Bard anthropology professor Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins was awarded the Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) for her book, "Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019)."
The award was established in 1991 to recognize outstanding publishing in Middle East studies. The award was named for Albert Hourani to recognize his long and distinguished career as a teacher and mentor. Announced at the awards ceremony at MESA's annual meeting, the award honors a work that exemplifies scholarly excellence and clarity of presentation in the tradition of Albert Hourani. In the words of the award committee, "This book offers an outstanding and novel contribution to the study of Palestinian life as a waste siege. Through a rich ethnography and a sophisticated theoretical analysis this book focuses on the governance and governing power of waste."
Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins is an assistant professor of anthropology at Bard. Her research interests include infrastructure, science and environment, colonialism, austerity, the "sharing economy," the Middle Eas, and Europe. Her book, "Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine," is an ethnography of waste management in the absence of a state. She is currently working on a new book titled "Homing Austerity: Airbnb in Athens." Her articles have been published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, Jerusalem Quarterly, Jadaliyya and The New Centennial Review, among others.
The Middle East Studies Association is a non-profit association that fosters the study of the Middle East, promotes high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and services that enhance education, further intellectual exchange, recognize professional distinction and defend academic freedom in accordance with its status as a 501(c)(3) scientific, educational, literary, and charitable organization.