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Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Ibn Battuta Award

Submissions are due in March 2017.  Contact Prof. Durband for information.

"To the world of today the men of medieval Christendom already seem remote and unfamiliar. Their names and deeds are recorded in our history-books, their monuments still adorn our cities, but our kinship with them is a thing unreal, which costs an effort of imagination. How much more must this apply to the great Islamic civilization, that stood over against medieval Europe, menacing its existence and yet linked to it by a hundred ties that even war and fear could not sever. Its monuments too abide, for those who may have the fortunate to visit them, but its men and manners are to most of us utterly unknown, or dimly conceived in the romantic image of the Arabian Nights. Even for the specialist it is difficult to reconstruct their lives and see them as they were. Histories and biographies there are in quantity, but the historians for all their picturesque details, seldom show the ability to select the essential and to give their figures that touch of the intimate which makes them live again for the reader. It is in this faculty that Ibn Battuta excels."

Thus begins the book, "Ibn Battuta, Travels in Asia and Africa 1325-1354" published by Routledge and Kegan Paul.

The Ibn Battuta Award is given by the Anthropology Program at Kansas State University to the anthropology major who has submitted the best anthropological research paper each year. The award is given in recognition of quality research and writing and consists of a cash prize and book describing the adventures and discoveries of Ibn Battuta, a 14th century Muslim traveler. The awardee(s) will be recognized at the annual Sapiens Symposium, scheduled for the Thursday before 'dead week' near the end of the Spring semester (generally late April).

The paper can deal with any anthropological topic and may be a carefully revised version of a paper originally produced for an anthropology class or can be new research. Students enrolled as an anthropology major during the academic year for which the Ibn Battuta Award is given may submit a paper for consideration.  Students may enter a well-researched and prepared paper in more than one academic year.  Coauthored papers are not allowed.

Papers must be neat, double-spaced, and include an abstract, in-text citations and a references cited section. All submissions must follow the style guide of American Anthropologist. The cover page should indicate the title, author, date of submission, and author's mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. The first page of the text should also include the title and abstract. No identification of the author should be given beyond the cover page.

The cover page and complete paper should be e-mailed to the Anthropology Awards Coordinator (Prof Art Durband) by the due date.

Past winners of the Ibn Battuta Award:

2016  Julie Opperman  "The LARP Project: Moral Play in Build Worlds"

     Honorable Mention:  Jordan Thomas "Cultivating Culture: Youth Food Movement and Cultural Revival in the Tiwa Pueblo Community"

2015 (Humanistic)  Khiana Harris  “Magic Is Friendship: Constructing a Positive Subcultural Identity Through a Tabletop Gaming Community Of Practice.”

2015 (Scientific)  James Rogers  “HIV: A History.”

2013  Stephanie Keith  “Concepts of a Nation: Perspectives in Multi-Ethnic Modern Germany”

2011  Erin Waymire  “Ishida Eiichirō (石田英一郎): A Guiding Light for Anthropology in Japan”

2010  Steven Kelly  "The Lost 'Civilization' of Cambay: A Case of Indian Revisionism and the Political Abuses of Pseudoarchaeology"”

     Honorable Mention: Kate Herzog  "Traditional Medicine and Pharmacopeia: A Contribution to the Ethnobotanical and Floristic Study of the Comoros Islands”

2009  Andrew Elliott  “Language, History, and Collective Identity: An Interpretive Approach to Linguistic    Constructivism in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.”  

2008  Adam Bohannon  "Negotiating Id/entity in Internet-Mediated Contexts"

2007  Tobias Blake  "Illusions of the End: Coming to Terms with Apocalyptic Belief in America."

2006  Kevin Champin  "Eric Wolf Envisions Power: the Babri Masjid-Ramjanambhoomi Controversy"

2004  Jana Thomas  "Business Anthropology: A Look at How Anthropology is Creating a Niche for Itself in the World of Business"

2003  Stephanie Springer  "Edward Twitchell Hall: Studying the Culture of Everyday Life"

2002  Rose Ediger Wishall  "Hilda Beemer Kuper: 1911-1992"

2001  Lucas Bessire  "Ayoreo Inquiries: A Critical Analysis of the Geographical, Historical and Political Context of a Foraging People of the Gran Chaco"

1997 Michael Wesch  "Phish-Heads: Modern Society, Youth, and Identity"

1996  Laura Bathurst  "Laura Nader: A Critical Approach to Anthropology"

1994 Thurman G. Williams  "Revitalization Movements: A Comparison of Maori and Native American Past and Present"