2022 Award Recipient

Dr. Lucas Bessire

Dr. Lucas Bessire is the recipient of the 2022 Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology for his book, Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains. The annual prize encourages and rewards excellent contributions in the use of anthropological perspectives, theories, models, and methods in an anticipatory mode.

Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains recounts Dr. Bessire’s journeys back to his hometown in Western Kansas to make sense of aquifer loss. His search for water across the drying Plains brings the reader face-to-face with the stark realities of industrial agriculture, eroding democratic norms, and surreal interpretations of a looming environmental disaster. The book also draws on personal and family histories to move beyond words and genres through which destruction is often known. The journey into the “morass of eradication” offers a series of unexpected discoveries about what it means to inherit the troubled legacies of the past. The book also asks how we can take responsibility for a more inclusive and sustainable future.