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!