Graduate Essay Prize

Click to see Past Recipients


The graduate essay competition is open to graduate students in Women’s and Gender Studies graduate courses, Women’s and Gender Studies graduate programs, and Women’s and Gender Studies streams in Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs - with preference given to graduate students in Women’s and Gender Studies graduate programs/courses. Essays are anonymously reviewed by a committee of approximately 3-5 people, and assessed using the following criteria:

  • Was a relevant argument set out in the paper? If so, was the argument fully developed throughout the paper?
  • Were other studies/reports/research referred to? In other words, was there a detailed analysis conducted on the issue?
  • Was this paper unique in some way? Was there any evidence of originality/creativity?
  • Was the writing style at an acceptable level? Were there any grammatical errors or spelling errors? Did the paper flow?
  • Did I learn something from reading this paper?
  • Was this paper relevant to Women’s and Gender Studies?

Winners receive a monetary prize of $100.00, a complimentary one-year membership to the association, and are invited to read their papers during the Awards ceremony at the annual conference (up to $500.00 is available to help defray travel costs). Honourable mention receives a monetary prize of $50.00.

Read the application instructions here

Previous Winners

First Place Prize
Not awarded this year.

First-Place Prize
Evan Vipond (York University), “Becoming Culturally (Un)Intelligible: Exploring the Terrain of Trans Life Writing.”
Second-Place Prize
Sadaf Ahmed (McMaster University), “Decolonizing through De-Secularization: Carving Out Epistemic Spaces for Divinely Inclined Feminisms in WGS.”

First-Place Prize:
Jessica Fontaine (University of Winnipeg), “‘Second Skins,’  Absences, and a Sealskin of Sounds: The Embodiment and Envelopment of MMIWGT2S in Tanya Tagaq’s Polaris Prize Performance.”
Second-Place Prize:
Cornel Grey (University of Toronto), “’Ship’s Log,’ After Claudia Jones: For mintah, Mary Prince, Marie-Joseph Angelique, Viola Desmond, Mattie, Delicia Peterson, CeCe McDonald, Beryl Gilroy and All Her Other Sisters.”

2014-2015: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
First Place Essay Prize
Not awarded this year.
2013-2014: Brock University, St Catharines, ON

First Place Essay Prize
Karen Lawford (University of Ottawa), “Locating Invisible Policies: Health Canada’s Evacuation Policy as a Case Study.”
Second Place Essay Prize
Zaren Healy White (Memorial University), “Femaleness, Fakeness, Freakery: Nina Arsenault’s Male to Female Transformation.”
2012- 2013: University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

First Place Essay Prize
Nicole Charles (Western University), “Mobilizing the self-governance of pre-damaged bodies: Neoliberal biological citizenship and HPV vaccination promotion in Canada.”

2011-12: Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON

First Place Essay Prize
Not awarded this year. 

2010-11: University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB

First Place Essay Prize
Alex Rowlson, “’Negotiated Nuptials’: A Transnational Analysis of the International Marriage Broker Industry and the Russian ‘Mail-Order Bride’” (Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Toronto).

2009-10: Concordia University, Montreal, QC

First Place Essay Prize
Katherine Mazurok, “The Metaphoric Middle (Im)Passage: Beauty and National L/Anguish” (Queen's University)

2008-09: Carleton University, Ottawa, ON

First Place Essay Prize
Not awarded this year.

2007-08: University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

First Place Essay Prize
Sonja Boon, "Last Rites, Last Rights: Corporeal Abjection as Autobiographical Performance in Suzanne Curchod Necker's Des inhumations précipitées (1790)" (Simon Fraser University; now at Memorial University)

2006-07: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK

First Place Essay Prize
Not awarded this year.

2005-06: York University

First Place Essay Prize
Tina Virmani, "Gender, Nationalism, and the Regulation of Globalization in India" (York University)

2004-5: University of Western Ontario, London, ON

First Place Essay Prize
Katie Larsen, "Emancipatory Strategies: Using Postmodernism and Standpoint Theory to Redefine Feminist Methodology" (University of Toronto)