2024 ARHE Policy Brief Award

We are excited to announce that the 2023 ARHE Policy Brief Award is now open for submissions. The aim of the award is to encourage and acknowledge the contributions of anthropologists by providing the humanistic side of policy recommendations for responding to health emergencies.


  • Teams, not just individuals, may apply, including teams fulfilling professional contracts or consultancies.
  • Instead of only accepting policy briefs in their traditional format, we will now accept written works, detailed or annotated PowerPoint presentations, or other works that contribute to the development of new legislation, policies, programs, or interventions using significant anthropological data and anthropological insights. This may include long-form editorials, news articles, or other public-facing publications that include recommendations or ways forward, as long as they draw on anthropological perspectives and methods.
  • Submission may be no more than 10,000 words in total
  • All health emergencies topics are accepted.
  • The work must explicitly discuss and integrate anthropological methods and insights.
  • The brief does not necessarily have to report on new data collected, but can also analyze existing data to make recommendations or ways forward.The work must make direct reference to specific policies, practices, programs, and/or interventions, and make explicit recommendations for ways forward from these, in addition to assessing and critiquing. In other words, this award recognizes applied and engaged work, not work that only makes critical or theoretical arguments.

Applications can be submitted at : https://forms.gle/W2ZXAuQM1XftKegr9

2023 ARHE Policy Brief Award Winners

The ARHE Awards Committee is thrilled to announce the 2023 Policy Brief winners.  The Committee was extremely impressed with the quality of submissions and examples of the power of anthropology to inform policy. Please join us in congratulating:

Student winner: Taylor J. Arnold for his policy brief entitled Latinx Child Farmworkers in North Carolina: Heat-Related Illness

Professional winner: Magdalena Stawkowski for her policy brief entitled Forgotten Ground Zeros: Local Populations Exposed to Radiation from Former Nuclear Test Sites

2023 ARHE Policy Brief Award

We are excited to announce that the 2023 ARHE Policy Brief Award is now open for submissions. The aim of the award is to encourage and acknowledge the contributions of anthropologists by providing the humanistic side of policy recommendations for responding to health emergencies.

There are two levels for the award (student and professional), both have a $100 award each. 


  • No more than 10 pages
  • All health emergencies topics are accepted
  • Must integrate anthropological insights necessary for a successful response effort

Submission accepted at https://forms.gle/8Jkfy6BSMGxQEQeG8 

All submissions due by September 15, 2023.

2022 ARHE Policy Brief Award Winners

The ARHE Awards Committee is thrilled to announce the 2022 Policy Brief winners.  Please join us in congratulating:

Student winner: Alyssa Basmajian for her policy brief entitled Doulas offer compassionate abortion care and counter stigma

Professional winner: CommuniVax for their policy brief entitled Carrying Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination Forward: Guidance Informed by Communities of Color. Visit https://www.communivax.org/our-work for the full report and other resources

Professional winner: Megan Schmidt-Sane for her policy brief entitled COVID-19 vaccines and (dis)trust among minoritized youth in Ealing, London, United Kingdom. Visit https://www.socialscienceinaction.org/search?post_types=resources for the full report and other resource https://www.socialscienceinaction.org/search?post_types=resources

Action Needed: COVID-19 Pandemic

The HCW Hosted team of healthcare workers & family members, public health professionals, and health social scientists has launched an advocacy campaign to encourage the public to stay the course with COVID-19 recommendations as a means of protecting  themselves, their communities  and our healthcare workers. 

We need your support to get the word out! Please sign and share the HEALTH CITIZEN PLEDGE: healthcitizenpledge.org  

We are in the early days of the Pledge, trying to build momentum so every share, every endorsement, every signature counts!  Once we have enough signatures, we will be taking the Pledge to elected officials to ask them to support the Pledge and we will hold them accountable. The WHO recently came out  with a call to government leaders to keep healthcare workers safe. The Pledge echoes this plea. It is your opportunity to stand with our health care workers and reaffirm your commitment to the social contract upon which our democracy is based. And if  you are a member of an organization that would like to co-sponsor the Pledge , please let me know.

 Mark Nichter : Lifetime member of the AAA,  former president of the SMA, one of the founding members of HCWhosted.org

New Resources

As the United States continues to break single-day records in new coronavirus cases, stay up to date in latest information by reviewing a COVID-19 primer by Dr. Mark Nichter and other useful resources such as how to read COVID statistics and details on the Arizona outbreak.

See the attached update of the COVID-19 Primer from Dr. Mark Nichter. This updated primer includes new information on testing, contact tracing, pool testing, and antigen testing. Additional information on long term effects of COVID and cytokine cascades leading to severity. Updated information on < 40 age group transmitting virus more. Further information emphasizing impact of social distancing and the wearing of makes --compared hygiene and cleaning surfaces.

Call for Articles: Somatosphere Special Series

Working Definitions: Making and Unmaking “Medical Anthropology” around the World

Somatosphere Special Series

Editors: Professor Paschal Kum Awah (Chair, Anthropology, University of Yaoundé I) and Elizabeth Durham (PhD Candidate, Anthropology, Princeton University)

Anthropology’s interest in health, illness, prevention, and treatment is longstanding and increasingly robust. In this era of medical development, epidemics and pandemics, and debates in both the oft-called “Global North” and “Global South” over anthropology, colonialism, and associated prefixes (post-, neo-, de-), the constellation of theory and praxis known as medical anthropology has traveled fast and far. In this Somatosphere special series, we seek to at once ground and unsettle the contours of “medical anthropology” itself by highlighting encounters between anthropologists and healthcare providers — and especially among anthropologists working in the same field or setting — in which the scope and purpose of medical anthropology are foregrounded and framed as questions. What constitutes an appropriate focus of study for medical anthropology? What are the parameters of “being appropriate”? To what or whose ends are the findings of medical anthropology best put? How do discourses on culture (e.g. “authenticity”) and power (e.g. “legitimacy”) adjudicate the limits and insights of medical anthropology? How does health-focused collaboration proceed, and should it, when collaborators have markedly different views of the practice and point of medical anthropology? 

We welcome single-authored and multiple-authored contributions but prioritize the latter to best explore the potential and texture of relations among scholars hailing from or identifying with different communities, histories, and positions of power. To this end, we particularly encourage contributions from authorial teams comprised of colleagues from both the “Global North” and “Global South.” Our call includes but is not limited to the following themes:

–Voluntary and state-mandated collaboration between citizen and non-citizen anthropologists

–Encounters among “academic” and “applied” anthropologies, public health, and/or culturalism

–Negotiations of therapeutic intellectual property/practice; rights to knowledge, secrecy, and study; and underlying moral and legal frameworks of rights and rightsholders

–Negotiations of research ethics norms between healthcare providers and anthropologists, and among anthropologists (and the institutions that train and employ them)  

–MD/PhD training programs and their implications for research, critique, and collaboration

–Funding and institutional incentives and disincentives to collaboration in medical anthropology

–Debates over the globality of biomedicine, the “global” as a useful site or analytic, and dynamics between biomedicine and ethnomedicine

–COVID-19 and the timeframe and sociality of knowledge production in medical anthropology

If you would like to contribute, please email a short abstract (250-300 words) to awahpaschal@yahoo.fr and edurham@princeton.edu by July 31, 2020. Final contributions will range from 1,500-2,500 words, though we will consider shorter and longer pieces as necessary. While Somatosphere usually publishes in English, we welcome abstracts and contributions in other languages and will work with authors to arrange translation. Translated contributions will appear in both their original language and English on the Somatosphere website.