Georgetown professor wins international award for a book she hasn’t even written yet

Earlier this week, the non-profit organization Center for a Public Anthropology announced that Georgetown Professor of Anthropology Elzbeita Gozdziak had received the top prize of its 2011 International Competition. This award, which  is offered in conjunction with the University of California Press, recognize the efforts of scholars in a wide range of disciplines who “address major public issues in ways that help non-academic audiences to understand and address them.”

Center for Public Anthropology awards the contest’s winner with a book contract with University of California Press and a $5000 advance. But the book that Gozdziak won for, entitled Victims No Longer: Trafficked Children into the United States, does not yet exist in the form of a manuscript.

This is not unusual for winners of this prize. The Center writes on their website that The California Series, the collection of scholarly books to which Godziak’s will belong, “is open to working with winning authors as they wind their way toward completion.”

Although she has no manuscript, Gozdziak did not win the prize simply for a catchy title and a good idea. The adjunct professor of anthropology, who also serves as Director of Research for Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of International Migration and edits the scholarly journal International Migration, submitted a proposal for her book which includes detailed descriptions of each chapter, and has done extensive amounts of research on the book’s subject, the trafficking of children in the United States.

According to a news story on the Georgetown College website, Gozdziak interviewed over 150 children who have been involved in trafficking, and hopes in her book to expose the truths behind an issue that is much misunderstood by the public. In her book’s proposal, she outlines the problem of  what she refers to as the “empirical vacuum,” whereby there is little data-based research on the subject of American child trafficking, and then goes on to expose that many cases do not stem out of organized crime, as is commonly believed, but rather from close friends and family.

The book will be the latest addition to the professor’s lengthy collection of academic works, which includes many other publications on immigration and human trafficking.

Photo from Georgetown College.

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