Bard College Scholar Wins Book Award From the Middle East Studies Association

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins, an assistant professor of anthropology at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, received the 2020 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association. She was honored for her book Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019).

The Albert Hourani Book Award was established in 1991 to recognize outstanding publishing in Middle East studies. The award was named for Albert Hourani, a British historian of Lebanese descent, to recognize his long and distinguished career as a teacher and mentor at many academic institutions including the American University of Beirut, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. The Albert Hourani Book Award honors a work that exemplifies scholarly excellence and clarity of presentation in the tradition of its namesake.

The Middle East Studies Association stated that 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. Professor Stamatopoulou-Robbins explores waste at the intersection of geography (space/infrastructures) policies, science, technology, and quotidian management and governance.”

Dr. Stamatopoulou-Robbins joined the faculty at Bard College in 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University in New York City and a master’s degree from the University of Oxford in England.


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