SEAC Rising Scholar Award
The SEAC Rising Scholar Award (formerly the C.B. Moore Award) is given to a distinguished younger scholar for excellence in Southeastern Archaeology or associated studies.
The award is open to all those who have been conducting Southeastern archaeology and completed their Ph.D. within the previous ten years from the date of award. All nominations received will be considered until the eligibility period ends or the nominee is selected. Those who submitted nominations in the past are encouraged to update information within the nomination annually, especially in the C.V.
A maximum 200-word nomination statement and a C.V. for nominees should be sent in electronic form to the most recent SEAC Past President and chair of the committee no later than August 15th. The SEAC Rising Scholar award committee members can be found on the Standing Committees page.
The award winner will be determined by whichever candidate receives the most votes among a committee consisting of (1) all past SEAC Rising Scholar Award/C.B. Moore Award winners and (2) all voting members of the SEAC Executive Committee at the time of the election. The Lower Mississippi Archaeological Survey (LMS) ceased participation in the voting committee in 2023. In the event of a tie, each candidate tied for first place will receive the award. In the event a member of the SEAC Executive Committee is a past SEAC Rising Scholar Award/C.B. Moore Award winner or the designated LMS representative, or both, the individual shall have only one vote. The immediate SEAC Past President oversees the award nomination and voting process.
History of the Award
The C. B. Moore Award was established by the members of the Lower Mississippi Survey in 1990, under the leadership of Stephen Williams. Nominees were originally selected by vote of associates of the Lower Mississippi Survey (LMS) and, after the first year, by LMS and all previous award recipients. The LMS removed itself as part of the voting committee in 2023. Since 2010 SEAC has assumed responsibility for presenting the award.
In recognition of their accomplishments, the C. B. Moore Award winners were given a replica of the Moundville Cat Pipe for a year, passing it on to the new award winner. The original item of cultural patrimony now resides at the Peabody Museum, Harvard. A location for permanent curation of the SEAC replica used as the award is now under discussion. Beginning in 2021, an individual award plaque is presented to the winner.
Renaming the Award
In October 2021, the SEAC Executive Committee (EC) decided by unanimous vote to rename the award to the SEAC Rising Scholar Award at the recommendation of the C.B. Moore Award Task Force. The task force, which consisted of Amanda Regnier (chair), Beau Carroll, and Shane Miller, was charged to consider concerns voiced by the Native American Affairs Liaison Committee (NAALC) about the name of the award. The Task Force recognized the importance of tradition within SEAC, as well as Moore’s early work on many key sites in the Southeastern United States, but they noted the deeply problematic nature of Moore’s focus on burial mounds and his treatment of human remains. Citing the statement made by the SEAC Executive Committee in the summer of 2020 in response to the killing of George Floyd, the Task Force stated: “If SEAC truly wishes to acknowledge the colonialist origins of our discipline, create an organization and annual meeting that is inclusive and considers the voices of all stakeholders, and make meaningful effort at collaborative understandings of the past, it is time to rename this award. Changing the name of an award that references an early archaeologist whose work was based in a distinctly colonialist approach and is thereby offensive to descendant communities is one part of the process of assessing and reorienting the organization as an inclusive space where the voices of marginalized communities are heard and action is taken to correct past wrongs.” The Task Force further stated that “Moore and his methods represent the past of the discipline and there are better ways to invoke the future of archaeology.”
The changed name of the award was announced to the membership at the 2021 Annual Meeting in Durham, North Carolina. Per the Task Force recommendations, a history of the award was posted to the website, along with a list of past winners under the old name and a list of award winners under the new name. The name change was announced via email to the membership, as well as through an announcement on the website. Tribal leaders of Southeastern tribes were also informed via a letter from President Maureen Meyers in January 2022.