Lucinda Ramberg has been awarded the first Michelle Z. Rosaldo Book Prize by the Association for Feminist Anthropology (AFA) for her book Given to the Goddess: South Indian Devadasis and the Sexuality of Religion (Duke University Press).
Ramberg is assistant professor of anthropology and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies (FGSS).
Given to the Goddess explores questions about marriage, sex and religion, and is based on Ramberg’s ethnographic research on a South Indian practice in which girls (and sometimes boys) are married to a goddess.
“I feel honored and humbled to have been awarded the Michelle Rosaldo prize for my monograph Given to the Goddess,” said Ramberg in an interview with AFA. “I am grateful to stand in the legacy of Michelle Rosaldo and in the midst of a field that continues to challenge the afterlives of colonial forms of knowledge and sureties of liberal feminist projects and theories. From where we are standing, it is clear that sexuality and gender remain critical vectors of analysis not only for those of us talking to sexual dissidents or those persons considered to be women, but also for the entire discipline of anthropology.”
The Michelle Z. Rosaldo Book Prize is named after Michelle Rosaldo, who worked with the Ilongot people of the Phillipines and made great strides in women’s studies and the anthropology of gender.
Given to the Goddess was also awarded the 2015 Clifford Geertz Prize in the anthropology of religion, the 2015 Ruth Benedict prize from the Association for Queer Anthropology, and honorable mention for the 2016 Bernard S. Cohn award for the best first book in South Asia studies.