Fellowship Winners 2002

CLAGS opened up more fellowship opportunities than ever over the course of 2001-2002. In
response to a continuing increase in applications, CLAGS took the spring term to spread the news
about our two newest prizes: the Paul Monette-Roger Horowitz Dissertation Prize, given to the best
dissertation in LGTBQ Studies by a Ph.D. candidate within the CUNY system, and the Sylvia Rivera Award
in Transgender Studies, given to the best book or article of the year that addresses transgender issues.
(See page 9 for complete submission guidelines for 2002-
2003.) And although we have solid deadlines for all of our
fellowships and awards, CLAGS continues to receive
applications for our offerings year-round—and from far and
wide. In fact, submissions arrived this year from Romania,
Australia, Israel, the Philippines, United Kingdom, Canada,
and beyond. As always, we would like to offer a special
thanks to CLAGS’s Fellowships Committee, which works
tirelessly each year to read through the piles of submissions, and maintains a rigorous selection process
for our awards. We hope that you both share our enthusiasm at the wide spectrum of scholarship that
our 2001-2002 winners have brought forth to share with the community and join us in thanking the
generous supporters who helped make this year’s awards possible.
Paul VanDeCarr, a writer and filmmaker who lives in San Francisco, was awarded the 2001-2002
Martin Duberman Fellowship. He has worked with both the Boston Lesbian/Gay Film Festival and the
San Francisco International Lesbian/Gay Film Festival, and produced “The Anti-Gay Agenda:
Homosexuality and the Religious Right,” a documentary for a conference of LGTBQ seminarians.
VanDeCarr’s current project is “November,” a film that looks at the connections between the Jonestown
tragedy and the Milk/Moscone murders in 1978 in hopes of expanding public understanding of a critical
moment in San Francisco—and American—history. Kathy Conrad and Laurence Senelick, received
Honorable Mention, and demonstrate the wealth of important LGTBQ research that continues to come
from our universities and communities. Conrad is currently completing a book manuscript, Locked in the
Family Cell: Gender, Sexuality, and Political Agency in Irish Discourses of the Nation, which looks at the
relationship among gender, sexuality, and nation, and, in particular, the ways in which narratives shape
political rhetoric and political agency. Senelick is now conducting research for his next book, Picturing
Perverts: Popular Imagery of Sexual Deviates, which will trace the evolution of popular imagery of what is
now referred to as the gay man and the lesbian woman from the Reformation to the Second World War.
The CLAGS Fellowship continues to receive a deluge of applications annually and this year was
awarded to Lisa Cohen for work on her contracted book-in-progress, In Their Own Fashion. This text is
an interdisciplinary study of the lives and work of three overlooked modernist lesbians of the 20th
century: Mercedes de Acosta, Madge Garland, and Esther Murphy. Cohen argues that the work and
obsessions of these women have helped to produce our current preoccupations with sexuality and
celebrity and confronts the intersections of capitalism and gay identity head-on. Honorable Mention went
to Mary Gray and Martin Meeker. Gray is a PhD candidate in Communication at the University of
California, San Diego, and her research focuses on contemporary lesbian, gay, and bisexual-identifying
youth experiences in the United States; she is currently investigating how rural youth in the U.S. use
peers, social support services, and new media technologies to negotiate sexual and gender identities.
Meeker is currently working on a book manuscript, Come Out West: Communication, and the Making of
San Francisco as the Gay Mecca. Based on his dissertation, this text will be the first book-length history of
homosexual migration in the United States, examining the migration of gay men and lesbians to San
Francisco from the 1920s through the 1960s.
This year saw the final awardee of the James D. Woods III Fellowship, which completed the last of its
three years of availability through CLAGS. Carlos Decena, a PhD candidate in American Studies at New
York University, took the 2001-2002 honors. His dissertation, “Across Generations of Immigrant Men:
Same Sex Relations from the Dominican Republic to Nueva York, 1966-2000,” studies the transnational
factors at work in Dominican men’s perception of and participation in same-sex relations. Jasmine Mir
was awarded Honorable Mention for her current work on her dissertation, “Global Pathways/Local
Markets: Sex Tourism, Contested Space, Historical Memory and Constructions of ‘Sexual Deviance’ in
New Orleans, 1880-1917.”
Finally, 2001-2002 marked the third annual Passing-the-Torch Award, which recognizes the
achievements of an emerging scholar through the generous support of established scholars in the field of
LGTBQ Studies. This year the award went to Robert McRuer, who is currently Assistant Professor of
English at George Washington University. He published The Queer Renaissance: Contemporary American
Literature and the Reinvention of Lesbian and Gay Identities, has edited the forthcoming Desiring Disability, a
special issue of GLQ that looks at queer theory and disability studies, and is currently working on a book
project titled De-Composing Bodies: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability.