Awards & Prizes

In recognition of work by its members, AARG bestows two categories of awards:

  1. In even-numbered years the AARG Distinguished Service Award
  2. In odd-numbered years three paper prizes:
    1. The Clark Taylor Prize for a paper authored by one or more professionals. Taylor Clark conducted research on sexuality and men who have sex with men. He was one of the first anthropologists to become actively involved in safer sex interventions and involving anthropology in HIV/AIDS programs.
    2. The Graduate Student Prize for a paper authored by one or more graduate students.
    3. The Undergraduate Student Prize for a paper authored by one or more undergraduate students.

The recipients of the awards will be selected by the Service Award Committee and the Paper Prize Committee respectively. The awards consist of a $100 honorarium, a plaque signifying the receipt of the award, and a presentation ceremony at the business meeting of the AARG at the annual meeting of the AAA in November. If we have three paper prizes in a single year then each prize recipient will receive $50.00. The submissions should be sent to the chair of the respective award committee and are due by October 15 of the award’s year:

  1. The chair of the Service Award Committee is Doug Goldsmith. The two other members are Doug Feldman and Patricia Whelehan. All three will assess the nominations.
  2. The chair of the Paper Prize Committee is Alexander Rödlach. The three other members are Delia Easton, Emily Frank, and Adriana Garriga-Lopez. All four will judge the papers.

The respective committee will consider all nominations and vote by simple majority to determine the recipient of the award. Members of the AARG Steering Committee will be informed of the results of the vote, following which the recipient of the award will be notified of the pending award presentation prior during the AARG business meeting at the AAA annual meeting.


The AARG Distinguished Service Award is given to a living anthropologist in recognition of her or his exceptionally meritorious contributions to the improvement of the health of people infected with or at risk of infection with HIV. The nominee must be an anthropologist and AAA member. Criteria for selection include the impact of the service work and the duration of the service work. The degree to which the service work promotes anthropology as a field concerned with improving the quality of human life is considered, as is the nominee's expected further contribution in the area of service, but neither promotion of anthropology nor the intent to remain in service are essential qualifications. Previous winners of the AARG Distinguished Service Award will not be eligible for consideration.

Nominations must consist of a letter providing an account (no longer than 300 words) of the specific service(s) performed by the nominee, including the time frame and outcomes of his or her efforts. This statement should make the case for why the nominee should be recognized for their significant service contribution. The statement must begin with the nominee's name, affiliation, and full current contact information. A copy of the nominee's curriculum vitae (CV) should be attached. The deadline for nominations is May 9, 2010. Please send nominations to the chair of the Service Award Committee, Doug Goldsmith.

Previous recipients of the AARG Distinguished Service Award are:

Doug Feldman 2008 "In recognition of his steadfast contributions to a cultural understanding of HIV/AIDS. Committed to addressing HIV/AIDS from the earliest years of the pandemic, he has not shied away from controversial issues within anthropology and beyond."
Ralph Bolton 2006 "In recognition of his outstanding scholarly and personal response to the AIDS crisis from its very beginning and his meritorious contributions in educating colleagues and communities on HIV/AIDS issues."
Alfredo Gonzalez 2002 "In recognition of his exceptionally meritorious contributions to the improvement of the health of people infected with or at risk of infection with HIV."
Raymond Bucko, S.J. 2002 "In acknowledgement and deep appreciation for excellent service in building the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group as a vital force in the promotion of AIDS research, service, policy formation, and advocacy, the Steering Committee of the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group honors Ray Bucko."
Norris Lang 1998 “Norris Lang exemplifies the AARG criteria for service excellence through his community work and his social work practice. He has extended his anthropological training beyond the realm of academic work to reach out to the community, specifically seeking additional training in order to become a social worker providing direct services to the local community of HIV positive persons. He has undertaken this service as SERVICE, with no professional rewards, within anthropology or the academy, expected.”


Papers are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Potential contributions to the literature/policy/direct impact on HIV/AIDS prevention and/or treatment.
  2. Originality of argument and/or data analysis
  3. Relevance of cultural, ethnic, gender and/or sexual orientation issues
  4. Justified use of methods (when applicable)
  5. Theoretical approach (when applicable)
  6. Attention to previous research
  7. Presentation--grammar, style, etc.
  8. Suitability for submission to peer reviewed journals or other professional publications (including newsletters, monographs, etc.)

If a paper submission is a published paper, this cannot have been published more than one year ago. While all papers are judged in terms of the same criteria, judges will exercise reasonable judgment in separately assessing undergraduate student, graduate student and professional level submissions. In other words, undergraduate student submissions will not be judged against graduate student or professional submissions, and so forth. The goal of these criteria is to support the development of the highest quality submissions at all levels, while fairly judging each level of submission in terms of reasonable standards for years of experience in the field. Members of the AARG Steering Committee and previous winners of the awards will not be eligible for consideration.

Previous recipients of the AARG paper awards and the titles of the winning papers are:

Manjari Mahajan
Clark Taylor Prize
2009 Governing Through the Non-Governmental: Shifting Terrains of Public Health in India’s AIDS Epidemic
Hanspeter Reihling
Graduate Student Prize
2009 Whose healthy masculinity? Men as new subjects of sexual and reproductive health in South Africa
Andrew Irving
Clark Taylor Prize
2007 Ethnography, Art and Death
Shana Hughes
Graduate Student Prize
2007 An Epidemic Contextualized: HIV/AIDS in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Kathleen Erwin
Clark Taylor Prize
2005 The Circulatory System: Blood Donation, AIDS and 'Gift' Exchange in China
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