Dean's Prize Past Winners

2016 Winners

Helis Sikk, Dean's Prize for Graduate Research. Helis is a Ph.D student in American Studies, awarded for her paper titled, "The Art of Activism: Southerners on New Ground and Creative Resistance in the South".

Noah Brooksher, Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Noah is a major in both English and Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies, awarded for his paper titled, "Only Suitcases: Fluidity and the Freedom of Motion in Ariel."

2015 Winners

Amanda Stuckey, Dean's Prize for Graduate Research. Amanda is a Ph.D. student in American Studies. Amanda won for her paper titled, "The Womb of Futurity": Reproducing Creoles in the Early American Seduction Novel."

Annie Fuller, Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Annie won for her paper titled, "Sunrise: A Vashti Midrash."

2014 Winners

Kimberly Mann , Dean's Prize for Graduate Research. A Ph.D student in American Studies working with Professor Arthur Knight, Mann explores the construction of body and femininity in her chapter, "With the Flexibility of Flesh: Machining the Feminine Cyborg." Mann's work analyzes Catherine Lucille Moore's 1944 short story "No Woman Born," which tells the story of Deidre, a performer and dancer who is transformed into a mechanical cyborg following a devastating injury in a fire. In the context of Moore's story, Mann deftly explores the relationship between self and body, the perception of women's bodies, and feminine identity. Mann also demonstrates how Moore's story anticipates major feminist issues, such as gender as performance, thirty years before they were given significant attention by feminist theorists.

Carlton Fleenor, Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Carlton is a major in Literary & Cultural Studies and minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies . His paper, written for Professor Gul Ozyegin's "Comparative Studies in Gender and Work" course is titled "Too Many Reasons Why: A Politically Situated Look at Gender, Media, and the Videogame Industry." Fleenor argues that the intertwined nature of the video game industry and the media that report on the industry must be considered when analyzing biases women face in the industry. Fleenor explores the underlying profit-driven motives that have caused the video game media to devote increased coverage to the issue of women in the industry and goes on to assess women's current role in the industry in view of feminist theory and challenges faced by women in STEM fields.

2013 Winners

Faith BartonFaith Barton 14', Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Faith's paper, "Sex Work as Embodied and Emotional Labor: Female Sex Workers, Performativity, and Transgressing Gendered Sexual Binaries and Boundaries," written for Professor Gul Ozyegin's course GSWS 430: Comparative Studies in Gender and Work, looks at sex work as performative, meaning that the speech acts and bodily comportment of exotic dancers, prostitutes and other sex workers are carefully negotiated, enabling them to carry out the physical and emotional tasks associated with their labor. Such an approach, Faith argues, is necessary if feminist researchers are to treat sex workers "as complete social beings who have agency and negotiate structural inequalities and hierarchies in the context of a workplace that contains the risks of physical danger and psychological costs."

Lindsay Keiter

Lindsay Keiter, Dean's prize for Graduate Research. Lindsey is a Ph.D student studying with Professor Karin Wulf in the History department, who submitted a chapter from her dissertation entitled: "'I fear some interference will become necessary to rescue her': Harriet Chew Carroll and Extralegal Response to Marital Breakdown in the Early Republic." Lindsay explores the story of Harriet Chew Carroll, working with the Chew Family Papers at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania to examine the ways in which families addressed marital difficulties when divorce was an impossibility for one reason or another. In Carroll's case, her husband's alcoholism and emotional abusiveness finally forced her to accept familial assistance in negotiating an informal separation from him. As Lindsay argues, the silence surrounding domestic conflict in early America renders the archive around Carroll's case a remarkable and revealing one.

2012 Winners

Katelyn Durkin '12, Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research.

Kathryn Synder, Dean's Prize for Graduate Research.

2011 Winners

Jennifer Root Jennifer Root '11, Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Jennifer Root's winning essay, "The Invisible Cage: the Art of Remedios Varo and the Creation of Equality of Gender," was originally submitted to Professor Francie Cate-Arries (Hispanic Studies 493), and Jennifer translated it for us. In the essay, she discusses Spanish-Mexican painter Remedios Varo's use of the metaphor of artisanal crafts as a form of witness to declare publicly the injustice and the oppression of women. The household arts are represented in her paintings as tools of a system predisposed against the equality of gender. Varo shows what she believes to be the solution of this oppression: the erasure of the gender binary.

Alexandra Méav Jerome, Dean's Prize for Graduate Research. A Ph.D. candidate in American Studies, Alexandra Méav Jerome's work, Alexandra Jerome"Shahrazad in the White City: Gender, Performance, and Muslim Womanhood at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition," comes from a Master's Thesis supervised by Professor Maureen Fitzgerald.

2010 Winners

Teresa Ingraham '11, Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Teresa Ingraham's paper, "'It Was Not Too Late:' Jeanette Winterson's Use of the Female Body in Producing a New and Uniquely Teresa IngrahamRepresentational Feminist Form," was written for ENGL 465: Postmodern Fiction and Theory, with Professor Christy Burns. Teresa's paper, on Art and Lies by Jeanette Winterson, explores comparisons of the female body to parchment, canvases, maps and books - all of which intimately tie feminine methods of representation to unique expressions of desire, sexuality and creational power. Teresa argues that Winterson parallels the female body to a text or canvas to emphasize the masculinity of representational history and to call for a reclamation of female expressive power. Her conflation of language and body and the relocation of creative agency to the female's sex successfully "genders" a new representational form and excludes masculine participation in the "meaning-making" process.

Laurel Daen, Dean's Prize for Graduate Research. Laurel's paper, "Martha Ann Honeywell and the Art of Self-Presentation in America's Early Republic," was written for HIST 715: American History to 1815, Laurel Daenwith Professor Brett Rushforth. Laurel's essay examines the early nineteenth-century itinerant artist Martha Ann Honeywell, who traveled throughout America and Europe exhibiting her cut-and-paste silhouettes, embroidery, waxwork, and miniature writing samples. Interestingly, Honeywell also had a disability and was born without hands and with just three toes on one foot. Exploring the intersections of gender and dis/ability, Laurel argues that Honeywell used her artwork to selectively challenge and conform to social prescriptions in order to advance her career.

2009 Winners

Casey Metheny Casey Metheny '10, Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Casey's (English and Psychology, '10) essay on "Revolutionary Virginity" in Virginia Woolf adroitly explained how Woolf's virginal women can be read as icons of embodied independence and creativity--though not without a burdensome psychic cost--rather than as figures of self-denial and patriarchal purity. We particularly appreciated how Casey drew upon cultural and medical history as well as the literary contexts for Woolf's achievements.

Margaret Freeman, Dean's Prize for Graduate Research. A Ph.D student in American Studies, Casey's article on sororities in the postwar American South locates these institutions as contested ground, where ideals of elite femininity become stressed by competing claims of tradition and modernity, tasteful formality and civic engagement, especially in the context of Cold War patriotism. Margaret's skillful use of archival sources merits special attention; the sorority documents she discusses were truly eye-opening.

2008 Winners

Caroline NicholsCaroline Carpenter Nichols, Dean's Prize for Graduate Research. A PhD candidate in American Studies, won the graduate prize for a revised chapter from her PhD dissertation, called "The 'Adventuress' Becomes a 'Lady': Ida B. Wells' British Tours." The chapter describes the effects on Wells' anti-lynching campaign of the lecture tours that she took through England and Scotland in 1893. Drawing on Wells' own autobiography and diaries, Caroline argues that the tours and the new outbreak of "spectacle lynching" in the American South "spurred Wells to re-conceptualize her campaign," to "assume new leadership roles" and to become more aggressive, even more masculine, in her self-presentation.

Morgan Berman (Women's Studies '08), Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Morgan won for her paper (based on her Honors thesis) "Beyond Pro Versus Anti: A Transnational Feminist Critique of Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Female Genital Cutting." Morgan identifies a deadlock in feminist accounts of FGC, showing how the debate has been reduced to two, opposing positions: "either support local communities to practice FGC as they see fit or rejecting FGC as an intolerable practice." In her paper, she argues that "Western feminist scholarship needs to take responsibility for its own biases and then confront them in order to support the work of local activist groups who are personally involved in the process of change enacted by activists working in these communities.

Patricia Nelson2007 Winners

Patricia Nelson (Women's Studies and English, '08), Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Her paper was titled, "Representative Destruction of the Female Body: Social Critique in So Far From God and The Rag Doll Plagues."

2006 Winners

Beth Block, Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. Her paper was titled "Ancilla, Virga, Matrona, and Augusta on Screen: The Depiction of Roman Women in Hollywood Cinema", and Mary Teeter, who wrote "Re-humanizing Rochester: Masculinity Studies and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre."

Elizabeth Neidenbach, Dean's Prize for Graduate Research. He paper was titled "The Power of a Legend: Negotiations and Representations of Marie Laveau in Francine Prose's Marie Laveau, Ishmael Reed's The Last Days of Lousiana Red, and Jewell Parker Rhodes' Voodoo Dreams."

2005 Winners

Kristen Proehl (American Studies), Dean's Prize for Graduate Research. Her paper was titled, "Re-Evaluating Sentimental Violence in Uncle Tom's Cabin and Dred."

Caitlin Freeman, Dean's Prize for Undergraduate Research. She won for her Monroe Project, "Sex and the Street: Adolescent Girls and the Sex Culture of Deerfield, MA, 1730-1755."