1994-95 Rockefeller Award Winners

The theme of the 1994-95 Rockefeller Residency Fellowships in the Humanities, “Self-Concepts in the Lesbian and Gay World,” attracted almost 90 applicants, more than double those of last year, vying for the two $37,000 awards. The quality of the applications was so high that they provided a formidable challenge to the jury of outside experts charged with choosing the winners. Janice Irvine, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Allan Berube, an independent community-based scholar from San Francisco will be coming to CLAGS as Fellows in September. Irvine, author of Disorders of Desire and editor of Sexual Culture and the Construction of Adolescent Identities, brings to her proposed work an extensive background of community activism, program development and training, in addition to previous teaching at Tufts University and Wellesley College. Irvine’s proposed project is t itled, “A Place in the Rainbow: Cultures, Identities, and the Controversies over Teaching about Lesbian and Gay Issues in Public Education.” Using the Rainbow Curriculum in New York City as one of her case studies, the project will analyze recent initiatives to integrate lesbian and gay content into public school curricula and will explore in particular the role of the religious right in these controversies. Allan Berube’s 1990 social history, Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II, has received wide acclaim and was the basis for a recent award-winning documentary film. In addition, Berube has produced several documentary slide presentations, including Marching to a Different Drummer: Lesbian and Gay Americans During World War II, which has been shown over 100 times in more than 20 cities in the United States and Canada. Berube’s project, “A Third Red, A Third Black; A Third Queer: Queer Work and Sexual Identities in the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union,” proposes to examine one of the most racially integrated and politically progressive unions on the west coast from the early 1930’s to the early 1950’s. Using union records, publications, and oral histories, he will explore how the complex sexual identities in this union were shaped within the context of its relationship systems and flourishing activist politics. Serving as jurors th is year were Lourdes Arguellas, Professor of Gender & Feminist Studies and Chicano Studies at Pitzer College and holder of the MacArthur Chair in Women’s Studies; Marjorie Hill, Assistant Vice President for Special Populat ions at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation; Jeff Nunokawa, Associate Professor of English at Princeton University; Robert Reid Pharr, Associate Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University; Carole Vance, Associate Research Scientist at the School of Public Health, Columbia University; and Michael Warner, Assoc iate Professor of English at Rutgers University. The two runners-up in the Rockefeller competition were Lyle Harris, an artist-photographer from New York City and Moira Kenny, who is completing a doctorate in urban planning at UCLA. Harris proposed a project titled, “Beyond Identity: Theorizing Black Queer Autobiography and Representation.” Kenny’s proposal was titled, “Gay and Lesbian Identities on the Streets of New York.” Nine other applicants reached the final round of the jurors’ decision. They were, in no particular order: Ann Cvetkovich (“Dykes and Divas: Lesbian Cultures and Mass Culture”); Rudolf Gaudio (“Speaking Out in Africa: Transgender Identity and Discourse”); Jonathan Ned Katz (“Coming to Terms: The Self-Making of Men-Loving Men in the U.S., 1820-90″); David Murray (Quel Travesti!: Identity, Sexuality, and Politics in Martinques’ Carnaval”); Jorge Salessi (“Medics, Crooks, and Tango Queens”); Pete Sigal (“Gendered Passions: A Cultural History of Early Postconquest Yucantecan Maya Thoughts on the Body, Sexuality, and the Self”); Arlene Stein (“Identity Work: Lesbianism and Contemporary Selfhood”); Chris Straayer (“Trans-Sexuality and the Permeative Discourses of Sexual Ambiguity”); and Ara Wilson (“An Ethnography of Homosexual Identities in Bangkok, Thailand”). In addition to their countless hours spent reading and evaluating proposals, the jurors made several useful recommendations to CLAGS regarding the Rockefeller Fellowship application process. For next year’s theme, “The History and Practice of Lesbian and Gay Politics,” dissertation projects will not be accepted. This change was felt to be appropriate given the size of the Rockefeller awards and the fact that CLAGS now has several smaller awards specifically designed to support doctoral research.