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Mary Wollstonecraft Writing Award

This award, named in honor of Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the English philosopher who wrote the classic text A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), is given annually by the Augustana Women's and Gender Studies Program.

It is designed to recognize excellence in women's and gender scholarship at the undergraduate level.

Awards are typically presented in three categories:

  1. Short analytical essay
  2. Long analytical essay
  3. Personal/reflective prose (perhaps a series of journals you've written for a class, or a paper that draws heavily on your own experience, or makes its point creatively, rather than analytically)

Entries are in the spring term for student papers written in the previous spring, fall, and winter terms. Entry deadline is typically around April 1.

The deparment seeks entries that display excellent liberal arts scholarship and creativity at the undergraduate level. Entries should have a thesis or underlying insight that is skillfully supported and rhetorically effective. Since feminist scholars have influenced all academic fields, any course offered in the college could, potentially, be the basis for written work addressing historical, theoretical, social, psychological, artistic, and economic questions relevant to the Wollstonecraft Award.

Winners receive a small monetary award and a certificate of recognition. Entries are judged anonymously by professors from other colleges.

For more information, contact Jennifer Popple or Umme Al-Wazedi.

Wollstonecraft Essay Winners 2016

Essays on the LGBTQ community in Taiwan, women's cultural weaving projects, as well as the representation of women in cartoons make up the winners of the 2016 Wollstonecraft Essay Contest.

The award is named for Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the English philosopher who wrote the classic text "A Vindication of the Rights of Women."  It is given annually by the women's and gender studies department to recognize excellence in women's and gender scholarship at the undergraduate level.

Awards are presented in three categories: short analytical essay, long analytical essay, and personal/reflective prose.

The department seeks entries that display excellent liberal arts scholarship and creativity at the undergraduate level. Entries should have a thesis or underlying insight that is skillfully supported and rhetorically effective. Since feminist scholars have influenced all academic fields, any course offered in the college could, potentially, be the basis for written work addressing historical, theoretical, social, psychological, artistic, and economic questions relevant to the Wollstonecraft Award.

Winners will receive a small monetary award and a certificate of recognition. Entries will be judged anonymously by professors from other colleges.

Wollstonecraft Essay Award Winners 2016

Long analytical essay

First prize: Leah Shelton, a senior from Pekin, Ill., majoring in communication sciences and disorders and religion, "Thecla Penetrates the Popular Perception."

Second prize: Irene Mekus, a senior from East Moline, Ill., majoring in geography and public health, "Music and the Migrant: A Transnational Account of Cumbia." 

Short analytical essay

First prize: Rebecca Knapper, a senior from Davenport Iowa, majoring in creative writing and English, "Parallels and Foils between the Men and Women in the Icelandic Family Sagas."

Second prize: Hannah Griggs, a sophomore from Bettendorf, Iowa, majoring in religion, "Indian Women's Uplift Movements and the Dangers of Cultural Imperialism."

Third Prize: Kyle Christensen, "The Das Sisters: Models of the Empowered Indian Woman in 'Clear Light of Day'"

Honorable mention: Alyssa Froehling, a senior from Palatine, Ill., majoring in creative writing and English, "Fictional Survivors and Real Life Survivors: Fede Alvarez's "Evil Dead" as a Slasher Film and Unnecessary Depictions of Sexual Violence."

Personal/reflective essay

First place: Alice Roberson, "The Public vs. the Private."

Vázquez-Valarezo Poetry Award

First place: Camilla Best, a junior from Elmhurst, Ill., majoring in teaching language arts and English, "If Victoria's Secret Clearance Bras Could Talk."