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SVA Awards

The John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography

Award Details

The John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography

is awarded periodically to an author or photographer whose publication, exhibit, website, or other multimedia production exemplifies the use of still photographs (both historical and contemporary) for research and communication of anthropological knowledge.  The submission must have a strong visual research perspective along with being good documentary photography and be within five years of the original publication date.

The project must be nominated by a current SVA member and include the consent of the person nominated. A letter of nomination from the SVA member and the supporting material (including name, book title or exhibit, website or multimedia production, publisher, author’s mailing address, phone and email) should accompany three copies of the creative work and be sent to the Committee Chairperson, which must be received by the deadline below. Submissions cannot be nominated directly from the publisher. Collections of writings by multiple authors will not be considered nor can previous winners submit another time. 

The same work may be submitted a maximum of two times. The SVA board appointed committee of three then reviews the submitted works to decide on its merits.  Winners are announced during the SVA/AAA meetings and presented with a John Collier Jr. or Mary Collier print, courtesy of the Collier Family Collection, and a certificate of recognition.

Submissions for 2016 should be mailed to:  The Collier Committee c/o Andrea Heckman, Chairperson, P. O. Box 714, Taos Ski Valley, NM 87525.

Deadlines for Submission and Award Notification:
  • March 15:  Deadline for receipt of nomination materials and submission to SVA.
  • July 31: Committee decision will be submitted to SVA President and Secretary.
  • August 10: Award information submitted to AAA program committee.

Past Winners

2014 Winner

  • Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Homes. by Jeanne E. Arnold, Anthony P. Graesch, Enzo Ragazzini, and Elinor Ochs (2012: The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press at UCLA, Los Angeles).

Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century: 32 Families Open Their Homes

2013 Winner

  • Refracted Visions: Popular Photography and National Modernity in Java by Karen Strassler (2010: Duke University Press)


2012 Winner

  • Moving Images: John Layard, Fieldwork, and Photography on Malakula since 1914. Haidy Geismar and Anita Herle. (2011: University of Hawaii Press)

2012 Honorable Mention

  • Arapaho Journeys: Photographs and Stories from The Wind River Reservation. Sara Wiles (2011: University of Oklahoma Press)

2008 Winners
Joanna Cohan Scherer for A Danish Photographer of Idaho Indians: Benedicte Wrenstead (2006).

2006 Winner
Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals. Andrea Heckman.

2002 Winners

  • The Ones That Are Wanted: Communication and the Politics of Representation in a Photographic Exhibition. Corinne Kratz. (2001: University of California Press)
  • Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture. Douglas Harper. (2001: University of Chicago Press)


Lifetime Achievement Awards
Lifetime Achievement Awards are given to individuals whose body of work is recognized for its exemplary impact on the field of anthropology. When a Lifetime Achievement Award is given to someone whose work has been featured in the SVA’s Film, Video and Interactive Media Festival, the awardee will be honored at the Festival’s Award Ceremony.

Past Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award for 2015
Thomas D. Blakely

Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014
Elizabeth Edwards

Lifetime Achievement Award for 2009
Richard Chalfen
Asen Balicki

Lifetime Achievement Award for 2008
Karl Heider

Lifetime Achievement Award for 2005
Robert Gardner
John Melville Bishop

Lifetime Achievement Award for 2003
John Marshall


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