Augustana College printing logo

Wollstonecraft, Vazquez-Valarezo awards announced

June  02, 2016

Essays on gender roles from the Viking age, migration, and cultural imperialism make up the winners of this year's Wollstonecraft Essay Contest.

The award is named for Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), the English philosopher who wrote the classic text "A Vindication of the Rights of Women."  It is given annually by the women's and gender studies department to recognize excellence in women's and gender scholarship at the undergraduate level.

Awards are presented in three categories: short analytical essay, long analytical essay, and personal/reflective prose.

The department seeks entries that display excellent liberal arts scholarship and creativity at the undergraduate level. Entries should have a thesis or underlying insight that is skillfully supported and rhetorically effective. Since feminist scholars have influenced all academic fields, any course offered in the college could, potentially, be the basis for written work addressing historical, theoretical, social, psychological, artistic, and economic questions relevant to the Wollstonecraft Award.

Winners receive a small monetary award and a certificate of recognition. Entries will be judged anonymously by professors from other colleges.

Also, the 18th annual Vázquez-Valarezo Poetry Award was won by Camilla Best, a junior from Elmhurst, Ill., majoring in teaching language arts and English. The award is given to the best submission on a theme related to women.

The award is sponsored by Dr. Jeanneth Vázquez, professor of Spanish and department chair. Winners receive a small monetary award and a certificate of recognition. The award is named in honor of two educators, the late Honorato Vazquez and the late Angelica Valarezo, writers who worked in the field of education in Ecuador for 35 years. In addition to recognizing excellence, the award is designed to encourage student poets to submit their work for consideration.

Wollstonecraft Essay Award winners

Long analytical essay

First prize: Leah Shelton, a senior from Pekin, Ill., majoring in comjunication sciences and disorders and religion, "Thecla Penetrates the Popular Perception."

Second prize: Irene mekus, a senior from East Moline, Ill., majoring in geography and public health, "Music and the Migrant: A Transnational Account of Cumbia." 

Short analytical essay

First prize: Rebecca Knapper, a senior from Davenport Iowa, majoring in creative writing and English, "Parallels and Foils between the Men and Women in the Icelandic Family Sagas."

Second prize: Hannah Griggs, a sophomore from Bettendorf, Iowa, majoring in religion, "Indian Women's Uplift Movements and the Dangers of Cultural Imperialism."

Honorable mention: Alyssa Froehling, a senior from Palatine, Ill., majoring in creative writing and English, "Fictional Survivors and Real Life Survivors: Fede Alvarez's "Evil Dead" as a Slasher Film and Unnecessary Depictions of Sexual Violence."

Personal/reflective essay

First place: Alice Roberson, "The Public vs. the Private."

Vázquez-Valarezo Poetry Award

First place: Camilla Best, a junior from Elmhurst, Ill., majoring in teaching language arts and English, "If Victoria's Secret Clearance Bras Could Talk."