James Howe Prize

Guidelines for Submission

Students may submit multiple entries. The topic is open.

Entries written for MIT Anthropology classes or as part of an undergraduate anthropology thesis (i.e. a thesis chapter) are eligible. Papers may be revisions of essays written and graded for MIT Anthropology subjects.

Works that have been published previously are not eligible for submission.

Papers should be at least 10 double-spaced pages in length, but must not exceed 25 pages.

Submissions must include a title, as well as a consistent and thorough citation style and bibliography. The student’s name should not appear anywhere on the paper itself.

Each paper should be submitted with a cover sheet that includes:

  • Student name:
  • Submission title:
  • Anthropology subject for which the submission was produced:
  • Major:
  • Expected year of graduation:
  • Email address:
  • Phone number:
  • Student ID number:

Please submit entries and cover sheets to: jhprize@mit.edu.

Please address questions to jhprize@mit.edu.


2020 James Howe Prize winners: Elena Andree and Marissa McPhillips

MIT Anthropology is pleased to announce that the first place winner of the 2020 James Howe Prize is Elena Andree. She wrote "Cracking Open Fortune Cookies: A Window into the American Consumer" for 21A.155 Food, Culture, and Politics.

MIT Anthropology is also very pleased to announce that the second place goes to Marissa McPhillips. Her paper, “The Disabled Soldiers Embroidery Industry: Exploring the Relationship between Gender and Embroidery" was written for 21A.501 Art, Craft, Science.

Congratulations to both awardees!


About the Prize

The annual James Howe Prize honors the contributions of Professor of Anthropology James Howe, who retired in 2012. Professor Howe's scholarship has focused on the history and political struggles of the indigenous Kuna population in Panama. He has also promoted human rights throughout his distinquished career. A renowned photographer and political activist, Howe has undertaken ethnographic work to support the rights of the Kuna people. He is a longstanding board member of Cultural Survival — an organization that provides support to and advocates on behalf of the linguistic, cultural, and property rights of indigenous populations around the world.




2019: Maryam Pervaiz and Leanne Wang
2018: Jackie Liu and Gabriella Zak
2017: Ankita Reddy and Haley Strouf
2016: Paige Omura
2015: Andrei Kilshin and Peter Haine
2014: Sofia Essayan-Perez
2013: Iris Sheu