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 24:

  • 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 2015 Ruth Simmons Prize recipients

Leila Blatt
Africana Studies

"From the Shadows of Choice: Activism, Power, and Black Women's Struggle for Reproductive Justice" 

Through SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, this thesis explores the interplay between activists, the state, and biomedicine as they contest the boundaries of black women's reproduction. This project seeks to illustrate the complex negotiations between theoretical conditions of women of color solidarity in relation to the praxis of anti-black violence. In considering the boundaries of reproductive self-determination, this project imagines the possibility for creating capacities for daily and intimate rituals of reproductive freedom. 

Charlotte Lindemann
English
"Visions in Vertigo and The Turn of the Screw: a 'reading-adventure'"

Lindemann's thesis is a meditation on the relationship between vision and interpretation as it is brought in to focus by two very different works' shared preoccupation with their haunted heroines. Both built around determining first impressions that unfold to disastrous conclusions, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo are studies of subjectivities that evade vision's fixed image of female identity. 

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 2015 Joan Wallach Scott Prize recipient 

Bennett Knox
Gender and Sexuality Studies and Biology

“Damaged Brain or Damaged Rhetoric: A Critique of Biological Conceptions of Depression”

Knox’s thesis examines rhetoric that insists on the biological etiology of depression, questioning its nuance and effectiveness for addressing discrimination and stigmatization. Through comparison to similar discourses surrounding sexuality, and by drawing on theories from feminist and queer studies, it suggests a rejection of the “social vs. biological” debate in depression etiology, as a basis for more complex re-imaginings of depression.

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 24):

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 2015 Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize recipient

    Erin K. Krafft
    Slavic Studies

    "Reading Revolution in Russian Women's Writing: Radical Theories, Practical Action, and Bodies at Work"

    Weaving together literature, historical texts, and Russian and international feminist theories, this study follows the development of the tradition of Russian women's writing and fictional depictions of the everyday from the 1830s to the present. This tradition, examined on its own terms and outside of the literary and historical canon, reveals social and cultural shifts and revolutions that are often positioned as footnotes in the larger master narrative of Russian political and literary history. 

    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.