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Susan Ford Wiltshire Essay Prize


Women's and Gender Studies gives two awards each spring, one for the best undergraduate essay and one for the best graduate essay. The submitted essays must be on a topic concerning gender, race, ethnicity, class, and/or sexuality. They must have been written during the previous calendar year. The competition is open to students in all schools and colleges of the University, including graduating seniors.


The essay can be written for any University course or requirement. It can use any methodology or approach, but should not have been previously considered for publication, or be pending a grade. Undergraduate submissions should be 8 to 10 pages; graduate submissions should be 20 to 25 pages. Winners will be chosen on the basis of originality, creativity, insight, clarity of analysis, and quality of writing.


Contest entries are due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday March 27, 2013. They should be submitted to the WGS office at 124 Buttrick Hall.


Download the essay contest application form.


In 2012, the award for Best Undergraduate Essay went to Abby Randall for "Disturbance, Distress, and the DSM: Re-examining Diagnoses of Gender Identity Disorder"; the award for Best Graduate Essay went to Jennifer Freeman for "Theologizing Gender in the Rothschild Canticles."


In 2011, the award for Best Undergraduate Essay was given to Suzie Heller for "We Know Boys: The Making of Masculinity and the Efficacy of All-Boys Education," and the award for Best Graduate Essay went to Kathryn McEwen for "Reading Sexual Difference through Handiwork; Or, Hannah Hoch's Essays on Embroidery in Context."


In 2010, the awards for Best Undergraduate Essay were given to Brenda E. Kao for "Country Music and the Housewife: Domestic Troubles, Conservative Values, Christianity in Post-War America," and to David P. Webb for "Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper': An Exploration of Relative Sanity." The award for Best Graduate Essay was given to Janis H. Lee for "Orientalist Representations of Women and Religion in the French Headscarf Debate."

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