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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 was awarded to Anna L. Weissman, who was also recognized at the APSA Awards ceremony at the Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

Nominations are typically accepted through February of the current year.

About the 2018 Winner

Anna L. Weissmann, The University of Florida
"LGBT Tolerance and the Focus on Non-Normative Parenting: Same-Sex Marriage vs. Same-Sex Parenting"

Anna L. Weissman is a PhD Candidate at the University of Florida and former FLAS Fellow at UF's Center for European Studies (2013-2017). Her research theorizes the relations between sexuality, the state, and national identity, particularly through lesbian, gay, and trans reproductive rights. Anna’s dissertation focuses on lesbian, gay, and trans reproductive rights reproductive rights in Poland, Sweden, France, and the Czech Republic, uncovering the intertwining history of normative sexuality, traditional procreative gender roles, and the mythology of the nation-state, and develops of the concept of Repronormativity. Building on sociocultural historical tracing and discourse analysis, she explains not only attitudes toward LGBT parenting, but also shows how heteronormative reproduction colors ideas of political belonging. Anna has published in the Journal of GLBT Family Studies, the International Feminist Journal of Politics, the Journal of WomenPolitics, and Policy, in the Routledge Handbook of Gender and Security (Caron Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd, and Laura Sjoberg, editors), and is co-editing (with Laura J. Shepherd and Lucy B. Hall) Troubling Motherhood: Interrogation of Maternality in Global Politics (under contract with Oxford University Press).

By unanimous agreement, the committee for this year’s Kenneth Sherrill Prize for best dissertation proposal in the empirical study of LGBT politics enthusiastically awards the Prize to Anna L. Weissman (University of Florida) for her proposal entitled “LGBT Tolerance and the Focus on Non-Normative Parenting: Same-Sex Marriage vs. Same-Sex Parenting.” Anna’s dissertation will take a comparative, mixed-methods approach to better understand why support for marriage rights for same-sex couples is greater than support for parenting rights for LGBT people around the world. Her hypothesis is that even as LGBT rights advance, traditional and patriarchal notions of reproduction persist, creating the growing gap between acceptance of marriage and support for LGBT families. Anna plans comparative studies of France, Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, 

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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