Every year, the Division awards a prize of £200 to the most outstanding IIB dissertation.
The prize is named in memory of Dr Sue Benson (1955-2005), an anthropologist whose work focused on issues of race, gender and the body, with field sites ranging from London to Nigeria and Ghana. She was one of the first scholars to develop a critique of the history and memory of the slave trade in Ghana, and in particular the memorial practices associated with former slave forts along its coast. This work combined the historical facts of the slave trade with the memory of Africans in the diaspora. Her publications include Ambiguous Ethnicity: Interracial Families in London (1981) and articles on images of race and ethnicity in public discourse in the United Kingdom, and on bodily practices such as tattooing.
Sue Benson lectured, supervised and directed studies in Cambridge for 26 years and was an inspiration both personally and intellectually for generations of students.
The Sue Benson Fund, from which the Prize is drawn, was jointly founded in 2005 by the Division of Social Anthropology in association with Murray Edwards College (previously New Hall where Dr Benson was a Fellow from 1979).