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Studies in Sexualities Essay Prize

2021 Student Essay Prize

Emory University's Studies in Sexualities Program seeks submissions for its 2021 Student Essay Prize!

We will award one prize ($250) for the best undergraduate essay and one prize ($250) for the best graduate essay. All current Emory University students may submit to the contest.

Essays should be a maximum of 5,000 words (excluding bibliography and footnotes) and may derive from any Emory course, including classes in Emory College, Oxford College, the Laney Graduate School, Goizueta Business School, School of Law, School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Rollins School of Public Health, Candler School of Theology.

Please email submissions and a 250-word abstract to Stu Marvel by Friday, January 15, 2021 at


2021 Winners

For Undergraduate Essay Awards

  • Emma Kantor, "Agents of Destruction : Sexual Assault Realisation in Girls and I May Destroy You". Written for Film 102 with Dr. Michelle Schrieber in the Department of Film and Media Studies.
Highly Commended Essay:
  • Hannah Thomas Risman, "Where can the Black/Queer Body Rest in Amerika?". Written for Black Queer Studies with Dr. Alix Chapman in the Dept. of African American Studies.

For Graduate Essay Awards

  • Elara Sherman, "Birthing Monsters : Fetal Memorials, Horror Shows, and Feminine Writing of the Clandestine Abortion", Department of French and Italian.
Highly Commended Essays:
  • Sana Malik Noon, "Muslim Women's Subjectivity : Beyond Piety and Promiscuity", Department of Anthropology.
  • Samantha Wrisley, "The Affective Content of "Normal Contempt" : Misogyny as a Condition of Ambivalence", Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. 

2019-2020 Prize

Best Undergraduate Essay


  • Kira Tucker: "Embracing the Abject: Queer as a Term of Linguistic Resistance”

Best Graduate Essay


  • Rohit Chakraborty: "(Over)Bearing Desires: Reassessing hegemonic masculinity and validating female carnality in Radhika Govindrajan The Bear Who Loved a Woman"

2018-2019 Prize

Best Undergraduate Essay


  • Misa Stekl: “Queer Bio/Necropolitics in Terrorist Assemblages and Beyond”

Highly Commended Undergraduate Essays

  • Laura Briggs: “Class Boundaries, Masculinization, and Sexual Assault in Kenneth MacMillan's Manon”
  • Felipe de Almeid: “At the Margins of the Homosexual/Transgender Divide”


Best Graduate Essay


  • Brendan Moore: “Theory’s Trasvestissement”

Highly Commended Undergraduate Essay

  • Suzanne Persard: “Decriminalizing Section 377: The Liberal Limits of Decolonizing Brown Queer”