Ames Prize for Innovative Museum Anthropology

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 endeavors. Individuals can be nominated by any member of CMA. 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: SEPTEMBER 1, 2011

• The nominator must be a current CMA member in good standing

• Self-nominations are allowed

• Hard copies or electronic 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 September 1, 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 2011 competition, send one copy of the nomination packet to each committee member:

Jennifer Kramer

Curator of the Pacific Northwest

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

UBC Museum of Anthropology

6393 NW Marine Dr.

Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2



Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh

Department of Anthropology

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

2001 Colorado Boulevard

Denver, CO 80205



Kathleen Adams

Professor of Anthropology

Department of Anthropology

402 Coffey Hall

Loyola University Chicago

1032 W. Sheridan Road,

Chicago, IL 60660



Any questions should be directed to the prize committee chair at

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