Pembroke Center
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Ruth Simmons Prize

Funding Opportunities

The Pembroke Center is pleased and honored to offer the Ruth Simmons Prize. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding honors thesis on questions having to do with women, gender, or sexuality. In the spring, the Pembroke Center invites faculty in all fields to nominate honors theses for the prize. A committee of faculty who teach and write in the area of gender studies will make the selection.

If you wish to make a nomination, please email the following to by 1:00 pm on the current nomination deadline date: Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

  • Thesis advisor’s evaluation
  • Copy of the thesis

The Ruth Simmons Prize carries with it an award of $1,000.

2024 Recipient
Kate Harty

Kate Harty ’24, History, “Sheltering Women: Coverture, Debt, and the Law in Post-Emancipation Virginia”




Past Recipients

  • 2023 - Sofia Sacerdote ’22.5, American Studies,
    “‘Dead but Not Disabled’: What the Lawsuit and Campaign to Change the CDC Definition of AIDS Reveal about Disability in Post-Regan America”
  • 2023 Honorable Mention - Georgia Salke ’23, History,
    "When Women Drink Like Men: A Gendered History of Alcoholics Anonymous' Early Years, 1935-1960" 
  • 2023 Honorable Mention - Katherine Xiong ’23, Comparative Literature
    “Post-apocalyptic Body World(ing): Transpacific Racial Capitalism, Coloniality, and Queer/Asian/Female Speculative Futures”
  • 2022 - Jamila Beesley ’22, American Studies, International and Public Affairs 
    “The Architects of the Solutions They Need: Dalit Feminism in the U.S. Caste Abolition Movement”
  • 2022 Honorable Mention - Lillian Pickett ’22, American Studies
    “(En)gendering Violence, Imaging Safety: Carceral Politics in Rhode Island’s Feminist Movement, 1970-2009”
  • 2021 - Lyle Cherneff, Gender and Sexuality Studies
    "The Ties That Bind: Incest and Family-Making in the Postbellum South"
  • 2021 Honorable Mention - Gemma Sack, History
    "Selling Mrs. Procreator: Eugenics, Homemaking, and American Nationalism in Women's Magazines, 1929-1939"
  • 2021 Honorable Mention - Cal Turner, Comparative Literature
    "The Virtue of the Virago: Gender-Crossing Difference and the Social Life of the Early Modern Female Crossdresser"
  • 2020 - Sebastián Niculescu, Ethnic Studies
    "Ábreme: Performing Trans of Color Critique"
  • 2019 - Alex Burnett, History
    "Fighting Homophobia During the War on Crime: The Rise of Pro-Gay, Pro-Police Liberalism, 1967-80"
  • 2018 - Deborah Pomeranz, Ethnic Studies
    "Policing the City: How Discourses of Public Safety Reshaped New York"
  • 2017 - Rebecca Hansen, English, Nonfiction Writing
    "On Coming Forward"
  • 2016 - Melanie Abeygunawardana, English and Literary Arts
    "The Persistent Dialogue: Butch-Femme Erotics as Queer Reading"
  • 2015 - Leila Blatt, Africana Studies
    "From the Shadows of Choice: Activism, Power, and Black Women’s Struggle for Reproductive Justice"
  • 2014 - Charlotte Lindemann, English
    "Visions in Vertigo and The Turn of the Screw: A 'reading-adventure'"
  • 2013 - Emma Janaskie, Modern Culture & Media
    "The Constant State of Desire: Thinking the Sexual Specificity of the Abjected/Fluid Female Body with Kristeva and Irigaray"
  • 2012 - Natalia Fadul, Comparative Literature
    "The Female Mind and Absent Body: Writing Female Subjectivity"
  • 2011 - Nandini Jayakrishna, International Relations
    "A Critical Convergence: Gender Development Theory and the Practice of Women’s Empowerment in the Indian Informal Sector"
  • 2009 - Soyoung Park, Sociology
    "Silenced Pain: The Korean Comfort Women’s Struggle to Matter"
  • 2008 - Sara Tabak Damiano, History
    "From the Shadows of the Bar: Law and Women’s Legal Literacy in Eighteenth-Century Newport"