Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ames Prize for Innovative Museum Anthropology

The CMA Board has created this new prize -- Check it out and pass the word!

The Michael M. Ames Prize for Innovative Museum Anthropology is awarded annually to individuals for innovative work in museum anthropology, which is understood to entail outstanding single or multi-authored books, published catalogues, temporary and permanent exhibits, repatriation projects, collaborations with descendant communities, educational or outreach projects, multimedia works, and other endeavours. Individuals can be nominated by any member of CMA, with an annual deadline of June 1. A letter of nomination and any supporting material should accompany a copy of the evidence of the work under consideration. The CMA President will appoint a prize committee of three people at the CMA Board of Directors meeting held at the AAA Annual Meeting. The prize committee will review the works and the prize-winners will be notified in advance of the annual AAA meetings so that they can consider attending. The prize winner will be announced at the AAA Annual Meeting and presented with a certificate of the award.

  • Deadline: June 1 annually
  • The nominator must be a current CMA member in good standing
  • Self-nominations are allowed
  • Hard copies of nomination packets and materials must be sent by the nominator to each of the three prize committee members
  • Nomination packets should include a cover letter and the work under consideration (or evidence of it), as well as any supporting materials, such as letters of support, media coverage, DVDs, etc.
  • Nomination packets will not be returned

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Creativity: Is the project a unique and creative exploration of museum anthropology’s central themes, tensions, and histories?
  • Timeliness: Does the project say something important about museum anthropology’s current predicaments and unknown future?
  • Depth: In what ways does the project penetrate into the complexity of material culture and the study of it through novel methods and theories?
  • Impact: Does the project have the potential to make broad and lasting impacts in museum anthropology?

Process and Rules:

  • A three-person prize committee of CMA members, headed by a committee chair, will be constituted by the current CMA President at the annual AAA Board of Directors meeting each year
  • The committee will be formally announced by January 15 annually, with the addresses of each committee member publicized
  • All nomination materials must be received by June 1 annually, although incomplete nominations may still be considered based on the materials provided
  • If no qualified nominations are made, the prize committee may elect to refrain from presenting the award for that year

For the 2010 competition, send one copy of the nomination packet to each committee member:

Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh
Department of Anthropology
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Boulevard
Denver, CO 80205

Kimberly Christen
Washington State University
Wilson Hall 115
Pullman, WA 99164-4010

Catherine S. Fowler
1010 Foothill Road
Reno, NV 89511

Any questions should be directed to the prize committee chair at

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