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 excerpt from an honors thesis. It is open to undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Dayton. Essays should do one or more of the following:

  • Examine the intersection of race, class, and gender.
  • Contribute to the revaluing of a female 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.

The contest provides the winner with a monetary prize.

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Submissions from 2020

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(In)security: Gendered and Bordered, Mary McLoughlin

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"If You're Ugly, the Blackpill is Born with You": Sexual Hierarchies, Identity Construction, and Masculinity on an Incel Forum Board, Josh Segalewicz

Submissions from 2019

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Bearing Witness to Sexual Violence as a Violation of Women's Rights, Josh Segalewicz

Submissions from 2018

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Gendering Patriotism: Wartime Culture and Propaganda in WWI, Emily Elizabeth Haynes

Submissions from 2017

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Feminist Futures, Julia Nicole Court

Submissions from 2016

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Tripping on All the Faces: The Identity Work of Native American Women Artists, Amanda Dee

Submissions from 2015

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F***** From the Start: Misogyny in Medieval Literature, Amanda Dee

Submissions from 2014

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Gender Disparity within the Employment Sector in Saudi Arabia, Alyssa Bovell and Libby Durnwald

Submissions from 2013

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Dependence on or the Subordination of Women? Examining the Political, Domestic, and Religious Roles of Women in Mesoamerican, Andean, and Spanish Societies in the 15th Century, Christine Alwan

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Joan Jett in "I Love Rock 'n' Roll": Gender Boundaries and Female Address, Megan Colleen O'Mera

Submissions from 2012

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Drag Kings: Performing Masculinity, Lauren Cummerlander

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Extreme Pornography and Obscenity Legislation, Julianne Morgan

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Food and Feminism, Ellie Myers

Submissions from 2011

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The Myth of Choice: The Cultural Shift in Cosmetic Surgery, Kelly Neyer

Submissions from 2010

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The Rhetoric of Writing for a Male Audience, Danielle Black

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Portrayal of Women and Clothing in Domestic Housework Commercials, Julie Brady Ramaccia

Submissions from 2009

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Medieval Romance and British Romanticism: Gender Constructions in Pullman’s "His Dark Materials" and Tolkien’s "The Lord of the Rings", Emily Elizabeth Howson

Submissions from 2007

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Even the Good Guys Are Bad in Sin City, Melanie Woods

Submissions from 2006

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A New Writer Indeed: Gender (Re)Imagined in Jack Conroy’s "A World to Win", Andrew Kopec

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To Abandon Our Culture or Not? A Real Look at Indigenous Guatemalans, Allison A. Kretz