Every year, MAPSS awards two prestigious prizes, the Johnson Prize and the Fogelson Prize, to outstanding theses.  

The Johnson Prize

The Earl S. and Esther Johnson Prize is awarded annually to the MAPSS student whose paper best combines high scholarly achievement with concern for humanistic aspirations and the practical application of the Social Sciences. The prize was established in the memory of the founder and long-time Director of the Program.

Recent Winners:

  • 2017 | Andrew Seber, "Slaughterhouse Dreams: Carnal Aspirations and American Life, 1899-1909."
  • 2016 | Catherine (Ci-Ci) Coquillette, "#NotBuyingIt: Tactics, Strategy, and Success in Online Activism." 
  • 2016 | Joseph Wallerstein, "Panhandling and the Pity Economy.” 
  • 2015 | Felice Ling, “Perfect Strangers: Revaluing Urban Sociality Through Street Performance.”
  • 2015 | Kevin Kiley, “Sieves and Ladders: Between Major Differences in the Association Between Students’ Backgrounds and Academic Success.”
  • 2014 | Steven D. Schwartz, “Indigeneity at the Edge.”
  • 2014 | Brendan Mackie, “One Last Cup of Coffee.”
  • 2013 | Kyla R. Bourne, “Space, Surveillance and Security Culture: An Ethnography of Urban Struggle in Chicago.”
  • 2013 | Ciruce A. Movahedi-Lankarani, “Taming the Machine: Technological Modernity in the Propaganda of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1979-1988.”
  • 2012 | Alexander de la Paz, “Bodies of Knowledge, Prisoners of Value: Lessons on Knowledge and Value from the Prison as Laboratory.”
  • 2012 | Rachel Kornfield, “ (Re)working the Program: Gender and Openness in Alcoholics Anonymous.”

The Fogelson Prize

The Raymond D. Fogelson Prize annually honors the best MAPSS MA thesis in the ethnological and historical sciences. The prize was established in honor of Raymond D. Fogelson, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and the College and longtime stalwart of MAPSS governance and program development.  

Recent Winners:

  • 2017 | Anna Sophie Rose, "Spectators of Suffering: Antislavery and the Politics of Morality in the Dutch Republic, 1763-1797.”
  • 2016 | Zoe Berman, "'Similar Until We Remember Why We’re Different': The Political Affect of Youth Humanitarianism in Invisible Children.”
  • 2015 | Charlotte Gaw, “Abolition’s Born-Again Market: Evangelical Redeption, Free Produce, and the Search for Free Cotton in the American South, 1844-1850.”
  • 2014 | Hardeep Dhillon, “In the Name of Shah Bano: Citizenship and Rights in Postcolonial India.”
  • 2013 | Jason W. Blaesing, “The Hidden Geography of Healing: Ontologies of Number in Northern Peru and the Political Arithmetic of the Inka.”
  • 2012 | Aram Sarkisian, “‘Not Just Strangers, But Also Our Own’: Federal Anti-Radical Investigation and the Russian Orthodox Church, 1917-1942.”