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The GCWS Motherboard Writing Prize

Honoring exceptional research & writing in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

The GCWS Mother Board Prize

Our annual recognition of students, awarding written work that exemplifies interdisciplinary inquiry, innovative thinking, and intersectional investigation.

This prize is an annual award honoring student research and writing in the field of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. One student will be recognized each year with a $500 award for unpublished written work that exemplifies the three tenets central to the GCWS mission: interdisciplinary inquiry; innovation; and epistemologically self-conscious investigation.

Eligibility & Judiciary process

Students currently matriculated in a Masters or Doctorate program at one of the nine GCWS member institutions and who have been or are currently enrolled in a GCWS seminar. Papers need not have been written for a GCWS course. Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee of GCWS affiliated faculty. The award comes with a $500 prize. The recipient of the writing prize will be announced the following Fall semester.

Submissions due: July 1, 2019

All submissions must be complete by July 1, 2019. Complete submissions include:

  • Completed Writing Prize Submission Form

  • Paper (as a PDF, no more than 30 pages)

  • Curriculum Vita (as a PDF)

  • Faculty support submission form

The winner will be announced in Fall 2019. For more information or questions, please contact the GCWS Program Manager at gcws@mit.edu

Mother board prize background

This writing prize is dedicated to the ‘Mother Board’, the feminist intellectuals who together conceptualized and brought the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies into existence.

From their initial conversations around Ruth Perry’s kitchen table, founding faculty built the Consortium to be a program that would train the next generation of feminist scholars in the interdisciplinary thinking and research that is at the heart of Women’s Studies.

The pioneering founders in whose name this prize is awarded are:

  • Joyce Antler (Brandeis University)
  • Laura Frader (Northeastern University)
  • Carol Hurd Green (Boston College)
  • Barbara Haber (Radcliffe College)
  • Alice Jardine (Harvard University)
  • Ruth Perry (MIT)
  • Christiane Romero (Tufts University)

Submission Requirements:

1.) Complete and submit the Motherboard Writing Prize Submission form

This form will allow you to upload your paper.  Please have it ready to upload before filling out this submission form.

We only accept PDFs.  
Likewise, please name your file according to this format: "LAST-NAME_PAPER-TITLE.pdf".



2.) Have a member of your institution's faculty fill out a FACULTY SUPPORT SUBMISSION FORM.

We require all entrants to have written support from a faculty member of their institution who is familiar with their work and can speak to the merits of the submitted paper. You may ask an advisor, a faculty member from your GCWS course, or another faculty member from your home institution with whom you have worked closely.

You may not provide commentary on your own work.

Please forward the faculty member to this link, which brings them to the Faculty Support Submission Form, and request that they fill out the form before he deadline for submission.  

If you wish to copy and paste the link in order to send in an email to your faculty of choice the full URL is here: https://gcws.com/motherboard-faculty-support-form


3.) Submit your curriculum vita 

Please prepare your curriculum vita as a PDF.
Likewise, please name your file according to this format: "LAST-NAME_CV.pdf".


Past Mother Board prize Winners



Teri Incampo, Ph.D., Theatre and Performance Studies, Tufts University


"Materiality, Affect, and the Archive: The Possibility of Feminist Nostalgia in Contemporary Handkerchief Embroidery"

Mariah Gruner, Ph.D.,American and New England Studies, Boston University

Honorable Mention:

Doing Gender, Doing Networks: Exploring Individual Networking Strategies in High Tech
Ethel Mickey, Ph.D., Sociology, Northeastern University


"Queering the 'McConaissance': Matthew McConaughey and Hollywood's Conditional Courting of Diversity"

Sarah Leventer, Ph.D. Candidate, American and New England Studies, Boston University




"Morally Accounting for Sex Selection Online in Turkey"

Burcu Mutlu, PhD Candidate, History; Anthropology; Science, Technology and Society (HASTS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology


"Fiction as Archival Data: Building a Feminist Transatlantic Genealogy from Zora Neale Hurston to Erna Brodber"

Elizabeth Polcha, Ph.D., English and American Literature, Northeastern University

Honorable Mention: 

"Expanding Our Picture of Stereotype Threat"
Stacey Goguen, Ph.D., Philosophy, Boston University


"Suit(ed) for Success? Feminism, Neoliberalism, and Gendered Self-Sufficiency"

Emily Cummins, Ph.D., Sociology and Anthropology, Northeastern University

Honorable Mention: 

"Whose Welfare? A Critical Discourse Analysis of Harvard Business Publishing Cases"
Michelle Kweder, Ph.D., College of Management, University of Massachusetts Boston


"I'm not just a robot who does well in school": How Undergraduate Women Negotiate Achievement Identities"

Elizabeth Blair, Ed.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University


"A Surprising Sisterhood: The Feminist Alliance of Housewives and Prostitutes, 1973 - 1983"

Amanda Strauss, Combined MA/MLS Program in History and Library Science at Simmons College

Honorable Mention:

"Veiled Periphery: Rural Kurdish Women in Turkey and the Practice of Veiling"
Feyza Burak Adli, MA in Anthropology at Brandeis University


"Feminist Explorations into Shifting Analytics: Gender and Development as a Professionalized Social Movement"

Amy E. Hanes, Dual MA in Sustainable International Development and Women's and Gender Studies, Heller School for Social Science and Policy, Brandeis University (completed Spring 2011)
PhD in Anthropology, Brandeis Universty (begun Fall 2011)


"Land, Women, and the Rule of Law in Rwanda: How Far Have We Come?" 

Aparna Polavarapu, Masters student of International Affairs, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Honorable Mention:

"To Control Their Destiny: Girls' Mobility and the Stakes of Schooling in Colonial Natal" 
Meghan Healy, PhD candidate in the Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University


"Written in Blood: AIDS and the Subversion of Elegy" 

Nino Testa, PhD candidate in the Department of English, Tufts University


"The Story of Kausar Bano: An Exploration of How Gujarati Muslims Perceived, Understood, and Reacted to the Violence Inflicted Upon Their Community During the 2002 Gujarat Carnage" 

Elizabeth Mount, Masters student of Gender and Cultural Studies, Simmons College

Honorable Mention:

"Breastfeeding Advocacy and the Need for a Relational Approach" 
Miranda Waggoner, PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology, Brandeis University