The Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA) announced the 2017 winners of the Ruth Benedict Book Prize. This award is given for outstanding scholarship on lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender topic. Eric Plemons, former Michigan Society of Fellows post-doctoral fellow in anthropology, received the award in the category of Outstanding Single-Authored Monograph.
Plemons book The Look of a Woman: Facial Feminization Surgery and the Aims of Trans-Medicine
(Duke University Press, 2017) was praised by The Ruth Benedict Book Prize Committee. “The Look of A Woman is an elegant, original and nuanced ethnographic investigation of facial feminization surgery (FFS--a procedure utilized by trans-women to feminize their faces) in America,” wrote the committee. “The Look of a Woman combines theoretical nuance with ethnographic richness: The ethnographic chapters illustrate original and important theoretical insights on changing North American sex and gender norms, shifts in trans-treatment paradigms, and the importance of foregrounding the performativity of sex and gender in the changing materialities of bodies. The details of informants’ accounts illuminate and nuance Plemons' sophisticated theoretical intervention into gender as performativity. Immensely insightful, this book both extends the
field of queer anthropology and shows how science and technology studies and queer studies can benefit from ethnographic insight.”
TheRuth Benedict Book Prize will be presented during the AQA Business meeting on Dec. 2, 2017 during the American Anthropological Association 2017 meeting.