Awards: Call for Student Papers


The Sixteenth Annual Elizabeth Phillips Award will be presented this Spring. The award pays tribute to the late Elizabeth Phillips, Professor Emerita of English, for her exceptional scholarly commitment to the advancement of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. A monetary prize and a certificate are awarded to the best undergraduate senior capstone essay/project or honors thesis or graduate student paper (Graduate School, Divinity School, Law School and Master’s Programs at Wake Forest) written on the subject of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies during the current academic year. The winning essay is chosen from among a pool of papers nominated by university faculty. Essays from fall and spring semesters are eligible and calls for nominations should be made accordingly.

Our department this Spring will also honor Mary DeShazer, Professor Emerita of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, through the annual Mary DeShazer Award. This award recognizes the best undergraduate research or analytical paper completed in a WGSS course. Winning papers are chosen from essays nominated by faculty.

The Sylva Billue Award recognizes the best creative nonfiction, creative performance, short play, or visual art (paintings, sculptures). The award honors the late artist, feminist activist, and department benefactor Sylva Billue. Submissions are not limited to the department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, but include work from students across campus.

The submissions will be evaluated on the basis of their relevance to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the quality, coherence, and significance of the work. Every year the winners of these awards will be listed on the website of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies’s Department.

Submission Guidelines:

Faculty ought to:

(1) Get permission from the student for the submission.

(2) Make sure each submission is accompanied by their own email of support, indicating whether the work was done to meet the requirements of a particular class or assignment.

(3) Make sure each submission includes the name of the student, the year of graduation, category (undergraduate or graduate), and student contact information after classes end (mailing address, cell telephone number, and email address).

Students should only submit papers that have been revised according to the recommendations made by their professors when they assigned the grade. Students should proofread all papers for grammatical and typographical errors prior to submission. Papers with such errors will not be awarded a prize. Papers must include a title page with information relative to the class that generated the work, including course number, course name, and instructor name.

Essays must be no more than 25 pages in length.

Submitted papers may come from the Fall Semester of 2021 or Spring Semester of 2022.

All submissions ought to be sent to JaMeiya Estes (

Deadline for all submissions: Friday, May 6, 2022, at 5:00pm.



“Some of Us Are Brave” Symposium – 4/7/2022 at 4pm


Join Dr. Shanna Greene Benjamin, Professor and Chair of the department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Julia Jordan-Zachery, and Wake Forest Professor of the Humanities and director of the Program in African American Studies Corey D. B. Walker for an afternoon of readings and reflections celebrating the 40th anniversary of the publication of the landmark text All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies.

Feminist Zine Workshop – March 23, 2022 at 6pm

WGSS students, Olivia Thonson and Leilani Fletcher, present their honors thesis project as the Feminist Zine Workshop, a counter genealogy of student activism at Wake Forest! You are invited to join the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department for a presentation of Zines within feminist activism and a Zine-making workshop component. Join us on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 from 6:00-7:00pm in Tribble A-204!!!

Bring a friend!!!

Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe: “Decarcerating Disability” – April 5, 2022 at 4pm


REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED! Click here to register!

Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe is an Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her book, Decarcerating Disability: Deinstitutionalization and Prison Abolition (University of Minnesota Press 2020) offers a genealogy of the deinstitutionalization of people with disabilities in the U.S. in the 20th century as a result of the closure of disability institutions. The book connects this history with current prison abolition efforts, laying the groundwork for coalitions between racial and disability justice projects.

This virtual talk is free and open to the public. Live transcription will be provided. For other access needs, please contact This talk has been organized by the Wake Forest Disability Studies Initiative and has been sponsored by the Wake Forest University Humanities Institute with support made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support has been provided by the African American Studies Program, the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Disability Employee Affinity/Support Group, and the Race, Inequality, and Policy Initiative (RIPI).