Call for submissions – John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography

The John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography is awarded periodically to an author or photographer whose publication, exhibit, website, or other multimedia production exemplifies the use of still photographs (both historical and contemporary) for research and communication of anthropological knowledge.

The submission must have a strong visual research perspective along with being good documentary photography and be within five years of the original publication date. The project must be nominated by a current SVA member and include the consent of the person nominated. A letter of nomination from the SVA member and the supporting material (including name, book title or exhibit, website or multimedia production, publisher, author’s mailing address, phone and email) should accompany three copies of the creative work and be sent to the Committee Chairperson, which must be received by the deadline below. The same work may be submitted a maximum of two times. The SVA board appointed committee of three then reviews the submitted works to decide on its merits.  Winners are announced during the SVA/AAA meetings and presented with a John Collier Jr. or Mary Collier print, courtesy of the Collier Family Collection, and a certificate of recognition.

Deadlines for Submission and Award Notification

 March 15        Deadline for receipt of nomination materials and submission to SVA.
July 31         Committee decision will be submitted to SVA President and Secretary
August 10      Award information submitted to AAA program committee
The Collier Award is sponsored by the SVA Board of Directors in honor of the life and work of John Collier Jr. (1913-1992). Although suffering hearing loss and cognitive impairments early in life John Collier’s visual genius was enhanced by his early association with the well-known painter, Maynard Dixon and his wife Dorothea Lange. Other important influences were the artist Nicolai Fechin, the photographer Paul Strand, and the elders and compatriots in the American Indian communities of his youth. He worked as photographer for Roy E. Stryker in the FSA (Farm Security Administration) and the OWI (Office of War Information) during the early 1940s, with later professional photographic work in the Canadian Arctic, South American, and the United States.

His first formal visual anthropological work (1946) was in Otavalo, Ecuador with the Ecuadorian anthropologist Aníbal Buitron. This was followed with work in Nova Scotia and the American Southwest with Alexander Leighton, and a major visual ethnography (1954-55) of Vicos, Peru, with Mary E.T. Collier. Subsequent work in New Mexico, Alaska, Arizona, and California included close attention to issues of cross cultural education and schooling. In 1967, he authored the acclaimed book, Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, second edition with Malcolm Collier (University of New Mexico Press, 1986). Collier was a founding member of both the Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) and the Council on Anthropology and Education (CAE) and a long time supporter of SVA.

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