Home Issues Subscribe Contact

Claire Moses Awardees

Awardees for the Annual Claire G. Moses Award for the Most Theoretically Innovative Article



Cassius Adair and Khanum Shaikh share the 2022 Claire G. Moses Award. Adair’s article, “Is Transsexualism Chronic?” was published in Volume 48, Number 2 (2022); and Shaikh’s article, “Intimate Critique: Toward a Feminism from Within” was published in Volume 48, Number 2 (2022).

In his article, Adair explores a temporal contradiction at the heart of current US understandings of trans subjectivity: between being framed as both chronic (long-lasting) and acute (curable through access to appropriate medical resources). As an alternative to these prevailing temporal logics of transness, Adair suggests that we view transness as “a type of experience” rather than “a type of personhood,” and as “robust, omnipresent, and potentially showing itself at any time.”

In her article, Shaikh theorizes an “intimate critique” of how heteropatriarchal spaces provoke girls and young women to question, navigate, and even resist the gendered expectations that structure their lives. Her form of intimate critique renders visible how resistant feminist subjects come into being within contexts that do not prioritize the discourses of autonomy, choice, self-empowerment, and “the freedom-seeking individual” that continue to animate many Western-centric feminist discussions.



Jordache Ellapen and Priti Ramamurthy and Vinay Gidwani share the 2021 Claire G. Moses Award. Ellapen’s article, “Siyakaka Feminism: Intersectionality, African Anality, and the Politics of Deviance in FAKA’s Performance Art Praxis,” was published in Volume 47, Number 1 (2021); and Priti Ramamurthy and Vinay Gidwani’s article, “Punctuated Violence, the Intertwining of Violence and Care, and the Gender of Value,” was published in Volume 47, Number 3 (2021).

In his article, Ellapen describes FAKA, a black queer femme performance duo from South Africa, who are on a mission to reconfigure the feminist and queer agenda in the African diaspora. Through Siyakaka feminism, FAKA engages with their intersectional experiences of being black, queer, femme, gender nonconforming, and working class. Ellapen celebrates how FAKA’s performance art breaks down the postcolonial suture of Africanness to cis-heteronormativity. He also explores how FAKA’s cultural work, centered in radical vulnerability, is more liberating and fertile than a normative, human-rights-based political agenda.

Ramamurthy and Gidwani’s essay, which is based on life histories of working-class women of rural origin in India, theorizes how violence shapes the everyday lives of working-class women who straddle the urban and rural in translocal households in contemporary India. The essay conceptualizes the relationship between violence, carework, and aspirations for the future, theorizing violence as a punctuating vector. Drawing on the life history of one woman, Usha, the authors illustrate how violence “punctuates,” by both marking inflection points in narrating life stories and by causing upheavals.



Heather Berg is the winner of the 2020 Claire G. Moses Award for her article “Left of #MeToo,” which was published in Volume 46, Number 2 (2020).

In her article, Berg draws on Black Left feminism and sex-worker feminism as resources for escaping what she calls the “dead ends” of the #MeToo movement and calls for a position that emphasizes working people’s organizing?rather than “remedies from a violent state.”



Bettina Judd is the winner of the 2019 Claire G. Moses Award for her article “Sapphire as Praxis: Toward a Methodology of Anger,” which was published in Volume 45, Number 1 (2019).

In her article, Judd engages the trope of the angry black woman, offering a “methodology” for dealing with the dilemma produced by the figure of Sapphire, who is, for many black women, both heroine and adversary. Her essay beautifully weaves together poetic responses to current events, autobiography, television, and music, offering an illuminating example of the varied registers in which Black feminist theory is practiced.



Carol Giardina is the winner of the 2018 Claire G. Moses Award for her article “MOW to NOW: Black Feminism Resets the Chronology of the Founding of Modern Feminism,” which was published in Volume 44, Number 3 (2018).

In her article, Giardina assigns black feminism a more central place in the chronology of US feminism by arguing that black women’s organizing against sexism in planning the 1963 March on Washington (MOW) was pivotal to later feminist efforts such as the National Organization for Women (NOW). Giardina traces how experienced civil rights activists such as Dorothy Height, Pauli Murray, and Anna Arnold Hedgeman demanded greater attention to women’s lives in formulating the objectives of the MOW, especially in the area of wages and employment. Giardina traces how they established feminist protest models that they subsequently used in the formation of the National Organization for Women in 1966.



Tara Daly is the winner of the 2017 Claire G. Moses Award for her article “Christian Bendayán: Queering the Archive from Iquitos, Peru,” which was published in Volume 43, Number 2 (2017).

In her article, Daly focuses on Iquitos artist Christian Bendayán, a visual artist who is of a cohort of Peruvian artists assembling a “counterarchive” that contests the heteronormative frame that has shaped how the Amazon has been imagined and represented. Daly shows how Benday?n effectively queers the archive and provides a compelling counterpoint to the way Iquitos has been historically understood.


2016 (shared)

Elizabeth Mesok and Nader Shalhoub-Kevorkian are the shared winners of the 2016 Claire G. Moses Award. Elizabeth Mesok was selected for her article “Sexual Violence and the US Military: Feminism, US Empire, and the Failure of Liberal Equality” and Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian for article “Infiltrated Intimacies: The Case of Palestinian Returnees,” both of which were published in Volume 42, Number 1 (2016).

In her article on sexual violence and the US military, Elizabeth Mesok critiques the gendered personnel practices of US militaries. By interrogating the quest for equal rights in the military, Mesok simultaneously clarifies the limitations of a framework of liberal equality and the principles of liberal feminism, both of which seek equality through a “sameness” narrative.

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian explores Israel’s criminalization of the return of Palestinian refugees through an analysis of Palestinian women’s life histories between 1948 and 1953. Shalhoub-Kevorkian shows how the Israeli state fractured Palestinians’ homes at the levels of nation, land, community, and family. In doing so, she demonstrates how the Israeli state in fact infiltrated the most intimate spaces of those who had been labeled “infiltrators” themselves.



Sharmila Lodhia is the winner of the 2015 Claire G. Moses Award for her article “Deconstructing Sita’s Blues: Questions of Mis/representation, Cultural Property, and Feminist Critique in Nina Paley’s Ramayana,” which was published in Volume 41, Number 2 (2015).

In her article, Lodhia advances the understanding of commodification and appropriation of culture—key concepts in cultural studies—by elaborating these terms in a transnational frame and diagnosing the patriarchal anxieties that erupt from the circulation of religious culture. We applaud her skillful self-reflexive critique of both popular US appropriations of South Asian religious symbols as well as of right-wing claims to culture as property.



Catherine Rottenberg is the winner of the 2014 Claire G. Moses Award for her article “Happiness and the Liberal Imagination: How Superwoman Became Balance,” which was published in Volume 40, Number 1 (2014).

In her article, Rottenberg tracks a shift in contemporary popular feminism from claiming greater power for women to an emphasis on work-life balance, well-roundedness, and well-being. This ideal represents a possibility available only to a highly privileged minority of women in the United States, but it is upheld as a new normative model for all women. Rottenberg analyzes how affect plays a role in the discursive shift from women’s rights and freedom to work-life balance and harmony and how this shift resonates with neoliberalism. Rottenberg offers particularly insightful commentary on popular feminist writing such as Anne-Marie Slaughter’s 2012 article in the Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” as well as Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In.



Christine Labuski is the winner of the 2013 Claire G. Moses Award for her article “Vulnerable Vulvas: Female Genital Integrity in Health and Dis-ease.” In her article, Labuski examines collective practices and ideas surrounding vulvas, especially in contexts where gynecological cancers are inadequately detected. She documents and reflects on how women attend to their bodies in alienated ways, often undergoing cosmetic surgeries that are presented as pragmatic solutions to “vulvar excess.” We believe the article is destined to become a classic in the field of women’s health and in feminist medical anthropology. The article was published in Feminist Studies Volume 39, Number 1 (2013).



David Valentine is the winner of the 2012 Claire G. Moses Award for his article “Sue E. Generous: Notes Toward a Theory of Non-Transexuality.” In the article, Valentine stakes out new positions in conceptualizing non-transexuality and takes thoughtful risks in revisiting older certitudes. The article was published in Feminist Studies Volume 38, Number 1 (2012).



Lucinda Ramberg is the winner of the 2011 Claire G. Moses Award for her article “When the Devi Is Your Husband: Sacred Marriage and Sexual Economy in South India.” In the article, Ramberg extends feminist anthropology's classic theories of marriage as exchange to formulate marriage “as a conduit of value.” Drawing on the case of southern Indian Yellamma devotees who marry the goddess, Ramberg also creatively detaches marriage from its conventional gender moorings to theorize conjugality in fresh ways. The article was published in Feminist Studies Volume 37, Number 1 (Spring 2011).



Leigh Gilmore and Elizabeth Marshall is the winner of the 2010 inaugural Claire G. Moses Award for their article, “Girls in Crisis: Rescue and Transnational Feminist Autobiographical Resistance,” which was published in in Feminist Studies Volume 36, Number 3 (2010). Through an examination of three autobiographical performances by Harriet Jacobs, Rigoberta Menchú, and Marjane Satrapi, the article discusses how women in a range of national and transnational locations use their own girlhood in first-person testimonial narratives to speak about race, to alter the politics of rescue, and to teach about social injustice.