Congratulations to graduating senior Talia Katz, winner of the 2017 Sapir Prize for Best Senior Essay in Sociocultural/Linguistic Anthropology

Talia Katz
May 18, 2017

The Department of Anthropology is pleased to announce that the 2017 Sapir Prize for best senior essay in socio-cultural anthropology goes to Talia Katz for her essay entitled “Embodied Transformations: Pregnancy and the Politics of Social Support in Peri-Urban Rwanda.” Building from sensitive ethnographic interviews and several close relationships developed during summer fieldwork conducted in Rwanda in 2016, Katz thoughtfully framing her research around an innovative and empathetic conception of “friendship.” Situating prenatal care within a holistic study of Rwanda’s much-touted successes in healthcare, while also engaging in wide-ranging conversations with her ethnographic friends, Katz discovers that health care truly remains deeply gendered. While acknowledging the progressive qualities of Rwanda’s healthcare system, the ethnography vividly shows how Rwandan women develop unique affective concerns as they navigate the system during their pregnancies. The Sapir Prize committee was impressed by the high quality of the ethnographic research, the extraordinary sensitivity and reflexivity displayed by the author, and the sophisticated use of theoretical concepts to frame the essay. It is also very well written, clearly argued, and thoughtfully organized, making it a pleasure to read.