2024 Nancy Farriss Graduate Student Paper Award Winner

Congratulations to Gillian Maris Jones (Anthropology and Africana Studies) for winning this year's Nancy Farriss Award for best graduate paper in Latin American and Latinx studies, and to Daniel Morales-Armstrong (History and Africana Studies) for receiving the honorable mention.


Gillian Maris Jones' essay "Gifts from the Ancestors: Plant Wisdom, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and Intergenerational Teachings" is compelling and thought-provoking. With a beautiful narrative style, the essay intricately explores various interconnected subjects that hold significant importance in Latin American histories. Jones skillfully juxtaposes the themes of bananas, ancestral traditions, traditional knowledge, and the historical impact of capital and slavery, particularly in the context of the expansion of banana plantations in the region. This essay results from a deep autoethnographic exploration that employs personal histories and their relation to a greater economic and political context to analyze traditional knowledge and ecological thinking. 
Special Mention
Daniel Morales-Armstrong's essay "Strategies of Refusal: Freedpersons' Responses to the Forced-Labor Contracting System in Post-Emancipation Puerto Rico (1873-1876)" effectively sheds light on the post-abolition system of indentured work in Puerto Rico. The essay discusses how freed individuals challenged the contract system, focusing on specific instances through the examination of court archives detailing contract disputes between freed individuals and their former owners. The essay challenges the commonly held view of freed individuals as docile and highlights the presence of conflict issues in the post-abolition period, as well as different resistance strategies. By delving into these historical nuances, the essay provides a comprehensive analysis of the complexities surrounding post-abolition labor systems and the agency exercised by freed individuals in navigating these challenges.