Halperin Memorial Fund


About the Halperin Memorial Fund

The Society for Economic Anthropology Halperin Memorial Fund competition for 2015 is now closed. Winners will receive an award of $2000 for PhD research and $500 to supplement the costs of traveling to the SEA spring conference.

The Rhoda Halperin Memorial Fund celebrates the life and scholarly work of Rhoda Halperin by supporting PhD students in anthropology who emulate her love of economic anthropology and her concern for people living on the social margin. In memory of Rhoda’s convivial colleagueship, the Fund also encourages student professional development through participation in the scholarly meetings of the SEA and AAA. To meet these goals, students engaged in economic research focused on social exclusion and poverty are provided small research grants and subsequent travel money to present their findings at the Society for Economic Anthropology annual conference. See past awards here.

2015 Halperin Awardees

The Society for Economic Anthropology is pleased to announce the three awardees of the 2015 award of $2500 for PhD research and conference travel to:

VilleccoJohn M. Villecco, Department of Anthropology, American University

Project: Local Effects of Chinese -Funded Infrastructural Development on the Kenyan Coast




GegliaBeth Geglia, Department of Anthropology, American University

Project: Distributive and Concentrative Effects of Economic Collectives in Honduran Communities: A Pre-SEZ Study



LiptonJonah Lipton, Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics

Project: ‘Ebola is the only work in Sierra Leone right now’: an ethnographic study of informal work, care, and family life in Freetown.




The committee, composed of Martha Rees, Judith Marti, Rudolf J Colloredo-Mansfeld, Lynne Milgram, Katrina Greene, Daniel Murphy, Patricia A McAnany, and Walter Little reviewed and ranked 36 applications in order to make the difficult decision about which projects to fund.

Thanks to all applicants for participating in the competition and to the committee members for their hard work reviewing such a high quality group of research proposals.

Martha Rees and Judith Marti, Co-Chairs, Halperin Memorial Fund Committee

The pre-doctoral travel fellowship grant

Purpose of the Halperin Memorial Fund award

  1. The primary task of the Fund is to support PhD students with innovative approaches to research and a desire to engage the world through their scholarship, and who need seed money for their dissertation research.
  2. Because Rhoda Halperin’s career exemplified the integration of anthropological theory with social activism, for the purposes of this award, Economic Anthropology is broadly defined to include both applied and non-applied issues, including social research that engages with issues of poverty, exclusion from the political process, and access to education.
  3. The Halperin Fund enables pre-doctoral travel and support for dissertation research to help students develop their topics and proposals.


  1. Any student registered in an Anthropology (or related) doctoral program in the US or elsewhere is eligible for the award. Because the goal of the grant is to provide seed money, preference will be given to students early in the dissertation process rather than to those who are further along and have already developed their proposals.
  2. Applicants do NOT have to be US citizens.

The Halperin Award

  1. Recipients receive a primary grant of $2000 for doctoral research.
  2. Recipients receive a second award of $500 to supplement the costs of traveling to the Society for Economic Anthropology spring conference during the year following the research award in order to give a poster session or paper reporting on the dissertation research or background.
  3. Upon receipt, awardees also receive a year’s membership in the Society for Economic Anthropology (for those already members of the American Anthropological Association).

 Applying for a Halperin Award

Students who meet the eligibility requirements listed above may apply for the award by providing the following materials and meeting the deadline when it is posted. Check back here or follow SEA on Facebook to be notified of the competition deadlines, usually in December.

 Donations to support the fund

The Fund is supported through donations from Dr. William Halperin, from friends and colleagues who had the good fortune to work with Rhoda during her professional life, and from current members of the SEA seeking to help launch the careers of new scholars.

Donations can be made here.

Because of the administrative contributions of the SEA and the Fund’s steering Committee, one hundred percent of all donations goes to the graduate student winners of Halperin awards. Please consider making your own donation.

The Halperin Memorial Fund is a fund of the Society for Economic Anthropology, a Section of the American Anthropological Association, which is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations to The Halperin Memorial Fund are typically exempt from federal income tax, as are membership fees but please consult your tax advisor regarding your specific situation. When you make a donation to support the Halperin Memorial Fund by check, please make your check to “SEA/American Anthropological Association” and note that the donation is for the Halperin Memorial Fund.

American Anthropological Association
attn: Accounting
2300 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 1301
Arlington, VA  22201-3386