Rebecca J. Lester, associate professor of sociocultural anthropology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, won a 2020 Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. The Society for Humanistic Anthropology awards the prize as part of an annual juried competition. Lester’s book, “Famished: Eating Disorders and Failed Care in America,” won third prize this year.
The late Victor Turner devoted his career to seeking an accessible language that would reopen anthropology to the human subject, and the competition recognizes the innovative books that further this project. The prize committee seeks graceful, accessible ethnographic writing which deeply explores its subject and contributes in innovative and engaging ways to the genre(s) of ethnography and the field of humanistic (and/or post-humanistic) anthropology.