme, “Future Publics, Current Engagements,” for the upcoming AAA Annual Meeting in Chicago (please feel free to submit your own!)  If you are interested in chairing one of these sessions or submitting a panel of your own, please contact David Turkon at [email protected].

  • African Art Markets and Museums: Spaces to Engage the Public
  • Media Publics in Africa
  • Concepts of the Public: Citizenry and Current Political Engagement
  • Developing an African State-Level Public
  • Human Rights and NGOs: Does the African Public Care?
  • Public Rituals and Private Spaces in Africa
  • Chinese and African Textiles in Africa: What is the Public’s Perception?
  • African Land Grabs: Grabbing Public and Private Lands
  • African Sports Events: The New Public Rituals

AAA 2013 Annual Meeting Information


2013 Annual Meeting

The 112th AAA Annual meeting will be held at the Chicago Hilton November 20-24, 2013 in Chicago IL. The 2013 annual meeting theme is “Future Publics, Current Engagements.”

The “Call for Papers” process is conducted in three phases.  The first, Executive Proposals will open the second week of January and close February 8th at noon.  The second, Section Invited Proposals opens February 15 and closes March 15, 2013.   The third, Volunteered Sessions and All Other proposals opens February 15th and closes April 15th, 2013.

A list of submission types and requirements are listed on the AAA website at: Proposal Submission Types. 

Individually volunteered proposals are reviewed and placed in sessions by section program reviewers.  Sessions submissions will be reviewed in May and scheduled in June 2013.  Notices for all proposals are emailed in July, followed by a preliminary schedule, which is published August 2013. Registrants will have access to the online scheduler and online program in September.

The annual meeting starts on Wednesday November 20 at noon and continues through Sunday November 24. Join the AAA to present your work, exchange ideas and network with colleagues from around the globe. Historically the AAA Annual Meeting has approximately 800 scholarly sessions, 200 special events, and 60 exhibitors.

NEW IN 2013:

  • Installations (a remix and rebirth of “InnoVents” and “Salons” introduced to the AAA Annual Meetings program in recent years) invite anthropological knowledge off the beaten path of the written conference paper. Like work shared in art venues, presentations selected as part of the AAA Installations program will draw on movement, sight, sound, smell, and taste to dwell on the haptic and engage AAA members and meeting attendees in a diverse world of thesenses. Presenters may propose performances, recitals, conversations, author-meets-critic roundtables, salon reading workshops, oral history recording sessions and other alternative, creative forms of intellectual expression for consideration. Selected Installations will be curated for off-site exhibition and tied to the official AAA conference program. Successful proposals will offer attendees an opportunity to learn from a range of vested interests not typically encountered or easily found on the traditional AAA program. Installations are meant to disrupt who and what we tend to see at the Annual Meetings, helping attendees encounter new people and to do different kinds of things at the intersections of anthropological arts, sciences, and cultural expression.
  • Green Registration– AAA is offering a Green Registration type in all registration categories. By registering at the Green Registration type you’ll lessen AAA’s impact on the environment by NOT receiving a printed copy of the program in Chicago. Instead, you’ll be able to take advantage of the program downloaded in e-reader format as well as the online program scheduler. The most up-to-date program information is always located online.  Green Registration rates are moderately reduced from the regular registration rates.
  • Reminder: Green Registrations will not receive a printed copy of the Annual Meeting Program in Chicago.


  • February 8-Noon
    Deadline for executive session proposals
  • February 15
    Online abstract submission system opens for all proposals
  • March 1
    Decisions on executive sessions announced
  • March 15
    Proposal deadline for section invited sessions, installations and public policy forums
  • April 4
    Results of section invited session proposals announced
  • April 15
    Proposal deadline for volunteered sessions, individual paper and poster presentations and special events. To be included in the 2013 AAA Annual Meeting program, participants must be registered by this date.

Putting Africa back on the map