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Kenneth Sherrill Prize

Through APSA's Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs, the Kenneth Sherrill Prize recognizes the best doctoral dissertation proposal for an empirical study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) topics in political science.  The purpose of this prize is to encourage and enable empirical work on LGBT topics by graduate students, and to broaden the recognition of this work within political science.

In 2018, the Prize will award $200 to a selected PhD candidate, who will also be recognized at the APSA Awards ceremony at the Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

Nominations will be accepted until Monday, February 12, 2018.

About the 2017 Winner

Melina Juárez, University of New Mexico
"Queering Latinidad: Latinx Politics Beyond Nativity"

The process of Latinizing a tremendously heterogeneous group of people involves the softening or blurring of the edges of differences among them.  This blurring has led to the erasure or subversion (intended or not) of important facets of identity including indigeneity, language, ethnicity, history, and culture.  Along with this, and the focus of this project, is the erasure (again intended or not) of sexuality and how this subversion of identities impacts the way we view populations for policymaking ends.  Understanding how sexuality is subverted within Latinidad also allows us to understand power dynamics within the Latinx population that affect facets of politics and policy such as what issues are considered salient for Latinxs and policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation.

This project approaches Latinidad through an intersectional framework that also considers the role of institutional forces in driving and shaping identity and peoples’ relations vis-a-vis the state and its policies.  The proposed dissertation project is a continuation of a current New Mexico-based study on the social determinants of LGBTQI health and well-being.  Survey results from this pilot study found that almost 60% of LGBTQI Latinx respondents said they “sometimes” or “always” felt uncomfortable around other people of their own race or ethnicity because of their LGBTQI status.  This finding led to the following research questions:

1.   Why do LGBTQI Latinxs feel uncomfortable around other Latinxs?

2.   Are there differences in public opinion or political behavior among Latinxs based on sexual orientations?

3.   Has subverting sexuality as a key facet of Latinidad affected public policymaking for this population?  

Prize Requirements

Applicants must have successfully defended the prospectus for their dissertation, or intend to defend their prospectus by July 31, 2018.  To qualify, an applicant’s dissertation prospectus must be an empirical study of LBGT topics; a prospectus in political theory is not eligible for the Kenneth Sherrill Prize. 

Each year after receiving the Prize, the Prize committee must receive a report from prior recipients stating if the dissertation has been completed and if so, receive an abstract of the completed dissertation, and if not, a timetable detailing expected trajectory to completion.

2018 Kenneth Sherrill Prize Committee

Patrick Egan (Chair)
New York University
Wilf Family Department of Politics
19 West 4th Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012

Jyl Josephson
Rutgers University, Newark
Political Science
360 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Newark, NJ 07102

Andrew S. Reynolds
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Political Science
3265 Hamilton Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

How to Apply

Applications for the program should include:

  • A curriculum vitae.
  • An abstract of the dissertation proposal.
  • A copy of the applicant’s dissertation proposal.
  • A letter of recommendation from the chair of the applicant’s dissertation committee.  The letter must attest that the prospectus will be defended by July 31, 2018.
Contact Us
For questions or concerns about the Kenneth Sherrill Prize or the application process, please contact the Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs at [email protected].

Donate now to Kenneth Sherrill Fund


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