The Nikki Keddie Book Award was established in 2017 to recognize outstanding scholarly work in the area of religion, revolution, and/or society. The annual award was named for Nikki Keddie to recognize her long and distinguished career as a scholar and teacher. It will be announced at the Awards Ceremony at MESA’s annual meeting.
Elise Burton, Genetic Crossroads: The Middle East and the Science of Human Heredity, Stanford University Press
Genetic Crossroads exposes how technical and scientific projects about human ethnicity underpinned nationalist ideologies across the twentieth century. Burton introduces a novel angle to established debates, showing how scientific researchers nourished racial mythologies, and how those mythologies drove the researchers themselves. She draws disparate literatures into a single intervention, extending isolated national stories through her integrative original research. The book is remarkable for its breadth of coverage in time, space, and language; every reader will find something that engages their area of curiosity or expertise.