The Gil Kushner Memorial Travel Award
Gilbert Kushner was a longtime SfAA Fellow and winner of the Sol Tax Distinguished Service Award in 2005. Internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in establishing applied anthropology as a graduate discipline, he served as Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida, Tampa from 1971 to 1985 and as Associate Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences from 1971 until 1978. By the time Gil retired at the end of the 20th century, the USF Department of Anthropology was a thriving intellectual center of applied research with more than 60 MA students and more than 40 enrolled in its highly regarded applied doctoral program.
Recognizing that early field research experiences provide indelible impressions and insights that guide anthropologists in their future work, Gil was committed to securing internships and research opportunities for applied anthropology students. Observing first-hand the struggles of people who are often colonized and oppressed was a humbling and enlightening outcome of his own early field study of immigrants from India to Israel. He described his academic areas of expertise as “applied/practicing anthropology; culture change/persistence.” Persistence was much more than a key word in Gil’s life; it was a moral stance that informed his research, his contributions to the academy and his enduring commitment to ethics and human rights. The titles of his publications tell the story, including “People without Power: The Administered Community in International Human Rights” and the 1981 collection co-edited with GP Castile, Persistent Peoples: Cultural Enclaves in Perspective. As early as 1965, Gil published an analysis of the Mau Mau movement as an example of cultural revitalizationthe re-energizing of beliefs, values and practices with which human communities resist oppression and celebrate their identities. Human Rights and Anthropology, an anthology he co-edited in 1988 with Theodore Downing, was the first collection focused on a now-established area of research about human rights issues and their impact on “persistent peoples” worldwide.
Who is eligible? Two awards of $500 each are available to students who meet the eligibility qualifications. Individuals who have been enrolled as students during some part of the current year and who have submitted a paper or poster abstract which has been accepted for the annual meeting program. Following the contributions of Gil's professional life, the abstract (and paper or poster) should be concerned with the persistence of cultural groups. Each Kushner Award winner will receive a scholarship of $500 toward their travel expenses to attend the SfAA annual meeting
How to apply? Applicants should submit a copy of their 100-word abstract (paper or poster) along with a written statement not to exceed two, double-spaced pages. The statement should explain how participation in the annual meeting will further the professional goals of the applicant. The statement may also include information, which documents the interest of the applicant in the persistence of cultural groups.
The application (abstract and statement) must be received at the SfAA Office (email to firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than January 15. This deadline is firm. The results of the competition will be announced in February. Awardees are required to provide SfAA with a bio, picture, and travel receipts to receive payment.
Additional Gil Kushner Photos
2012 Gil Kusher Award Winners -- Zohra Ismail Beben and Catherine Sanders
2013 Gil Kusher Award Winner Blessing Ozioma Okoroafor and Gina Watkinson