Kriti Kapila Wins Association for Asian Studies Book Prize

The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) has announced Kriti Kapila, Member in the School of Social Science, as one of three winners of the 2024 Bernard S. Cohn Prize for first books on South Asia. Kapila was recognized for her title Nullius: The Anthropology of Ownership, Sovereignty, and the Law in India, which was published in 2022 by HAU Books. 

Nullius is an anthropological account of the troubled status of ownership in India and its consequences for our understanding of sovereignty and social relations. Though property rights and ownership are said to be a cornerstone of modern law, in the Indian case they are often a spectral presence. Kapila offers a detailed study of paradigms where proprietary relations have been erased, denied, and misappropriated.

Kapila's research on India continues at IAS. Her current project focuses on the impact of the adoption of Aadhaarthe world’s largest biometrics-based identification program, on state-making in India. 

Among the other 2024 AAS honorees was Manduhai Buyandelgar, Member (2014–15) in the School of Social Science. Buyandelgar was given an honorable mention in the E. Gene Smith Inner Asia Book Prize category for her monograph A Thousand Steps to Parliament: Constructing Electable Women in Mongolia. Her anthropological account of women’s participation in Mongolia’s parliamentary elections since the collapse of socialism was developed during her IAS membership.

Read more at the Association for Asian Studies.

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