September 15, 2006
Marcia C. Inhorn, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Society for Medical Anthropology Dear SMA Member,
American Anthropological Association
We are writing to ask for your support in securing the future of one of the Society for Medical
Board Members: Anthropology’s most prestigious awards, the Eileen Basker Memorial Prize. The Prize
Joao Biehl endowment was originally established to commemorate Eileen Basker’s passionate commitment
Arachu Castro to the study of gender and health and to extend her groundbreaking achievements in this field
Robbie Davis-Floyd following her death in 1986 at the age of 50. The annual competition for the Prize is open to
Craig Janes scholars from any discipline or nation for a specific book, article, film, or exceptional PhD thesis
Vinay Kamat produced within the preceding three years. The Basker Prize is awarded to the work judged to be
Helen Lambert the most courageous, significant, and potentially influential contribution to scholarship in the
Thomas Leatherman area of gender and health.
Catherine Timura Over the twenty years since it was first conceived, the Eileen Basker Memorial Prize has amply
succeeded in its aim to promote excellence in research on gender and health. Former
Ex-Officio: prizewinners (see the attached list) are among the most prominent anthropologists in the field,
Mark Luborsky and several have gone on to become globally esteemed scholars. As the first and only book
Andrea Sankar award in this field for a considerable period, the Prize has almost certainly been influential in
Janelle Taylor spurring a publishing boom in the area of gender and health scholarship. By creating momentum
Lauren Wynne in this field, the Prize competition has also helped to substantiate the relevance of medical
anthropology as an important related area.
Sadly, over the past twenty years, the value of the Prize endowment has not kept pace with
inflation, and it no longer generates enough income to cover the cost of the annual $1000 award.
The SMA is therefore launching an urgent fundraising campaign with the aim of supplementing
the Basker endowment sufficiently to secure the cash award at the existing level for future
2007 will see the twentieth anniversary of the launch of the Basker Prize, and we are planning a
number of activities at the 2007 AAA meetings to celebrate this event, including a special
session and reception for all past awardees. This year is therefore the ideal time to launch our
fundraising campaign; with your help we will be able to announce a secure future for the Basker
Prize at its 20th anniversary year celebration.
Please give generously via https://secure.aaanet.org/rd/pledge.htm, the AAA’s secure payment
University of Michigan site. After completing your details, click on the ‘Other’ box and type in ‘Basker’. Alternatively,
School of Public Health if you prefer not to make online donations, there is a donation form enclosed with this letter for
Health Behavior & Health Education you to complete and send to: Suzanne Mattingly, Controller, American Anthropological
1420 Washington Hgts, M5140 SPHII
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029 Association, 2200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 600, Arlington, VA 22201. Please indicate ‘Basker’ in the
memo line. Any amount of support is greatly appreciated.
Phone (HBHE): (734) 615-9786
Phone (CMENAS): (734) 647-4141 For more details of the terms and conditions for this year’s Prize competition or about recent
Fax (HBHE): (734) 763-7379
Fax (CMENAS): (734) 764-8523 Basker prizewinners, please see the web page at http://medanthro.net/awards/basker.html.
With many thanks and best wishes.
Helen Lambert Virginia Domingues Marcia Inhorn
Basker Prize Committee Chair Basker Prize Founder President, SMA