I just went through the “Section Prizes” page of the AAA website and listed all the award winning books and articles listed there. I limited myself to works published after 2008 which I could find references to online. That means I included books listed in Amazon.com which only received “honorable mentions,” but did not list award winning student essays for which no online link was given. Unfortunately a lot of the links on the AAA site were dead, and many AAA sections don’t properly list their award winners, or haven’t updated their pages since 2007. The list is also missing award winning English language works from other anthropology associations outside the US. I’d love to add such works to the list as well if someone can point me to such lists. Or if you have a Mendeley account, you can add them yourself.
Since I haven’t yet read any of the linked works, I won’t comment on what the list tells us about the state of our discipline, but I imagine a thorough investigation of the listed works might be able to tell us something – especially if we were able to compare it with a similar list from a decade ago. I did notice that about half of the listed ethnographies are available on Amazon Kindle for about $15 which encourages me to think that I might actually read some of them!
Without further ado, here is the list.