Anthropologist Wins Prestigious Book Award

The Politics of Morality cover

Associate professor of anthropology, Joanna Mishtal, Ph.D., has won an award for her book, The Politics of Morality: The Church, the State and Reproductive Rights in Postsocialist Poland.

Mishtal’s book was selected as the winner of the Adele E. Clarke Book Award. The award honors Mishtal’s extensive research into the politics of gender, reproductive rights, health and social policies during the postsocialist period. For the book, she collected data from Kraków, Warsaw, and Gdańsk, Poland. The award is given by the ReproNetwork which only chooses a winner every other year. It honors interdisciplinary subjects and scholars in fields such as sociology, gender studies and history.

“It is such a great honor for me to be selected as the winner of the Adele E. Clarke Book Award for the best scholarly book on the topic of reproduction,” Mishtal said. “This award is extremely meaningful for me because it is a recognition at the national-level in my field.”

As an anthropologist, Mishtal’s focus is on the politics of reproductive rights and health. The book, which was published in 2015, is an anthropological study of the expansion of power by the religious right and its effects on individual rights and social values. It examines the contentious nature of reproductive rights politics that emerged since the fall of state socialism in 1989, and in light of the 2004 EU integration. In its two years since publication, her work has already received positive reviews in peer-reviewed journals.

“Receiving a book award two years later in 2017 gives the book a second wind, so to speak, and brings it to the attention of an even wider audience of the scholars as well as the public,” she said.

The announcement of the book award was also sent to the American Association for the History of Medicine, disseminating her research into new fields with a different audience. She is currently expanding her research, and completed a project this past summer on reproductive care travel between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. As for future plans, Mishtal will be traveling to Malta in 2018.

“Reproductive rights are severely restricted in Malta,” she said. “With these projects I hope to build data toward my next book, which will be a comparative analysis of European countries with severely restricted rights. My work will explore how particular church-state relationships shape reproductive policies in different geopolitical contexts.”

Comments are closed.