Departmental Prizes

For Undergraduate Students

Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women's Studies

The Pembroke Center is pleased and honored to offer the Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women’s Studies. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding honors thesis on questions having to do with women or gender. In the spring, the Pembroke Center invites faculty in all fields to nominate honors theses for the prize. A committee of faculty who teach and write in the area of gender studies will make the selection.

If you wish to make a nomination, please send the following to Box 1958 by April 25:

  • thesis adviser’s evaluation
  • a copy of the thesis

The Ruth Simmons Prize carries with it an award of $1,000.

Full list of recipients of the Ruth Simmons Prize in Gender and Women's Studies

Congratulations to the 2014 Ruth Simmons Prize recipient

Saudi Garcia
Department of Anthropology

"The Dominican Second Generation Diasporic Experience: History, Community and Connection”

Established by President Ruth Simmons in 2008, this Pembroke Center prize recognizes an outstanding honors thesis related to women or gender. Saudi Garcia, an Anthropology concentrator, has received the honor this year.

Joan Wallach Scott Prize

The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women annually awards the Joan Wallach Scott Prize for an outstanding honors thesis in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Joan Wallach Scott is the Harold F. Linder Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. Among her many books are Gender and the Politics of History (1988), Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man (1996), Parité: Sexual Equality and the Crisis of French Universalism (2005), and The Politics of the Veil: Banning Islamic Headscarves in French Public Schools (2007). Professor Scott taught at Brown from 1980-1985, where she was Nancy Duke Lewis Professor and Professor of History. She was the founding director of the Pembroke Center.

Each year the Pembroke Center awards this prize for an outstanding thesis by a Gender and Sexuality Studies Concentrator.

Click for a list of all Joan Wallach Scott Prize recipients

Congratulations to the 2014 Joan Wallach Scott Prize recipient 

Darcy Pinkerton
Gender and Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies

“Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Sexual Consent in the Female Sexuality Workshop (FemSex)”

Darcy’s thesis entitled “Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Sexual Consent in the Female Sexuality Workshop (FemSex)” examines the uses of sexual consent in contemporary campus-based feminist activism and advocacy, focusing on a sex education workshop at Brown University. She examines the analytical and political ramifications of how these young feminists discursively and materially use consent to create a feminist ethics of sex and sexuality.

For Graduate Students

Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize

The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women annually awards the Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize for an outstanding dissertation in the area of feminist studies. Marie J. Langlois became a trustee emerita of the Corporation in 2007 having previously served as trustee and vice chancellor of the University since 1998.  She served as a member of the Board of Fellows from 1992 to 1998, as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1985, and as a trustee and treasurer of the University from 1988 to 1992. She received a bachelor of arts degree from Brown in 1964 and a master of business administration degree from Harvard University in 1967. Ms. Langlois recently retired as managing director of Washington Trust Investors, a division of Washington Trust Company.  She currently serves on the boards of directors of the Rhode Island Foundation, Lifespan, Salve Regina University, Rhode Island Philharmonic and Music School, and Rhode Island Public Radio.

Each year the Pembroke Center awards this prize for a dissertation in areas related to gender studies or feminist analysis. If you wish to nominate a dissertation, please send to Box 1958 by current nomination deadline date (April 25):

If you wish to nominate a dissertation, please send to Box 1958:

    • A nominating letter including a brief description of the dissertation
    • A letter of support from a second member of the dissertation committee
    • A copy of the dissertation

    The Marie J. Langlois Prize carries with it an award of $1,000.

    Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize recipients

    Congratulations to the 2014 Marie J. Langlois Dissertation Prize recipient

    Margaret Hennefeld
    Department of Modern Culture and Media

    "Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes"

    "Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes" explores the historical co-emergence of ideas of laughter and cinema as a medium. Hennefeld's focus is on early silent slapstick films that depict female metamorphosis: from magical butterfly women, to shape-shifting suffragette activists, to spontaneously combusting and self-dismembering kitchen maids. She reopens heated, early twentieth century debates about the social value of laughter—disciplinary ridicule versus non-instrumental jubilee—by raising questions about why spectators laugh at images of violence exercised on women’s bodies.

    Helen Terry MacLeod Prize

    From 1995-2007 the Pembroke Center awarded this prize for an outstanding undergraduate honors thesis that addressed questions of gender or women, or that brought a feminist analysis to bear on a topic of study.

    MacLeod Prize recipients 1995-2007

    In 2007, this award was changed from a prize for a completed honors thesis to a research grant available to support undergraduate honors research. See the grants page for more information.