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J. I. Staley Prize Nominations

A nomination for the J. I. Staley Prize can be made by attaching a letter of nomination to the Staley Nomination Cover Sheet. Each nomination should address how the book fulfills the selection criteria listed below. Each nomination must be for a single outstanding and influential book.

Nominations must be received by October 1st to be considered for the following year’s J. I. Staley Prize and may be made by individuals or academic departments. Authors and publishers may not nominate their own books.

Nominations should be emailed to staley@sarsf.org.


A panel of scholars evaluates books nominated for the J. I. Staley prize by the following criteria:

  • innovative and rigorous thinking in terms of theory, research methods, and/or application of findings;
  • superior integration of sub-disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary perspectives;
  • significant contribution to our understanding of humankind;
  • exemplary writing and clarity of expression; and
  • demonstrated or anticipated impact on the field of anthropology.


To be eligible for the J. I. Staley Prize, a book must currently be in print. It must have been in publication for at least two years before it is nominated and for no longer than eight years. Co-authored books are eligible for the Prize, but edited volumes and textbooks are not. Second or subsequent editions are not eligible for consideration.

Selection Process

After reviewing the nominations to ensure they are eligible for the award, the School convenes a panel of outside scholars representing a broad spectrum of the sub-disciplines of anthropology. Comprised of a different set of scholars each year, the panel evaluates nominated books based on the criteria for the Staley prize. Books eliminated in the first round of consideration by two successive panels may be withdrawn from the pool.