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Anna Tsing awarded book prize from the American Ethnological Association

Anna Tsing, professor of anthropology, has received the 2005 Senior Book Prize from the American Ethnological Association (AEA) for her book, Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Princeton University Press, 2004). Tsing shares the prize with Michael Fischer, professor of anthropology and science and technology studies at MIT, who was honored for his book Emergent Forms of Life and the Anthropological Voice. The recipients were announced at the association's business meeting on December 1.

Photo of book cover of Friction

In Friction, Tsing challenges the widespread view that globalization invariably signifies a "clash" of cultures, and she develops the concept of friction in its place as a metaphor for the diverse and conflicting social interactions that make up our contemporary world. She focuses on the Indonesian rainforest, where local and national environmentalists, international science, North American investors, advocates for Brazilian rubber tappers, UN funding agencies, mountaineers, village elders, and urban students, among others, all combine in unpredictable, messy misunderstandings, but misunderstandings that sometimes work out.

The Senior Book Prize is presented every other year by the AEA to recognize books by senior scholars that "speak to contemporary social issues with relevance beyond the discipline and beyond the academy." For the 2005 awards, the selection committee considered books published in 2003 and 2004. The committee was cochaired by the recipients of the previous award, Kim Fortun, associate professor of science and technology studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Adriana Petryna, assistant professor of anthropology at the New School for Social Research.

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