Friday, March 11, 2011

"And The Envelope Please:" CLGBTH Announces Its 2010 Prizes

Breaking news from Ian Lekus, Chair of the Committee on LGBT History (affiliated with the American Historical Association):

Margot Canaday’s The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton University Press) has been awarded the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History's 2011 John Boswell Prize. The John Boswell Prize is awarded for an outstanding book on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and/or queer history published in English during the two previous years.

The Prize Committee prepared the following commendation:  “Canaday’s stunning analysis of the U.S. state during the twentieth century carves out a bold new place for sexuality at the center of political and legal history. Through a compelling series of case studies, The Straight State tells a story about the bureaucratic regulation of sexual and civic identities that are made problematic through their interaction with state actors and processes. Canaday’s insights about how federal power made homosexuality increasingly visible over time are sure to inspire fresh directions in work not only in GLBT history, but on citizenship and state-formation in history and beyond. This is a truly original book. Margot Canaday is an assistant professor of history at Princeton University.”

Download Margot's book to Kindle here! For a cute picture of Margot go here!

Cleverly using awards for scholarly excellence to recruit the young to homosexuality, the Committee also awards prizes to undergraduate historians.  This year Shelley Grosjean has been awarded the 2011 Joan Nestle Undergraduate Prize for “A ‘Womyn’s’ Work is Never Done: The Gendered Division of Labor on Lesbian Separatist Lands in Southern Oregon.”  The Nestle Prize is awarded for an outstanding paper on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and/or queer history completed in English by an undergraduate student during the previous two years.

The Prize Committee writes:  “Shelley Grosjean’s well-written and persuasive exploration of lesbian lands in Oregon makes imaginative use of a wealth of wonderful sources: images as well as texts. She locates these utopian experiments in the contexts of 1970s lesbian feminism and back-to-the-land movements, moving easily between the experiential details of daily life and labor and the larger political, economic, and social forces that gave them meaning. Her paper illuminates not only the visions of community that motivated so many women; it helps to explain why their practical efforts to realize those visions met so many obstacles. Grosjean is an undergraduate at the University of Oregon.”

The Prize Committee also awarded an Honorable Mention to Bradley Milam for his essay, “Gay West Virginia: Community Formation and the Forging of a Gay Appalachian Identity, 1963-1979,” noting:

“Bradley Milam tells a moving and emotionally rich story about Appalachia, a part of the United States that has, to date, been almost invisible in GLBT history. Relying on oral histories, Milam’s paper counters the urban bias of so many gay community studies. He suggests that the elements of gay life and consciousness in West Virginia emerged in a chronologically distinctive fashion that may be more typical of rural areas. Even more provocatively, he argues that many gays and lesbians in the state resolved their identities not by leaving home, but by doing exactly what they were raised to do: attend church, form families, and adhere to traditional American values. Milam is a 2010 graduate of Yale University.”

The Prize Committee, chaired by Ellen Herman, included Chris Waters and Stephanie Gilmore.

Cross posted at Cliopatria.


Comrade PhysioProf said...

Margot Canaday is an assistant professor of history at Princeton University.

Sounds like somebody's gonna get fucken promoted!!!!!!!!

Liza said...

I'd love to have a peek at "Womyn's work is never done" Do you know if parts of it, or the whole thing, is available anywhere?

Tenured Radical said...

I don't -- you could ask Stephanie Gilmore, at Dickinson, how to get in touch with the winner....

Bear Left said...

I was thinking I might ask Grosjean & Milam how they felt about sharing your work on the website.

Also, for anyone reading this: the Committee on LGBT History website is

Bear Left said...

Also, it's really interesting - if a coincidence - that both our winning undergrad papers recognized research on rural LGBT history.

Buster said...

Thanks for posting on the undergrad prizes. After a week when my students turned in some less-than-inspiring work, it's reassuring to be reminded of the kind of work that they might have done. Those essays sound wonderful, and I do hope that they become public somehow.

Brian Distelberg said...

The Nestle Prize essays are now available on the Committee on LGBT History website. Ryan Darrow is also sharing his 2009 prize-winning essay, “’A Great Surge of Purpose’: Gay Persons with AIDS and Alternative Therapies.”

Fabian Smith said...

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