Setha M. Low Engaged Anthropology Award

The Setha M. Low Engaged Anthropology Award honors individual anthropologists (or multi-disciplinary groups or organizations with at least one anthropologist) or projects which have demonstrated a deep commitment to social justice and community engagement by applying anthropology to effectively address a pressing issue facing people and the planet.

Awardees should exhibit outstanding best practices in advancing public service, outreach, and community engagement in their work; engaged research and scholarship that is conducted for the benefit of, and in partnership with a community (broadly defined); building institutional commitments to service-learning and social justice; or mutually beneficial community partnerships that address critical community needs in the pursuit of social justice and human rights.

Projects or endeavors may be ongoing at the time of award entry. However, no more than three years should have passed between the project conclusion and the award entry receipt. This is not a career or lifetime achievement award; rather, it recognizes the value of applying anthropology to specific problems and projects. The competition is open to any members.

The award winners are selected by a panel of AAA Awards Committee members. Awardees will be announced at the Annual AAA meetings. Winners will be recognized by an award plaque, in addition to one night reimbursed at one of the AAA meeting hotels and will be acknowledged on the AAA website.

This award is made possible by a gift from AAA Past President Setha M. Low.

Nomination Requirements

  • The nominee(s) must be a current AAA member at the time the application is submitted.
  • The nominee(s) may be an individual, a project team member, or an organizational member/staff engaged in a project of anthropological significance (if a project team, only one
  • team member needs to be an AAA member).
  • Successful applicants should exhibit demonstrated evidence of community outreach, collaboration, or engagement and an outstanding commitment to social justice that provide a larger impact on practice, research, and scholarship in the field.
  • Projects may include both academic as well as non-academic projects.

Application Requirements

  • Nominee’s Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Nomination Letter
  • Exemplars of work products which are an outcome of the project
  • Optional: Letter of support from community partner(s)


Please note that nominees are considered for three years. Those not chosen in the first year will be considered for two more years.

The winner will serve as a member of the Panel the first year, as Chair of the Panel the second year, and as a member again the third year.


Submission Deadline: March 15, 2024

Questions and concerns should be directed to Meagan Shirley.

Previous Recipients

Previous Awardees