Catherine Prelinger Award

The CCWH Catherine Prelinger Award is a scholarship of $20,000 which will be awarded to a scholar of excellence. This award, named for Catherine Prelinger, a former CCWH president and nontraditional scholar, is intended to enhance the work of a contemporary scholar whose academic path has not followed the traditional path of uninterrupted study, moving from completed secondary, to undergraduate, then graduate degrees, followed by a tenure-track faculty position. These funds were granted to CCWH by an anonymous donor in honor of the many years of work this organization has devoted to exploring women’s history, encouraging opportunities for women in the historical profession, and in educating young women to pursue careers in the historical profession. This award is intended to enhance the ability of the recipient to carry on these CCWH traditions through contributions to women in history, either through scholarly or professional activity.

Eligible applicants must be members of CCWH and must hold either A.B.D. status or the Ph.D. at the time of application. They shall be actively engaged in scholarship that is historical in nature, although the degree may be in related fields. Applicants will show evidence of a nontraditional professional career and describe a project that will further enhance women’s roles in history. The Prelinger Committee encourages applications from independent and non-academic scholars.


CCWH Prelinger Award 2015 Application (Word)

CCWH Prelinger Award 2015 Application (PDF)

2014 Catherine Prelinger Award Winner

Christine Sy Portrait

Christine Sy

Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy, Trent University, Ontario, Canada
Dissertation “Following the Trees Home: Anishinaabe Women at the Sugar Bush”

Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy is a completing a Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in American Indian Studies at Michigan State University. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in Indigenous Studies at Trent University in Ontario, Canada.

In the Great Lakes region, traditional stories, oral histories, settler observances, and Native American Women’s history indicate Anishinaabeg women carried out the work of harvesting sap, boiling it down, and sugaring it off into maple sugar. In her dissertation, “Following the Trees Home: Anishinaabe Ikawewag Iyaawag Iskigamiziganing (Anishinaabe Women at the Boiling Place),” Christine reclaims historical and Anishinaabe knowledge of relationship(s) with the sugar bush to theorize Anishinaabeg women’s power and illuminate its shifts through more modern periods of Anishinaabeg history including the fur trade, settler colonialism, and industrial development. As a disruption of the dominating heteropatriarchal, paternal, and capitalist structures that shape the realities contemporary Anishinaabe women navigate, this historically based research affirms sovereignty for Anishinaabeg women and their communities despite on-going economic marginalization and neo-colonial violence. Christine utilizes insights from Indigenous methodologies and is informed by preexisting scholarship in Indigenous, Aboriginal and Native American Women’s History. Primary and secondary sources about specific Anishinaabeg women who worked the sugar bush and/or were affiliated with its trade between the late 18th century and late 19th century are central to the research. She draws on Anishinaabe language, traditional stories, oral histories and conversations with Anishinaabe knowledge practitioners and thinkers about their present and past experiences working the sugar bush.

The Catherine Prelinger Award will support Christine’s research to defense, anticipated summer 2015, and thereafter it’s transformation into a manuscript.

Christine is Anishinaabe of mixed ancestry and is a language and land learner; writer; activist; and educator in Indigenous history, women and gender, literature and Anishinaabeg Studies.

Past Catherine Prelinger Award Winners

2013 – Donna Sinclair as a PhD candidate in Urban Studies at Portland State University (PSU).  Her dissertation topic is “Multicultural Mandates: Transforming the U.S.D.A. Forest Service in the Civil Rights Era.”

2012 – Julie R. Enszer as a PhD candidate in Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.  She defended her dissertation, “The Whole Naked Truth of Our Lives:” Lesbian-Feminist Print Culture in the United States from 1969-1989″ in 2013.

2011  La Shonda Mims as a PhD candidate in History at the University of Georgia. She defended her dissertation, “Drastic Dykes and Accidental Activists:  Lesbians, Identity, and the New South” in 2012.

2010 – Dr. Stephanie Moore received the Prelinger Award to conduct additional research for her manuscript-in-progress, Dangerous Races: “Yellow Peril” in Latin America, and to make such research accessible to Nikkei communities.

2009 – Dr. Grey Osterudis is an independent scholar and used the Prelinger Award to complete her book, Putting the Barn Before the House: The Lives of Rural Women in Twentieth Century New York (Cornell University Press, 2012).

2008 – Midori Green as a PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota to complete her dissertation on, “Sec’s Appeal: The Secretary in American Popular Culture, 1900-1964.”

2007 Ann Marie Wilson as a PhD candidate at Harvard University completed her dissertation on, “Taking Liberties Abroad: Americans and International Humanitarianism, 1880-1920.”

2006 Dr. Linda Rupert defended her dissertation “Inter-imperial Trade and Local Identity: Curaçao in the Colonial Atlantic World” from Duke University in 2006.

2005 Dr. Catherine Fosl who was an Assistant Professor of Communication and Women’s-Gender Studies, at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. She used the award to work on her project on the “Fairness Campaign,” centered in Louisville, Kentucky.

2004 Dr. Barbara Ransby at the University of Illinois at Chicago used the Prelinger funds to explore the life and work of African American feminists in three organizations, the National Black Feminist Organization, its offshoot, The Comhabee River Collective, and the Third World Women’s Alliance.

2003Dr. Linda Reese from the University of Oklahoma, used the Prelinger funds to complete the research on the history of the African American women of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, 1840-1890.

2002 – Dr. Lisa Di Caprio used the Prelinger funds to travel abroad to study several key cases prosecuted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that illustrate various aspects of women’s role in international justice.

2001Pamela Stewart as a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona used the Prelinger Award to cover costs of travel to the Archives Nationale, Archives de Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, and Bibliotheque Marguerite Durand in Paris, and the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam, where she will explore the rich collections of data from the Paris Commune of 1871.  Her dissertation title is “Invisible Revolutions: Women’s participation in the 1871 Paris Commune.”

2000Ms. Rickie Solinger, an independent scholar, used the Prelinger Award to support research associated with her study of King v. Smith, the first welfare care ever heard by the U. S. Supreme Court. The Court’s 1968 decision invalidated the “man-in-the-house” or substitute father rule.

1999Ms. Kathleen Sheldon, an independent scholar, used the Prelinger award to complete a history of women in Mozambique, which is titled Pounders of Beans: Women, Work and Ideology in Mozambique, 1850 to the 1990s.

1998 Dr. Fran Buss, used the Prelinger award to complete an oral history of Mary Robinson, a sharecropper who becomes an effective indigenous leader and activist in rural Alabama, titled The Moisture of the Earth: The Moral Vision of An African American Sharecropper Turned Activist.