Rudolf Virchow, a 19th century German physician and anthropologist, was a key founder of social medicine. His contributions centered on his recognition that multiple intersecting factors—social, political, and economic—produce disease and illness. He argued that the circumstances and deprivations of poverty increase people’s susceptibility to disease and result in reduced life expectancy and quality of life. He eloquently articulated the limits of medicine in the absence of material security, a sentiment which informed his view that nation-states play an important role in ensuring health security for a citizenry. Virchow viewed advocacy as an essential part of health praxis and, in keeping with this legacy, the Critical Anthropology for Global Health (CAGH) Special Interest Group honors Virchow’s work with three awards.
The annual Rudolf Virchow Awards are given by the Critical Anthropology for Global Health Caucus, a special interest group of the Society for Medical Anthropology. Each year there are three awards for individuals at different stages in their careers as medical anthropologists: (1) the Professional Award honors a recent published article in a professional journal; (2) the Graduate Student Award honors a paper that was written in 2020 or 2021 and has not yet received editorial review; (3) the Undergraduate Student Award honors a paper that was written during a student’s undergraduate career and has not been published. There are prizes of $100 for each student winner.
Winning submissions combine a critical anthropology focus with rich ethnographic data and best reflect, extend, and/or advance critical perspectives in medical anthropological questions in the general area of global public health. All winners will be honored at the SMA business meeting at the American Anthropological Association meetings.
The submission deadline for the 2021 Rudolf Virchow Awards is June 15, 2021.
We encourage you to submit your own work and/or nominate papers of your students or articles of colleagues. If you wish to submit a paper for consideration, please e-mail the paper and a cover letter of introduction to the Virchow Awards Review Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15, 2021. Hard copies are not accepted. Confirmation of receipt will be sent. To ensure a prompt and fair review, papers will not be accepted after the June 15, 2021 midnight PST deadline. Winners will be contacted by September 1, 2021.
Professional Award Category
The professional award will be awarded for an article or chapter published during 2020 or 2021 in a peer-reviewed journal (print or online) or peer-reviewed edited volume. Articles may be single- or co-authored. Technical reports and other contracted works are not considered for this award. Professional articles must be submitted electronically in Adobe PDF format as they appeared in print.
Graduate Award Category
The graduate student award will be awarded for a paper that was written in 2020 or 2021 and that has not yet been subjected to editorial review. Papers that have been submitted to a journal or edited volume, but have not yet benefited from review may be included in this category. Theses and dissertations will not be accepted. However, a summary no longer than 30 pages double-spaced (inclusive of references) of a thesis or a dissertation that can stand on its own, or a chapter that has been revised to stand on its own will be considered for this award. Papers from students who have graduated are still accepted in this category as long as the paper was written in 2020 or 2021. Graduate student papers must be submitted in Adobe PDF or Word format with a title-only first page. File sizes must be less than 2MB. The document must exclude the author’s name, author’s advisor, and university affiliation throughout. The cover letter should include this information. Only papers, not interactive media, will be considered for this award.
Undergraduate Award Category
The undergraduate student award will be awarded for a paper written in 2020 or 2021 while the student was still an undergraduate. Honors theses are not accepted. However, a shortened version no longer than 30 pages double-spaced (inclusive of references) of the thesis or a chapter from the thesis that has been revised to stand on its own will be considered for this award. Undergraduate student papers must be submitted in Adobe PDF or Word format with a title-only first page. File sizes must be less than 2MB. The document must exclude the author’s name, author’s advisor, and university affiliation throughout. The cover letter should include this information. Only papers, not interactive media, will be considered for this award.