Professor Michael L. Galary is winner of the 2019 Skendi Book Prize, awarded by the Society for Albanian Studies, for his book Memory and Nation Building: From Ancient Times to the Islamic State. The award committee had the following to say about Galaty's work:
A comprehensive but accessible study of how states appropriate collective memory, Memory and Nation Building offers rich insights drawn from Albania, Greece, and Egypt. Galaty takes seriously the differences in state-building practices in each of these cases, tying such differences to dissimilar responses to collective memory and the political uses of memory production. The 2019 Prize Committee praised the breadth and depth of Galaty’s suggestive study, which draws from a variety of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, psychology, history, nationalism theories, and fiction. The committee was particularly impressed by the study’s ambitious comparative commitment, which situates Albanian memory practices within a broader post-Ottoman and Mediterranean context. Memory and Nation Building notably adopts a diachronic approach, making connections from prehistory to the present. Additionally, it reveals the importance of crossing national borders by exploring neglected and under studied communities such as Greek-Albanians and Albanian-Egyptian minorities.
Michael Galaty is professor of anthropology and directs the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology at the University of Michigan.