Pembroke Center
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Helen Terry MacLeod Research Grant

Funding Opportunities

The MacLeod grant supports undergraduate honors research on issues having to do with women, gender, and/or sexuality, or research that brings a feminist analysis to bear on a problem or set of questions. Students currently working on honors theses in any field are eligible to apply. The $1000 grant is to be used to further research.

Application materials should include:

  • a three to five page description of your honors thesis
  • a letter of support from your thesis advisor
  • a brief description of how you would use the grant funds, if awarded

The grant honors the life of Helen Terry MacLeod (1901-1994) who did not herself have a college education but who helped support the undergraduate, graduate, and professional school educations of her grandchildren, including Joan MacLeod Heminway ’83.

2022/23 Recipient

Leona Hariharan '23
Leona Hariharan

Leona Hariharan '23, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies; Neuroscience
"Embodied Imaginations: Performance, Care, and Healing Justice"

Historically, theaters have not been the most accessible space. Art is often created in a vacuum removed from the spaces and communities they are meant to serve. That being said, when community and marginalized people are centered in performance spaces, they can be beautiful spaces for healing and justice. These are performances that understand that the audience is just as important as the show.  More than that, these socially engaged performances are an act of care for the performers and the communities that they serve. In parallel, social actors in the community (midwives, doulas, nurses, and doctors) are working against ‘care-less’ state processes that are structured around the concept of care as a quantifiable economy to provide the care that their patients so desperately deserve. This entanglement often leads to unsatisfying care experiences that are harmful to marginalized populations. Hariharan's honors thesis seeks to understand how performance can be an act of care and how care workers can be understood as artful, aesthetic, and performative. Hariharan puts performance and care work in conversation with one another in an effort to explore the boundaries between socially engaged performance and social actors in the community. Some questions Hariharan exolores are how can performance be understood as an act of care? What does it mean to provide care in a sustainable and inclusive way? How is care embodied and experienced? In turn, this also brings up the questions of when and where care continues to be oppressive and harmful to marginalized communities.


Past Recipients

  • 2021/22 - Emma Blake, International Relations
    "Gender-based Violence and State-Sponsored Aggression: An Analysis of the Relationship Between Intimate Partner Violence and State Militarization"
  • 2020/21 - Sabrina Bajwa, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Hispanic Studies 
    "Reproductive (In)justice in Detention"
  • 2019/20 - Camila Pelsinger, International Relations
    "Restorative responses to gender-based violence in the United States & New Zealand"
  • 2018/19 - Marielle E. Burt, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Literary Arts
    "Directing Towards Social Dialogue"
  • 2017/18 - Brigitte Dale, History
    "Radical Actors: The WSPU’s Staging of the Suffrage Campaign"
  • 2016/17 - Vi L. Mai, Latin American & Caribbean Studies; International Relations
     "Contesting HIV/AIDS in Cuba: The Stories Behind the Headlines"
  • 2015/2016 - Christin Aucapino, Public Health
    "Challenges on The Front Line: HIV Services Provided in Havana, Cuba"
  • 2014/2015 - Patricia Ekpo, American Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies
    "Everyday Utopia in Virtual Spaces: Tumblr, Depression, and Queer Futurity"
  • 2013/2014 - Lindsay Sovern, History; Gender and Sexuality Studies
    "Gorbachev and Yeltsin's Masculine Rivalry"
  • 2012/2013 - Catharine Savage, History; Gender and Sexuality Studies
    "The Personal is Academic: Women's Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University"
  • 2011/2012 - Co-recipients Ann Crawford-Roberts, Anthropology
    "Conceptualization of stigma associated with HIV/AIDS in Botswana"
  • 2011/2012 - Emily Mepham, Gender and Sexuality Studies
    "Working Mothers: Challenges and Barriers in the Perinatal Period"
  • 2010/2011 - Taylor Lane, Comparative Literature
    "Enterprise and Habit, or, How to Talk to Your Neighbor: Alcoholics Anonymous as a Social Model"
  • 2009/2010 - Joy Neumeyer, History
    "Public Discourse, Private Lives: Love, Sex, and Family in Late Soviet Russia"
  • 2008/2009 - Karen Dannemiller, Engineering
    "Household formaldehyde detection device"
  • 2007/2008 - Elisabeth A. Stelson, Education
    "Saving Women from Suffrage: Women Antisuffragists in Illinois, 1897-1913"

From 1995-2007 the Pembroke Center awarded this prize for an outstanding undergraduate honors thesis that addressed questions of gender or women, or that brought a feminist analysis to bear on a topic of study. In 2007, this award was changed from a prize for a completed honors thesis to a research grant available to support undergraduate honors research.

Past Prize Recipients

  • 2007 - Victoria L. Fortuna, Comparative Literature - "Unmaking Materiality: The Politics of Representation in Argentina’s 'Dirty War'"
  • 2006 - Jennifer Michelle Keighley, Political Science and Public Policy - "The Gubernatorial Role Model Effect: Do Female Political Chief Executives Improve Women’s Rates of Political Representation?"
  • 2005 - Sushil Chacko N. Jacob, International Relations - "The Peaks of Power: Women and Development in Himachal Pradesh, India"
  • 2004 - Tara Kolar Ramchandani, International Relations - "The Link Between Microfinance and Gender Development Theory: The Bolivian Cases of BancoSol and ProMujer"
  • 2003 - Sarah L. Mehta, Development Studies - "The Problematic Citizen: India’s Muslim Women and the Discord Between Rights and Culture"
  • 2003 - Sarah Talbot Staley, Public Policy - "Breaking the Glass Ceiling and Controlling the Floor: The Role of Women Representatives in the United States Senate"
  • 2002 - Bonnell Graedon, Religious Studies - "Guard the Mouth: Fasting and Silence in Early Christianity"
  • 2001 - Jennifer Marie Cartwright - "Credit Program Participation and Women’s Empowerment in Bangladesh"
  • 2001 - Rose Sarita Shuman, International Relations - "Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: The Invisible Epidemic Ugandan Refugee Settlements"
  • 2000 - Lindsay Edwards Kelley, Art Semiotics - "The Spiritual Reading: Mysticism in the Twentieth Century"
  • 1999 - Rebecca Schulman, Political Science - "Women in European Politics: What European Democracies Can Teach the United States"
  • 1998 - Dana Edell, Classics - Maenadic Experience: Euripides' Bacche and Beyond"
  • 1997 - Emma Wasserman, Religious Studies - "Death in Classical Athens: An Interpretation of Women, Gender, and Power Relationships in the Greek Funeral"
  • 1996 - Yael K Kropsky, Comparative Literature - "Unavowed Confessions Voided Avowels: Excerpts from Claude Cahun's Aveux non Avenus"
  • 1995 - Karina Palmira Lago, Portuguese & Brazilian Studies - "To Punish or Not to Punish: Domestic Violence and the Criminal Justice System in Brazil"