The GRG Annual Undergraduate Dissertation Prize

The Gender Research Group awards an annual Undergraduate Dissertation Prize. Students present their dissertations at a symposium (which has taken place virtually over the past two years).

Dr Min Wild (Plymouth) has acted as a judge in the 2020/21 and the 2019/2020 symposiums. 

202021 Winners

  • First Place – Erin Hollinshead (B.A. in Combined Honours) for her dissertation on Peru’s family planning and sterilisation under the Fujimoro government
  • Second Place – Grace Waterhouse (B.A. in English Literature) for her work on Angela Carter and the rejection of androgyny as escape
  • Third Place – Becky Tuck (B.A. in Politics and Sociology) for her project on gender and the Universal Basic Income

Honourable Mentions: Kate Adair (B.A. in Law). Eleanor Gelson (B.A. in Education), Lauren Jackson (B.A. in Sociology) and Alica Page (B.A. in English Literature and History).

There were submissions from every School in HaSS (which is a first!). The judge noted that the energy of all the submissions, and praised all participants for their passion and commitment to think about gender studies.

2019/20 Winners

  • First Place – Maria Marti (B.A. in Sociology)“Listen – our Troubled Body is Speaking: Embodied Legacies of Female Basketball Players”
  • (Joint) Second Place – Abi Hockaday (B.A. in English Literature), “The Cyborg and the Goddess: (Im)Possible Femininity in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (1992)”and Lauren Duckworth (B.A. in English Literature), “Monstrous Female Otherness in Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife (1999)
  • Third Place – Molly Tonks (B.A. in History) “Women in the Soviet Army in World War Two”

The quality of presentations was extremely high, and our judge noted the students all displayed an ‘excellent grasp of intellectual content’ and the demands of the ‘level of engagement and attention’ required in presenting their work virtually.

The GRG Annual Masters Dissertation Prize

The Gender Research Group awards an annual Masters Dissertation Prize.


Winner: Gabriella Rutendo Mwedzi, “Blinded By Faith: An Investigation into the Attitudes of Black Christian Clergy Members Towards Intimate Partner Violence in England and Wales” (completed for the M.A. in Sociology and Social Research).

Runner-Up: Abi Hockaday, “Women, Computers and Sex: Power and Desire in Early British Science Fiction Magazines” (completed for the M.Litt. in English Literature). 

Many thanks to the shortlisting and judging colleagues: Dr Sarah Collins (HCA), Dr Nikki Godden-Rasul (NLS), and Dr Gareth Longstaff (SACS).


Professor Jennifer Richards and Professor Liz Todd judged the 2020 Prize and noted that they “would like to congratulate all three authors, each of whom delighted and informed us in equal measure. We enjoyed three well-crafted, well-paced and outstandingly well-researched dissertations. Well done indeed!”.  They look “forward to seeing the future research of shortlisted authors!”.

Winner: Marta Kuhn (dissertation submitted for the M.A. in the History of Medicine), “Taking the Curse off ‘the Curse’: An Analysis of Menstrual Health Education Films in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain”

Judges’ Comments: [T]he author also took us on a different journey, one which chimes with the work the Institutes are doing. They gave us a very clear account of why the social and cultural matter to our understanding of a physiological phenomenon: menstruation. They had a good understanding of the gaps in current research on British educational films on women’s health, and they persuaded us their research was step towards filling these. We appreciated this author’s story of the entangled rather than linear history of menstruation. We felt the wiser for reading it! 

Joint Runners-Up:

Juliana Beykirch (dissertation submitted for the M.Litt. in English Literature): “‘[D]oubly press’d, by Love and Friendship’: Male Homosociality and the Early Modern Female Playwright”

Ellen Bishell (dissertation submitted for the M.Litt. in Latin American Studies): “Gender, Socio-Spatial Politics, and ‘Constrained Freedom’ in Cuban and Dominican Reggaeton”

Julie Sanders, Karen Ross and Annie Tindley acted as judges for the GRG Masters Dissertation Prize 2019.


Winner: Nicole Samantha Ellis, MA in Media and Public Relations, “Blackfishing and the Pretty Privilege: Analysing the Beauty Stereotypes on the Cultural Identity of Mixed-Race Women”

Runner-Up: Hannah Budge, MSc in Food and Rural Development Research, “Detrimental or Fundamental: Does the Lerwick Up-Helly-Aa Gender Debate Help or Hinder Shetland Society?”

Both dissertation were described by the judges as breaking new ground in their fields.

The GRG Writing Groups

 The Gender Research Group runs monthly writing groups broadly designated by the subject that the participants are working on. In 2020/21, the groups are running on Friday mornings on the following subjects:

Gender & Writing

Gender & Nation

Violence & Activism

Gender/Sexuality & Institutions

The topics are chosen every year based on the interests of the participants.

Book Launches and Other Events

The Gender Research Group hosts many book launches and events related to the topics of gender, sexuality and/or the body.

Recent events include:

  • A talk by Grace Lavery about her new book, Please Miss: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Penis, hosted by the HASS EDI Director, Professor Kate Chedgzoy, on April 6th 2022.

Grace Lavery is Associate Professor in the Department of English at UC Berkeley, and affiliated faculty in the Department for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, and the Program in Critical Theory. Please Miss is a memoir of gender transition and recovery from addiction, a dance across genres, a ripping-up of the rulebook. Please Miss can be purchased via Daunt Books:

  • ‘Spaces of Consent’, an event consisting of two panel discussions and a virtual exhibition. This event was organised by Tina Sikka on the 29th-30th April 2021, and focused on taking up and troubling how sexual consent as a social and legal framework has changed and its place in the #MeToo era.

Further details can be found here by clicking ‘View Details’:

  • The book launch to celebrate the publication of Professor Máire Cross’s (Emerita, School of Modern Languages) book, In the Footsteps of Flora Tristan: A Political Biography ( This event was hosted by the The Gender Research Group, in conjunction with the Labour & Society Research Group and the School of Modern Languages, on November 19th, 2020.