Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship

The Steven Lee Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship

Rubenstein Memorial ScholarshipThe Steven Lee Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship honors the intellectual legacy of Steven Lee Rubenstein (1962-2012), whose scholarship on Lowland South American society integrates political economy and critical theory, psychoanalysis and post-structuralist feminist theory. For every SALSA conference since 2016, a travel stipend has been awarded to a graduate student, recent PhD, or precariously employed member who wishes to present their work at the SALSA sesquiannual meetings. This award  Submissions relate to the study of Lowland South American anthropology and further Rubenstein’s research agenda into contrasting systems of power, gender, shamanism, racism and/or education.

We define the term ‘graduate student’ as an individual who a) is currently enrolled in a graduate program in anthropology; b) is currently in a post-doctoral student position; or c) was awarded their most recent degree within the nine months prior to the submission date and does not yet hold a teaching post. The candidate must be the first or sole author of a paper that will be presented at the SALSA meetings and be a member of SALSA in good standing. Travel grants will not be awarded to any individual more than once.

Calls for applications

Selection committee

Since 2023

From 2018-2022

From 2012-2017

Award History

Steven (Steve) Rubenstein passed away in March of 2012.  From the time of his death through April and May, Daniela Peluso and Janet Chernela worked with Steve’s parents, Francine and Ken, and his sister, Laurie, to honor Steve’s legacy with memorials of several kinds, including donations by them to further studies of and advocacy for Native Lowland South America.  In May of that year the family proposed a Memorial Fund in Steve’s honor in conjunction with Amazon Watch’s Northern Peru Project through the American Jewish World Service (see the letter that the family wrote to describe that fund).

By late May through early June, Daniela and Janet worked with the Rubenstein family to design a SALSA fund in Steve’s memory that would enable young scholars to attend its meetings. The Rubensteins initially gave the go-ahead with a commitment of $5,000 and indicated their wish to have their daughter, Laurie, be on the planning and selection committees.  In June 2012 Daniela and Janet proposed the fund to SALSA president Beth Conklin and suggested a committee composed of members known and trusted by the Rubenstein family.  Our suggested committee members were Peter Gow, Joanna Overing, Michael Brown, Carlos Londono, George Mentore, and Laurie Rubenstein.  We volunteered ourselves as co-chairs.  The proposal was approved by Beth.

Only Joanna Overing was unable to participate. Both Francine and Ken have passed away.  Laurie Rubenstein maintains an active and interested collaborator.  Since Laurie and Janet live near one another, they meet regularly. At their last meeting Laurie Rubenstein donated additional funds.

Steven Lee Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship Past Awardees

  • Josephine Mullen

    Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2023 – Valeria Pérez Vega

    Steven Lee Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2023 Valeria Pérez Vega PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology, PPGAS Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) For every SALSA conference since...

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  • Josephine Mullen

    Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2023 – William Boose

    Steven Lee Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2023 William Boose PhD Candidate in Anthropology, Emory University (USA) For every SALSA conference since 2016, a travel stipend has been awarded to a...

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  • Josephine Mullen

    Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2019 – Juana Valentina Nieto

    Steven Lee Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2019 Juana Valentina Nieto Universidade Federale de Santa Catarina, Brazil SALSA’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the Stephen Lee Rubenstein Memorial...

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  • Josephine Mullen

    Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2017 – Courtney Stafford-Walter

    Steven Lee Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2017 Courtney Stafford-Walter University of Saint Andrews, Scotland The SALSA Executive Board is pleased to announce that the Rubenstein Award Committee has selected Courtney...

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  • Josephine Mullen

    Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2016 – Guilherme Orlandini Heurich

    Steven Lee Rubenstein Memorial Scholarship 2016 Guilherme Orlandini Heurich Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro SALSA’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the Stephen Lee...

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