Ernestine Friedl Research Award

"Published in 1975, Women and Men exemplified my conviction that behavior on the ground – what people actually do or practice – is an essential beginning for investigations....The political economy of gender is, in my view, still where the main thrust should be found, but the value of studying the richness of symbol, ritual, and literary texts as a source of nuanced understanding of gender relations has become obvious."

- Ernestine Friedl

The Award

The Ernestine Friedl Research Fund was established by the family and friends of Dr. Friedl, a cultural anthropologist. Dr. Friedl's fieldwork in a Greek village was the first published study on modern Greece. She came to Duke in 1973 to chair the newly formed department of Cultural Anthropology. Dr. Friedl became the first woman Dean of Trinity College and (jointly) Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Duke from 1980 to 1985. The Women's Studies Program at Duke was established under her deanship. During her years at Duke, she served on the National Science Foundation Board and as president of the American Anthropological Association. She was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Awards of up to $1,500 will be given to foster research by graduate students working on the cultural, social and biological constructions of gender in any department of Duke University. The award may be used for travel, living expenses, direct costs incurred in collecting and analyzing information, or as a means of recognizing outstanding research work. Graduate students who have passed the preliminary examinations in their departments and are engaged in dissertation research and writing are eligible to apply. Winners will be asked to report on the use of these funds and their work. 

Funding Awarded for Travel or in-person events are subject to current CDC and Duke University policies and restrictions.  

Application Procedure

  • a proposal of 2-3 pages addressed to the Ernestine Friedl Research Award Committee and
  • a current curriculum vitae. 

The proposal should describe the student's dissertation project, the status of the work, a budget for requested funds, an explanation of other funds available to the student, and the name of the student's dissertation advisor. 


  • Zachary Levine (Cultural Anthropology) for "Altered States: Ayahuasca, Healing, and Restorative Justice in Brazil"
  • M.D. Murtagh (Literature) for "Matter's Constitutive Matrix: A Feminist Cosmogony of Primary Form, Incorporeality, and Nucleogenesis"


  • Kelly Alexander (Cultural Anthropology) for "The Value of Discard: Mapping the Politics of Food and Waste in Brussels, Belgium"
  • Annu Dahiya (Literature) for "A Return to Origins: Rethinking the Ontogenesis, Evolution, and Control of Life"
  • Laurel Iber (Romance Studies-French) for "La loi du genre: Aberrant Sex in Nineteenth-Century France"


  • Eladio Bobadilla (History) for "One People Without Borders: The Chicano Roots of the Immigrants' Rights Movement"


  • Leah Allen (Literature) for "Facts and Fictions: Feminist Literary Criticism and Cultural Critique, 1968-2000"
  • Saadia Yacoob (Religious Studies) for "Hermeneutics of Desire: Ontologies of gender and body in early Hanafi law"
  • Ryan Poe (History) for "Gilded Proprietors and Propertied Patriarchs: Property as Power in Post-Emancipation Richmond"


  • Azeen Khan (English) for "Aesthetics of Displeasure"
  • Paige Welch (History) for "The Right of Way: The Trans-Atlantic Pipeline and Equal Opportunity 1968-77"
  • Julia Lillis (Religion) for "Integrity, Seals, Uncorruption: Female Bodies & Configuration of the Virginity in Early Christianity"


  • Lindsay Andrews (English) for "American Experiments: The Science and Aesthetics of Clinical Practice in American Literature, 1880-1975"
  • Jennifer Kryszak (Religion) for "Imagining Church: Religious Images, Ecclesiology and the Ministry of Art"
  • Ketaki Pant (History) for "Homes of Capital: Merchants and Mobility in Indian Ocean Gujarat"


  • Kathleen Antonioli (Romance Studies) for "L'amateur est devenue professionelle": Colette, Professionalism and Gendered Literaty Production"
  • Cristine Ruiz (Romance Studies) for "Bad Girls on Stage: the Representation of Music Hall Artists in Popular Culture in Spain (1900-1936)"
  • Johanna Schuster-Craig (Germanic Languages and Literature) for "Gender and Representation in Contemporary Turkish-German Identity Politics"