Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

The John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography


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.

Rules for Submissions: The project must be nominated by a current member of the American Anthropology Association.   A complete submission packet consists of:

  1. A letter of nomination from the AAA member covering why the work deserves the award, as well as the name, book title or exhibit, website or multimedia production, publisher, author’s mailing address, phone and email.
  2. A letter of consent from the work’s author.
  3. Four copies of the work (if a physical copy exists). These copies should be requested by the author from the publisher to be sent directly to the committee.

Completed submission materials must be received by the deadline listed below.

Submissions cannot be nominated directly from the publisher but the copies of the work may be sent directly from the publisher to the committee. 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 2018 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:

  • April 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)

Follow us to get the latest updates.

twitter facebook rss