Yearly Archives: 2021

SEA M. Estellie Smith 2021 Dissertation Awardees

On behalf of the M. Estellie Smith Award Committee — myself, Sarah Osterhoudt, Steve Kowalewski, and Peter Finke — I’m delighted to announce to you this year’s co-winners of the M. Estellie Smith Dissertation award!

They are:

Gabriela Montero Mejía, University of Kentucky (advisor, Christopher Pool): Of maize and sugar: Colonial food systems and indigenous quality of life in the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico

Seyma Kabaoglu, Northwestern University (advisor, Robert Launay): Banking on Doubt: Law and Ambiguity in the Everyday Life of Islamic Participation Finance in Istanbul, Turkey

Congratulations to our two awardees! Thanks to all of the wonderful applicants! Thanks to the M. Estellie Smith Committee! And most of all, thanks to Charles Bishop for making this award possible!

The SEA Board needs a new student rep!

Calling all Economic Anthropology Graduate Students!!

It is elections time. Please consider running for the Society for Economic Anthropology Student Board Member position!

And consider quickly! We need your nomination materials by Thursday (this Thursday, 25 February)!

The candidate materials instructions are here. The instructions are not onerous. You have time!

What does the job entail, you might ask? Well, most importantly, you are expected to attend SEA Board meetings, which, I promise, are never Bored Meetings, but always quite interesting. At Board Meetings we decide the agenda of the organization, including events, awards, publications, outreach, etc. The student board member is a full-fledged voting member of the board, there to represent the needs and perspectives of our many student members.

Before the Pandemic, we had started a series of graduate student mentoring events that occurred at the Fall (AAA) and Spring SEA meetings; we will resume the mentoring events in the near future. The Student Board member is the primary person who organizes these events, with the participation of the Board and other SEA members.

What’s it it for you? Being a Student Board Member is a great way to influence the agenda of the organization. It is a great way to get to know more senior scholars in the field, and to understand how economic anthropology happens. It is a great way for the world of economic anthropology to get to know YOU and your research interests. And, we now have travel funds to help the Student Board member attend the AAAs and the Spring SEA meeting (once we return to in-person meetings).

Student Board Members serve for two years; if elected, your term would start at the November 2021 AAA meeting, and end in November 2023. (And, it is okay if you plan to be graduated by then).

If you have any questions, please contact Bram Tucker at

SEA Halperin Memorial Fund 2021 Awardees

The Society for Economic Anthropology is pleased to announce the two recipients of this year’s Halperin Memorial Fund award for pre-dissertation research:

Gehad Abaza, University of California, Santa Barbara, “‘An Empty Paradise’: Household Economies, Labor, and Syrian War-time Migration in Abkhazia”


Jose R. Becerra, Purdue University, “Trade-offs Between the Logistics Economy and Community Health: Disproportionate Exposure to Air Pollution Among Marginalized Communities in the Inland Empire”

A heartfelt thank you to the review committee: Rachael Goodman, Thomas Hakansson, Lauren Hayes, and Daniel Souleles. And congratulations and best of luck to both Gehad and Jose!

Read more about Rhoda Halperin Memorial Fund award here.

Laura Tilghman
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Plymouth State University

Chair, Rhoda Halperin Memorial Fund
Society for Economic Anthropology

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