Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology

The Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology was established in 1998. This is an annual prize given by the AAA to encourage and reward excellent contributions in the use of anthropological perspectives, theories, models and methods in an anticipatory mode. Such contributions will allow citizens, leaders and governments to make informed policy choices, and thereby improve their society’s or community’s chances for realizing preferred futures and avoiding unwanted ones. The time frame for such anticipation will normally be the middle-range future (5-15 years).

Nomination Requirements

Evidence of excellence in anticipatory anthropology might take the form of a book, article, government document, document of a non-government organization, computer program, film, multimedia presentation, physical model, scientific invention or other suitable form of evidence that exists now or is developed in the future. Whatever the form, the evidence must be available to the public at the time of application. The Awards Committee is free to award the prize on the basis of a single item of evidence, or a series of items through time. Thus it will be possible for an anthropologist to win the Textor Prize despite being less well known and junior in status–provided only that the evidence of excellence is clear and compelling.

Preference will be given to a contribution that is excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  • The contribution focuses compellingly on protecting or enhancing quality of life or environment.
  • It anticipates and deals with problems of true seriousness to substantial numbers of people.
  • It is based on sound data, rigorously analyzed yet imaginatively interpreted.
  • It makes sound use of the concepts of culture and sociocultural system.
  • It opens new methodological, theoretical or substantive vistas.
  • It recommends practical or plausible policies or procedures that a society, community or organization can use to deal effectively with projected opportunities or dangers.
  • It communicates its anticipatory message effectively to both an anthropological audience and the concerned general public.


The nominee’s accomplishments should be contextualized and put into perspective. Depending upon the award in question, one may want to address the following types of questions:

  • Where does the nominee’s work fit within the discipline? What is its significance?
  • What is the extent of the nominee’s work and its impact on the field? On students? On the general public? On other disciplines?
  • How does the particular book or work upon which the nominee’s recommendation is based demonstrate excellence: conceptually, in terms of impact, creativity, and influence?
  • Please note that nominees are considered for three years. Those not chosen in the first year will be considered for two more years.

Award recipients are expected to serve on the selection committee for the following two years.

Application Requirements

  • Letter of recommendation
  • Supporting materials
  • Upload digital copy of nominated work


Submission Deadline: March 15, 2024

Four copies of the submitted book need to be sent to the American Anthropological Association office at 2300 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 1301, Arlington, VA 22201. Any books postmarked after March 1 will not be included.

Questions and concerns should be directed to Meagan Shirley.

Previous Recipients

View The List Of Previous Awardees.