Fellowship Winners 2003

Without fail, the CLAGS office sees increased numbers of applications for our fellowships and
awards each year. Indeed, we receive applications from people not just near our fall and spring
deadlines, but year-round. And in recent years, the proportion of office ‘drop offs’ for applications has
decreased dramatically; instead, our applicants are sending us materials from California, Florida, Indiana,
Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia, and from as far away as Australia, Bangladesh, and Belgium. They
are doing their LGTBQ research on topics ranging from Cross-
Dressing Law in San Fransicso, 1865-1920, to Survival Among
Queer Male Homeless Adolescents; from Queer TV: Framing
Sexualities on US Television to J.M. Coetzee and the Racial
Politics of Gay Rights in the “New South Africa”; and from A
Historical and Cultural Analysis of Women-Owned and
Operated Sex Toy Stores in the US to Traversing Transnational
Sexualities: The Local and Global of Queer Indonesia. Even with this year’s expanded collection of
awards—including the first annual awarding of our Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies and the
Monette-Horwitz Dissertation Prize—it remains clear that support mechanisms for LGTBQ scholarship are
still few and far between. Fortunately, CLAGS’s available resources will again expand in the coming year,
this time to include the Joan Heller-Diane Bernard Fellowship. This new award, supporting research into
the impact of lesbians and/or gay men on American society and culture, will go to two university- or
community-based scholars in the coming year. (See page 16 for further information about 2003-2004
deadlines.) We hope that you both share our enthusiasm at the wide spectrum of scholarship that our
2002-2003 winners are working on and join us in thanking the generous supporters who helped make
this year’s awards possible.
Ben Singer, a PhD candidate in Literatures and English at Rutgers University, is CLAGS’s 2002-2003
Martin Duberman Fellow. He is completing a comparative ethnographic study of how trans reembodiment
and sexuality are regulated and contested between public health and grassroots
“community” networks. As a transman, Singer is doubly implicated as researcher and research subject,
placing him in a “nexus of theorization” that serves as the framework for his project. By challenging and
critiquing modern western sexual paradigms, Singer hopes to contribute a greater understanding of
gender and sexuality that will be useful in improving the lives of trans people. Honorable Mention for
this award went to Ellen Lewin, who is a professor in the departments of Women’s Studies and
Anthropology at the University of Iowa, examining the experience of gay men who are or seek to
become fathers. In particular, her work investigates the moral and cultural claims that actual or potential
parenthood allows these men to make, and questions the assumptions about the centrality of
motherhood in shaping gender, the position of fathers within families, and the designations of
appropriate maternal and paternal spheres.
The 2002-2003 CLAGS Fellowship goes to Horacio Roque Ramírez, who is currently completing a
book based on his dissertation, Communities of Desire: History and Memory from Queer Latinas and Latinos
in the San Francisco Area, 1950s-1990s; the CLAGS fellowship will help him to finish. In the process of his
research, Ramírez has organized the archives of Latina/Latino community members, and has
conducted interviews that he plans to transcribe and make available to community and
university collections. He describes his project as a multi-gender and multinational history of
queer Latino community formations that will contribute to queer and Latino historiographies
by racializing the former and queering the latter. Honorable Mention for the CLAGS
Fellowship goes to Maura Reily, a full-time Lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History,
and in the Women’s Studies Program at Tufts University. She is in the process of completing
her book based on her dissertation, Le Vice à la Mode: Gustave Courbet and the Vogue for
Lesbianism in Nineteenth-Century France. This work is a socio-historical, feminist, queer analysis
of the prevalence of lesbian themes in nineteenth-century French visual culture and literature,
using Courbet as a nucleus within a larger environment of related imagery, discourses, and
psychosexual cultural obsessions.
Our 2002-2003 Passing-the-Torch recipient is Siobhan Somerville. This year marked the
fourth annual recognition of an emerging scholar with CLAGS’s Passing-the-Torch Award. As
nominations for the prize are made only through members of our Advisory Board, this award is
one of our most prestigious. Somerville is Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies
at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and is the author of Queering the Color Line:
Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture (Duke UP, 2000). She has edited
“Queer Fictions of Race,” a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies (2002); and (with Judith
Roof), “Recent Lesbian Theory,” a special issue of Concerns. Her current work explores questions of
citizenship, sexuality, and race in American law, fiction, and film in the U.S. from 1940-1968.