Doctoral Candidate Rachel N. Stonecipher is the recipient of the 2017 Lesbian Caucus Award from the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA).
The Lesbian Caucus Award recognizes a graduate student whose master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation focuses on lesbian lives, identities, or realities and makes a contribution to the fields of lesbian and sexuality studies. The project must also engage with feminist analytical frameworks and methodologies and be relevant to NWSA’s mission, which is: “to illuminate the ways in which women’s studies are vital to education; to demonstrate the contributions of feminist scholarship that is comparative, global, intersectional, and interdisciplinary to understandings of the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences; and to promote synergistic relationships between scholarship, teaching, and civic engagement in understandings of culture and society.”
Stonecipher’s dissertation, entitled “People Change: Fluidity, Difference, Gender, and Race in Lesbian/Queer Futurity,” examines the relationship between media constructions of the lesbian audience and diverse performances of self among those who identify as lesbian. The project focuses on film and video games, and Stonecipher is particularly interested in 21st century texts that frame the lesbian as political. Stonecipher's dissertation committee is chaired by Professor Sharrona Pearl, and also includes Professor Jessa Lingel and School of Social Policy and Practice Dean John L. Jackson, Jr.
A fourth year doctoral candidate at the Annenberg School, Stonecipher studies political theories and comparative ontologies of lesbian/queer womanhood. Her work converses with black lesbian feminism, trans studies, and black queer studies. She is the recipient of the 2017 James D. Woods Award from the Annenberg School and the 2016 Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students from the University of Pennsylvania. Both awards recognized outstanding teaching by a graduate student.
Stonecipher will officially receive the Lesbian Caucus Award at this year’s NWSA conference, held November 16-19 in Baltimore.