Eagle Historic District. HABS/HAER photo.

James W. VanStone Graduate Scholarship (PhD Level)

James W. VanStone (1925-2001) served as Curator of North American Archaeology & Ethnology at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago from 1966-1993. His fieldwork in Alaska began in 1950 at Cape Denbigh with J.L. Giddings. His primary area of research dealt with southwestern Alaska, using archaeological, ethnological and historical research methods. Together with his colleague, Wendell Oswalt, VanStone was instrumental in the development of the ethnohistorical approach in studies of Alaska’s indigenous peoples. He was also an American pioneer in recognizing the importance of Russian historical sources for Alaska Native studies, and his contributions in the area of material culture and museum collections studies are renowned among North American scholars.

James VanStone co-founded with Wendell Oswalt the Anthropological Papers of the University of Alaska while teaching at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He published nearly 150 essays and books related to indigenous peoples in Alaska.

Dr. VanStone came to the annual meetings of the Alaska Anthropological Association throughout his career, generously serving on most of the committees of our association. He bequeathed a generous sum in his will to the Alaska Anthropological Association which funds a PhD student scholarship in his name. James VanStone’s collection of books can be found at the Smithsonian Institution’s Arctic Studies Center in Anchorage. A festschrift in his honor was published in Arctic Anthropology 35(2) in 1998.

The Association invites applications for the annual James W. VanStone Graduate Scholarship (PhD Level), which awards $1500.

This scholarship is designed to assist eligible students in their pursuit of an academic degree in anthropology, or a clearly related degree program/curriculum, or interdisciplinary degree that includes anthropology as a significant component. Students must be focused on a question, topic, or issue that pertains to the cultures an anthropology of the north.

The scholarship will be used to help underwrite a program consisting of a least eight (8) academic credits. If fewer credits are taken, it is required that the student be engaged in full-time work toward a degree. Funds can be used for tuition, fees, books, or other expenses related to the pursuit of a degree. Scholarships are not intended to underwrite part-time studies or to cover expenses of doing fieldwork not directly connected with academic courses.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate program and be a member of the Alaska Anthropological Association (i.e., current year dues must be paid at or before time of application). The scholarship may be used at any appropriate institution. Scholarship funds must be expended within one (1) year of being granted and may not be used retroactively.

The primary evaluation criterion will be evidence of promise in and commitment to the field of anthropology. Note that awards are not made very year, and are dependent on the number and quality of submissions.

Applications must be received by February 1st for awards to be announced at the Annual Meeting in March. Download and complete the application. You may attach additional pages to the form if needed to include all required information. A CV/Resume is required with the application package. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please submit your completed form in Adobe pdf format to alaskaanthroaward.scholarship [at] gmail [dot] com.

Download Application

  1. VanStone Application (105.7 KB)
    Applications must be received by February 1, 2017.