IBP 2009

In 2009 Five prizes were awarded:

1. Best book in Social Sciences
2. Best book in Humanities
3. Colleagues Choice Award
4. Best PhD in Social Sciences
5. Best PhD in Humanities

Two prizes consisting of 2500 euros each are awarded to the winners of the Humanities and Social Sciences Prizes. The winners of the best PhD awards in the Humanities and Social Sciences will be given the opportunity to publish their theses in the ICAS Publications Series. The winner of the colleagues Choice Award will receive a ticket to ICAS 7 in Hawai'i.


"Artisans in Early Imperial China",
University of Washington Press, 2007

Artisans in Early Imperial China is an outstanding work of original and pioneering scholarship which draws on a tremendous depth of archaeological, epigraphical and textual sources to highlight the character, role and history of the artisans who actually created the splendid material artefacts of early China. Ranging over a variety of material objects, from grave-stones to the well known figures of the Terracotta Army, the author identifies their creators, explores their training and technical processes, and situates them in their social roles and status. He does so in a manner which is clear and concise, as well as engaging and informative. While opening the field to further studies developing this enquiry he has produced a work that will inform and be enjoyed by any scholar or interested person in a wide-range of related fields. This is also an extremely well produced work, a credit to its publishers. It is beautifully illustrated and laid-out with all of the necessary academic apparatus provided; a model of its kind.

"Colonial Legacies: Economic and Social Development in East and Southeast Asia",
University of Hawai'i Press, 2007

Colonial Legacies is an extremely valuable comparative study analysing the contrasting economic development of former American or European colonies with those of Japan. It is an original and refreshing work, broad in its scope and yet full of relevant detail and it is soundly based on a wide range of sources, while its conclusions are supported throughout by statistical tables. Ideal for students, it will also be required reading for specialists and no-one with an interest in the region, or colonial history, can fail to profit from its study. Concise and accessible, it provides a considerable body of evidence which
further demonstrates the fragmented and negotiated nature of colonial rule and is thus a 'cutting edge' work. A model study that succeeds in enlivening its subject, it will become a standard text in the field.

"Tibetan Medicine in the Contemporary World: Global politics of medical knowledge and practice",
Routledge, 2008

This is a major contribution to our understanding of Tibetan medicine as a global phenomenon. Its eleven papers include a wide range of perspectives by anthropologists and practitioners concerning the social, political and identity issues involved in the modern world of Tibetan medicine. Critical yet respectful discussions engage with the practice of Tibetan medicine both in Asia and the West and this well-produced volume is a landmark in the field which will be required reading for students and specialists alike. It is a cohesive collection, and its essays are fresh and original, as well as readable and highly informative. It will be a basic source for many years to come.

"The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites and Colonial Authority in Malaya, India and Eygpt"

Hussin's work is original and significant for three reasons. First, it addresses a key issue in contemporary society where Islam has a significant presence: how the boundary between the public/state and the private/religious is necessitated, negotiated, or even imposed. Second, it deals with a persistent problem in modern state building where a compromise of some kind seems to be inevitable between the rule of law and citizenship on the one hand and mixed identities and attachments on the other that require preferential treatment. Third, it fills in the gap in our understanding of Islamic law which has been dominated by the monolithic view. Hussin's work makes an excellent contribution to our understanding of a key aspect of modern state building in the Islamic world.

"Sounds of Articulating Identity: Tradition and Transition in the Music of Pulau"

This is quite clearly the outstanding submission in the PhD category Humanities and is an academic enquiry of the highest order. It presents an ethno-history of the music of the Palau islands in Micronesia, and any sense that this might be of peripheral interest to wider scholarship is quickly laid to rest. The author explores the function of music in cultural identity, identifying sounds as audible symbols used in Palau to signify cultural distinctness and through this device explores not only the technicalities of musicology, but advances our knowledge of the subject culture, identity, social relationships, and history. Drawing on an extensive bibliography of secondary sources and recordings, as well as oral sources from her fieldwork, the author, within a convincing theoretical framework and in the wider context of globalization, clearly and logically situates her subject in such a way as to demonstrate that her findings are of wide importance. It radiates enthusiasm, reflection, and critical thinking in an informed and engaging manner.

ICAS is an initiative of the
International Insitute for Asian Studies