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Wollstonecraft awards announced

Essays on gender roles in athletics, Christianity and protest were the winners of this year's 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. Any course offered in the college could be the basis for written work addressing  questions relevant to the Wollstonecraft Award.

Winners receive a small monetary award and a certificate of recognition.


Long Analytical Essay

First place, Alyssa Froehling, “Man Don’t Feel Like a Woman: Christian Spiritual Interpretations, the Binary Gender System, & How They Lead to Misogyny & Homophobia" (instructor Dr. Daniel Morris). Froehling is a senior from Palatine, Ill., majoring in English and creative writing.

First place, Rashaun DeBord, "From Weak Woman to New Woman & Back: the Long Struggle to Legitimize Women Athletes in the U.S." (instructor Dr. Brian Leech). DeBord is a senior from Kewanee, Ill., majoring in history.

Second place, Grace Carlson, "Where do Women Stand?: Attitudes Towards Female Political Participation in India & the U.S." (instructor Dr. Paul Croll). Carlson is a senior from Crystal Lake, Ill., majoring in political science and sociology.

Second place, Hannah Griggs, "Reproducing the Capitalist Patriarchy in the Evangelical Christian Purity Movement: A Feminist Christian’s Concern & Hope" (instructor Dr. Jennifer Popple). Griggs is a junior from Bettendorf, Iowa, majoring in religion.

Short Analytical Essay

First place, Hannah Griggs, "Salvation Through Community & Protest" (instructor Dr. Jason Mahn).

First place, Erin Cygan, "Maria de Zayas & the Art of Breaking Free" (instructor Jennifer Heacock-Renaud). Cygan is a sophomore from Orland Park, Ill., majoring in biochemistry and environmental studies.

Second place, Mikaylo Kelly, "Gardening With Ecofeminism" (instructor Dr. Angela Carter). Kelly is a first-year student from Evanston, Ill., majoring in environmental studies.

Second place, Giselle Carter, "Being the Other Woman: Watanabe’s Unrequited Love for Naoko in Norwegian Wood" (instructor Dr. Catherine Goebel). Carter is a junior from Carol Stream, Ill., majoring in biology.

Personal/Reflective Essay

First place, Elena Leith, "The Whole World to Please" (instructor Dr. Kelly Daniels). Leith is a senior from Aurora, Ill., majoring in creative writing and women's and gender studies.

Second place, Briana Lee, "What a Fat Girl Wants" (instructor Dr. Rebecca Wee). Lee is a sophomore from Elgin, Ill., majoring in biology.
Entries are judged anonymously by professors from other colleges. Judges this year were Dr. Namrata Mitra, assistant professor of English at Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y.Dr. Jill Duquaine-Watson, a lecturer at the University of Texas, Dallas; Dr. Cate Denial, professor of American history at Knox College, Galesburg, Ill.; and Dr. Leah Shafer, assistant professor of media and society at Hobart and Williams College, Geneva, N.Y.

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