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Women’s and Gender Studies

The Joyce Durham Essay Contest in Women’s and Gender Studies

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program's deadline for undergraduate students to submit their 2023 essays for consideration for the Joyce Durham award has passed. Honoring the late Joyce R. Durham, professor emerita of English, this contest invites submissions of nonfiction essays that explore issues concerning women and/or gender — from the personal reflection to the research paper, or an honors thesis. Essays may be of any length, and they should do one or more of the following:

  • Examine the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality or other salient identity category;
  • Contribute to the revaluing of a woman, trans and/or gender-expansive writer, artist, or historical figure;
  • Incorporate feminist analysis;
  • Consider the social construction of gender identities and/or roles;
  • Link the practical with the theoretical, the personal with the political, and/or the imaginative with the critical.

Submissions will be reviewed anonymously by a panel of faculty experts. The contest provides the winner with a monetary prize. A list of previous awardees and their winning essays can be found on eCommons. Questions may be addressed to


Women's and Gender Studies Program

Alumni Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0322