Departmental Prizes

For Undergraduate Students

Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women's Studies

The Pembroke Center is pleased and honored to offer the Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women’s Studies. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding honors thesis on questions having to do with women or gender. 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 send the following to Box 1958 by April 25:

  • thesis adviser’s evaluation
  • a copy of the thesis

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

Full list of recipients of the Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women's Studies

Congratulations to the 2013 Ruth Simmons Prize recipient

Emma Janaskie
Department of Modern Culture and Media

"The Constant State of Desire: Thinking Sexual Specificity of the Abjected/Fluid Female Body with Kristeva and Irigaray”

Established by President Ruth Simmons in 2008, this Pembroke Center prize recognizes an outstanding honors thesis related to women or gender. Emma Janaskie, a Modern Culture and Media concentrator, has received the honor this year.

Janaskie’s thesis, titled "The Constant State of Desire: Thinking Sexual Specificity of the Abjected/Fluid Female Body with Kristeva and Irigaray” explores feminist theory and the politics of aesthetics. Janaskie examines the work of feminist scholars Elizabeth Grosz, Julia Kristeva, and Luce Irigaray in order to develop a theoretical account of sexual difference, subjectivity, language, and the body. Janaskie turns to Karen Finley’s performance art piece, The Constant State of Desire, in order to raise the question of women's self-representation and as an aesthetic example that dramatizes cultural representations of sexual violence and women's abjection. Her thesis aims to disrupt representations of the female body that denigrate it relative to the male body as well as those that presume a universal body unmarked by difference. 

This summer, Janaskie plans to pursue an internship at the Penguin Press in New York. In a few years, she hopes to return to graduate school in feminist studies and literature. 

Joan Wallach Scott Prize

The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women annually awards the Joan Wallach Scott Prize for an outstanding honors thesis in Gender and Sexuality Studies. 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.

Click for a list of all Joan Wallach Scott Prize recipients

Congratulations to the 2013 Joan Wallach Scott Prize recipient 

Sisa Mateo
Gender and Sexuality Studies and Comparative Literature

"Elektra's Flesh: A New Life and a New Language for a Bruised Heroine"

Mateo rethinks the Greek myth of Electra and its subsequent traditions in the modern West through both a full-length theatrical script and academic thesis that, together, engage in novel ways with cultural notions of femininity and the mother/daughter relationship.  Her project moves among the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; modern treatments by Eugene O'Neil and Jean-Paul Sartre; and feminist theorists Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Hélène Cixous. In addition to the script and thesis, Mateo produced a rehearsal blog and directed public performances of her play, “The Elektra Project(ion).”

 

After graduation, Mateo will serve as a Teach for America corps member in the Mississippi Delta. Upon completion of her two-year teaching commitment, she hopes to pursue graduate work in Comparative Literature and Feminist Performance Studies.

 

For Graduate Students

Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize

The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women annually awards the Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize for an outstanding dissertation in the area of feminist studies. Marie J. Langlois became a trustee emerita of the Corporation in 2007 having previously served as trustee and vice chancellor of the University since 1998.  She served as a member of the Board of Fellows from 1992 to 1998, as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1985, and as a trustee and treasurer of the University from 1988 to 1992. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Brown in 1964 and a master of business administration degree from Harvard University in 1967. Ms. Langlois recently retired as managing director of Washington Trust Investors, a division of Washington Trust Company.  She currently serves on the boards of directors of the Rhode Island Foundation, Lifespan, Salve Regina University, Rhode Island Philharmonic and Music School, and Rhode Island Public Radio.

Each year the Pembroke Center awards this prize for a dissertation in areas related to gender studies or feminist analysis. If you wish to nominate a dissertation, please send to Box 1958 by current nomination deadline date (April 25):

If you wish to nominate a dissertation, please send to Box 1958:

    • A nominating letter including a brief description of the dissertation
    • A letter of support from a second member of the dissertation committee
    • A copy of the dissertation

    The Marie J. Langlois Prize carries with it an award of $1,000.

    Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize recipients

    Congratulations to the 2013 Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize recipient

    Sohini Kar
    Department of Anthropology

    "Creditable Lives: Microfinance, Development and Financial Risk in India"

    Kar explores how microfinance lenders and borrowers negotiate the often-divergent ethics of financial sustainability and locally constituted obligations and relationships. Over the past decade, the rapidly growing for-profit (and highly profitable) microfinance sector in India has extended credit to the poorest populations under the auspices of the government’s “financial inclusion” policy aimed at inclusive growth. Kar examines credit as a site of encounter between global finance, state and institutional norms and regulations, and the situated everyday practices of the urban poor. She investigates the kinds of moral, ethical and cultural norms financial institutions deploy to manage the risk of enfolding the poor into expanding financial networks, and how these practices produce new economic subjects.

    Helen Terry MacLeod Prize

    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.

    MacLeod Prize recipients 1995-2007

    In 2007, this award was changed from a prize for a completed honors thesis to a research grant available to support undergraduate honors research. See the grants page for more information.