Gender and Race Research Award

This award recognizes outstanding final research papers produced by undergraduate and graduate students addressing the intersections of gender and race. It also provides research support for well-articulated undergraduate or graduate projects intended to pursue topics related to the intersections of gender and race.

The Award

In 1996, a group of African-American alumnae who serve on the Council on Women’s Studies, which is the advisory board to the campus program, created a fund to support and encourage student scholarship on gender and race. Awards of up to $1,000 will be given to recognize undergraduate and graduate students who produce an outstanding final research paper on the intersections of gender and race, or to support their research on the intersections of gender and race.

In the latter case, the award may be used for travel, living expenses, and direct costs incurred in collecting and analyzing information, copying documents, and conference registration fees. Winners of a research support award will be asked to report on the use of these funds and their work within three weeks of completion of the research or conference trip.

Undergraduate and graduate student research papers and project proposals are evaluated separately.

Students who have a well-defined research project that they wish to pursue or outstanding research they wish to be recognized are encouraged to apply for an award.

Application Procedures

For research support awards, an application should include a detailed proposal of 2-3 pages addressed to the Gender and Race Research Award Committee; a current curriculum vitae or resume; and a copy of current transcript. The proposal should describe the overall project, the status of the work already in progress or the specific resource materials to be studied, the reasons for undertaking this specific topic, and an estimated budget for the research project if applicable. Applicants for the research support award should include the name of a faculty member who can be contacted as a reference.

Funding Awarded for travel or in-person events is subject to current federal and Duke University policies and restrictions.

Final research papers submitted for recognition should include a cover page with the paper title, prompt, course name, date, and professor name, in addition to student name, year in school, and major (if relevant). We invite direct student applications for research paper awards and encourage faculty to nominate outstanding work by communicating directly to a student and sharing this URL so they may apply.


  • Helena Guenther (Undergraduate) for "White, But Colored: The Emancipated Slaves of New Orleans"
  • Christiana Oshotse (Undergraduate) for "Exploring Microfinance and Poverty Reduction Among Rural Women in Edo State, Nigeria"
  • Sasha Panaram (English) for "The Space in Between: Black Women and Ecologies of Middle Passage"


  • Ajenai Clemmons  (Public Policy) for “What Actually Matters: The Whats, Whys, and Whens Behind Civilian Assessment of Police”


  • Israel Augustus Durham (English) for “Stay Black and Die: On Melancholy and Genius”


  • Malakha Bility (Undecided, UG '18) for “Such Great Heights”
  • Mina Ezikpe (Cultural Anthropology, UG '17) for “Strategies for Reintegrating”
  • Robert Reece (Sociology, Ph.D.) for “A Qualitative Investigation of Black Webcam Models”


  • Layla Brown (Cultural Anthropology) for "Radical Transformations: The Politics of Black Womanhood in Neo-Socialist and Neo-Liberal Americas"
  • Julie Martin (Social Psychology) for "Belonging and Well-being in the Context of Sorority Recruitment"
  • Meggan Farish (History) for "Mediating Violence in the Post-Revolutionary United States: Communities, Conflict, and Local Law, 1790-1840"
  • Farren Yero (History) for "Of Daughters and Dragons: Regulation, Medicine, and Gendered Disease in Bourbon Mexico"


  • Ana Huang (Cultural Anthropology) for “Sexual Progress, Female Masculinity and Racial Aesthetics in Chinese Lesbian Culture”
  • Amanda Hughett (History) for “Beyond the Prison Gales: Women's Grassroots Activism & the Politics of Criminal Justice in NC 1968-94”
  • Taneisha Means (Political Science) for “They're There, Now What: Racial and Gender Representation in US Courts”
  • Ashley Young (History) for “Race & Gender in 19th Century New Orleans Foodways”


  • Rizvana Bradley (Literature) for “Corporeal Resurfacings: Thornton Dial, Faustin Linyekula and Nick Cave”
  • Divya Guru Rajan (Public Policy) for “Dimensions of Perceived Discrimination Among Dalit Women in India”
  • Stephanie Rytilahti (History) for “Radical Congregants: Religious Liberalism and Lesbian Community Building in North Carolina, 1970-1990”
  • Milkie Vu (History & Cultural Anthropology) for “Interracial Relationship and Marriage in Indochina”
  • Valerie Wade (History) for “Problem Girls and Decent Women: Social Motherhood, Juvenile Delinquency, and the Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls”


  • Lindsay Andrews (English) for "Experimental Treatment: Art and Alternatives to the Pathologization of Race and Gender in American Medicine"
  • Erica Fretwell (English) for "Senses of Belongin: The Syn/aesthetics of Citizenship in Post-bellum American Literature"