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Studies in Sexualities Essay Prize

2023 Student Essay Prize

Emory University's Studies in Sexualities Program seeks submissions for its 2023 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 Sameena Mulla by Tuesday, March 14, 2023 at


Undergraduate Essay Award Winners


  • Karina Nehra, "Care and Femininity in Colonial India: The Gendered Medical Gaze"

Highly Commended Essay: 

  • Gabriella Shapcott, "How Queerness Enhances Spiritual and Religious Practices in Africa"

Katy Mayfield,"Affect and Agnotology in SB 8's Abortion Rhetoric"

Highly Commended Essay:
       •   Amalia Tenuta, "From 'Fetal Rights' Legislation to the 'Transgender Child': Considering a 'Trans of Color' Critique of Reproductive Justice Frameworks" 

  • 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.


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


  • 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”

Graduate Essay Award Winners


  • Emilie Casey, "Pastoralizing Care: Carceral Power, Sexual Deviance, and Psychological Disability in the Early Clinical Pastoral Education Movement"

Highly Commended Essay:

  • Joslyn Gardner"Feeling Ecstatic: Ecstasy as Embodied Practice

       •  Corwin Davis"Kin/folk: Notes on Black queer Diaspora and Ancillary Modes of Kinship" 

Highly Commended Essay:
       •  Mansi Hitesh"Troubling Transracialism: Transgender, Transnationality, and the Progress Narrative of Trans"  

  • 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. 


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


  • Brendan Moore: “Theory’s Trasvestissement”

Highly Commended Undergraduate Essay

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