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Joan Wallach Scott Prize

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Each year, the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women awards the Joan Wallach Scott Prize for an outstanding honors thesis in Gender and Sexuality Studies (GNSS).

There is no application process for this prize; a GNSS faculty committee selects the winner from each year's group of GNSS honors theses.

Joan Wallach Scott is the Harold F. Linder Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. Among her many books are Gender and the Politics of History (1988), Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man (1996), Parité: Sexual Equality and the Crisis of French Universalism (2005), and The Politics of the Veil: Banning Islamic Headscarves in French Public Schools (2007). Professor Scott taught at Brown from 1980-1985, where she was Nancy Duke Lewis Professor and Professor of History. She was the founding director of the Pembroke Center.

Each year the Pembroke Center awards this prize for an outstanding thesis by a Gender and Sexuality Studies Concentrator. The Joan Wallach Scott Prize carries with it an award of $500.

2021 Recipient

Congratulations to Lyle Cherneff, recipient of both the 2021 Ruth Simmons Prize and the 2021 Joan Wallach Scott Prize

For the first time, a thesis has been awarded both the Joan Wallach Scott prize for an outstanding thesis in Gender and Sexuality Studies and the Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women’s Studies. This is the first time that the Pembroke Center has given both prizes to the same thesis, which speaks to the superlative research and writing of Lyle Cherneff’s “The Ties That Bind: Incest and Family-Making in the Postbellum South.”

Lyle CherneffLyle Cherneff's thesis explores domestic culture in the postbellum South through the prism of incest. Lyle reads criminal court cases, state statutes, legal commentaries, written accounts authored by formerly enslaved persons and historic newspaper articles to document a postbellum culture of racialized sexual violence that was intimate, domestic and persistently unredressed. Informed by historians of Reconstruction, Black feminist scholars and legal theorists of sexuality, Lyle finds that incest carried the memory of the intimate and violent sexual culture of the slave plantation into the postbellum South.

Past Recipients

  • 2021 - Lyle Cherneff, Gender and Sexuality Studies - "The Ties That Bind: Incest and Family-Making in the Postbellum South"
  • 2020 - Tabitha Payne, Development Studies - "Queer Histories of the Khmer Rouge Regime: Surviving Sex/Gender and Genocide"
  • 2019 - Hang My Tran - "everyone walks around with their head tilted down to the flowers"
  • 2018 - Zoë Sackman - "Wicked Witches of the West: Colonial Impulses in 20th Century Neopagan Theory and Practice"
  • 2015 - Bennett W. Knox - "Damaged Brain or Damaged Rhetoric: A Critique of Biological Conceptions of Depression"
  • 2014 - Darcy Pinkerton - "Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Sexual Consent in the Female Sexuality Workshop (FemSex)"
  • 2013 - Sisa Mateo - "Elektra's Flesh: A New Life and a New Language for a Bruised Heroine"
  • 2012 - Kathryn A. Davis - "Seeing Queerly, Selling Queerly: Reconceptualizing LGBTQ-Targeted Television Advertising and Audience Reception"
  • 2011 - Stephanie Paris - "Whoring In America: Sacred Sex, Subjugation, and Stigma in the Land of Liberty"
  • 2010 - Alanna Kwoka - "Redefining Waves: Reconceptualizing Feminism for the Twenty-First Century"
  • 2010 - Ana Carmen and Martinez-Ortiz Carcheri - "Paradox-Absorbing Lady Parts: Reading Jacques Lacan’s Sexuation Graph"
  • 2009 - Lily Susanna Shield - "Blogging Feminism: Towards a Politics of Intersectionality and Inclusion"
  • 2007 - Mary Kathryn Horning - "Managing Difference: Immigration, Integration, and Identity in Modern Germany"
  • 2006 - Jennifer Lynn Lambe - "The Gendered Inflection of Cuban Anti-Castro Dissidence"
  • 2005 - Amanda Stephanie Hainsworth - "Policing Sexuality: The Historical Foundations of Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Sex Education and Its Impact on U.S. Teenagers"
  • 2004 - Nathalie Jordi - "'Our apprenticeship at the art of Graceful living': Distinction through French Cooking in America, 1941-1980"
  • 2004 - Jessica Wilson - "Gender, Ambiguity, and the Mande Oral Tradition: Female Groits and the Construction of Identity"
  • 2003 - Emma Kathryn Kuby - "Feminist Campus Politics and Violence against Women: A Study in the History of Student Activism against Domestic Violence and Rape at Brown University, 1976-1994"
  • 2003 - Kelly Elizabeth Phipps - "Gender and the Language of Struggle: Republican Representations of Women in the Spanish Civil War"
  • 2002 - Heather Emery Smith - "Janes, Joes, and Johns: Public Restrooms and the Sex/Gender Binary"
  • 2001 - Katherine Ann Shaw - "Bodies, Genders, Borders: Hijaras inBanares"
  • 2000 - Stephanie Ann Sterling - "Sex, Violence, or Victims: Foucault, MacKinnon, and the Civil Rights Remedy of the Violence Against Women Act"
  • 1999 - Anika Streitfeld - "Singular Lives, Collective Legacies: Individual Women in the Work of Margaret Fuller and Adrienne Rich"
  • 1998 - Kathryn Rebecca Cook - "Making Meaning Slide: Same-Sex Marriage, Rights Rhetoric, and the Constitution"
  • 1997 - Rose-Ellen Lessy - "Venus in Feathers: Angela Carter, Magical Realism, and Fabulous Figures of Femininity"
  • 1996 - Lisa Moore - "Gender, Immigration, and Political Participation: A Study of Community Involvement among Guatemalan Immigrant Women in Rhode Island"
  • 1995 - Eve Stotland - "The Legal Construction of Consent: Race and Gender in Rape Law"
  • 1994 - Andrea Dehlendorf - "How Did We Get to ‘Nanny Gate’: A History of Domestic Service in Twentieth-Century America"
  • 1993 - Rachel Gordon - "Sexually Transmitted Identities: A Study of the Role of Female Sexuality in The Moynihan Report and Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice"
  • 1992 - Lecia Rosenthal - "Reading Walter Benjamin's ‘Feminine Figures’"
  • 1991 - Rachel Sherman - "Collective Actors and Political Systems: The Influence of Political Conditions on Neighborhood and Women's Movements in Brazil and Chile"
  • 1990 - Karen Brown - "Rethinking the Metropolis: The Relationship between Constructs of Gender and Planned Urban Form"
  • 1989 - Alys Weinbaum - "Rethinking Reproductive Technologies"
  • 1988 - Rinku Sen - "Race, Class, and Sexuality in the Formation of Communities: An Examination of Silko's Ceremony and Erdrich's Love Machine"
  • 1987 - Nina Perales - "Poor Widows and Helpless Wives: The Politics of Aid to Families with Dependent Children"
  • 1986 - Heather Findlay - "Strange Bedfellows: Female Sexuality and Feminist Theory"