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 email the following to [email protected] by 1:00 pm on the current nomination deadline date:
- thesis adviser’s evaluation
- a copy of the thesis
The Ruth Simmons Prize carries with it an award of $1,000.
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. The Joan Wallach Scott Prize carries with it an award of $500.
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 Cherneff '21
Gender and Sexuality Studies
Lyle 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.
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 email the following to [email protected] by 1:00 pm on the current nomination date:
- 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.
Whitney Arey won the 2021 Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize for her dissertation in American studies titled “Abortion as Care: Affective and Biosocial Experiences of Abortion Access and Decision-Making.” Describing her work, Arey says, “I argue that this politicization makes the formation of temporary biosocial relationships with strangers possible. I explore the role that family, friends, partners, healthcare workers, and anti-abortion protesters play in abortion access. I show how patients’ already constrained access abortion care is made possible by, and sometimes made more difficult by, their relationships with others.”
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.
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.