Monday, October 19, 2009

Congratulations! Omri Elisha Wins The Society for Cultural Anthropology's Annual Prize.

It's rewarding and encouraging when your friends do well! From The Society for Cultural Anthropology's website:

This year's doctoral student jury, consisting of Hannah Appel (Stanford
U), Emily Yates-Doerr (NYU), and Mareike Winchell (
UC Berkeley), writes:

"'Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting
to get anything back. Then your reward will be great,' begins Omri
Elisha's article, with this quote from Luke. In "Moral Ambitions of
Grace: The Paradox of Compassion and Accountability in Evangelical
Faith-Based Activism," Elisha traces the mutually-constitutive and at
times irreconcilable ethical demands of compassion and accountability as
they shape the work of evangelical activists in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Elisha uses rich and convincing ethnographic material to show that
evangelicals themselves "explicitly recognize the paradox" between
compassion and accountability, seeing the relation as dialectical rather
than contradictory. Elisha's attention to this paradox and his
informants' awareness of it illuminates not only everyday practices of
the evangelical activists, but is also useful in understanding other
broader projects of care and compassion--be they humanitarian,
governmental, religious, or even anthropological projects. As Elisha
notes, the "unsettling indeterminacy" introduced by these competing and
dialectical demands relies on and in turn creates specific objects of
intervention - "obstacles and hardships" - interventions that "reinforce
narratives of embattlement." That such languages of embattled gifting
create vertical relations of accountability rather than empowerment
raises provocative questions about the daily intimacies not only of
evangelical activism but also of international humanitarian work,
philanthropy and democracy-serving military action.

Omri's article can be found here.

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