Lucia M.S. Galli, The Accidental Pilgrimage of a Rich Beggar: The Account of tshong dpon Kha stag ʼDzam yag’s Travels through Tibet, Nepal, and India (1944–1956). (Oxford University)
Lucia Galli's The Accidental Pilgrimage of a Rich Beggar uses a rare personal diary of an ordinary, non-elite cross-border trader to discuss both economic and political histories, as well as to investigate the overlap between pilgrimage and trade.
Petya Andreeva, Fantastic Beasts of the Eurasian Steppes: Toward a Revisionist Approach to Animal-style Art. (University of Pennsylvania)
Petya Andreeva's Fantastic Beasts of the Eurasian Steppes makes a persuasive argument for re-interpreting Central Asian animal-style art in this broad but finely detailed study. The range of localities integrated into this thesis, and the consequent breadth of necessary cultural proficiencies, is truly remarkable.
Ground-breaking Subject Matter Accolade
Kyle Jackson, Colonial Conquest and Religious Entanglement: A Mizo History from Northeast India (c. 1890-1920). (Warwick University)
Kyle Jackson's Colonial Conquest and Religious Entanglement: A Mizo History from Northeast India (c. 1890-1920) combines a thorough empirical study and provocative methodological interventions, with his appeal to reconsider established notions of scale and space, as well as his suggestion to take into account animal-centric histories.
Most Accessible and Captivating Work for the Non-specialist Reader Accolade
Faizah Binte Zakaria, Sacral Ecologies of the North Sumatran Highlands: An Environmental History of Conversions, 1800-1928. (Yale University)
Faizah Zakaria's Sacral Ecologies of the North Sumatran Highlands analyses socio-environmental changes during the transition from animist to monotheistic religions and demonstrates an impressive command of diverse sources and engagement with wider debates. It convincingly portrays conversion as a continuous process of reconfiguring the natural environment, shifting the centre of sacral power to built landscapes, divorcing man from the local.