2011-12 Distinction in Women’s Studies
“Rooms of Respite: Redefining Traditionally Female Spaces in Mansfield Park, Middlemarch, and Mrs. Dalloway
2011-12 Viola Rossing Awards
Alexandra Shea Garrett
2010 – 11 Viola Rossing Awards
“Women in Electoral Politics”
In her essay, Karen postulates that successful female candidates would emphasize hard political issues in their campaigns, and then shows through her research on campaign ads that this does not actually prove true.
“The Journey from Ed to Ellen: Fitting into a Binary Gender System”
This essay skillfully weaves together the biography of Ellen Krug, a post-op male to female and selected themes from gender theory. The sensitive and sympathetic treatment of Ellen’s story and the treatment of theory created a fine piece of writing.
“Freedom of Expression: Gender Diversity at St. Olaf College”
This project explores the context of gender identity at St. Olaf, informed by contemporary gender theory. Catey explains gender and transgender identity with attention to key issues of naturalization and essentialism, and usefully questions the sex/gender distinction.
Annika Tohlen - Annika’s Distinction project earned a Rossing Prize as well.
2009 – 10 Distinction & Viola Rossing Award
Chance Voigt - Augustine, Ecofeminism, and Disease
My project, “Augustine, Ecofeminism, and Disease: Towards an Ecofeminist Theodicy of Natural Evil”, interrogates the ecofeminist Christian theologies of Sallie McFague, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and J. Michael Clark with the question – “if God is all-good and all-powerful, why do good people suffer from disease?” I argue that, although theodicy is not explicitly discussed at great lengths by these three theologians, their ecofeminist framework and larger theological ideas have great potential for the Christian journey of reconciling God’s love with the reality of disease. I offer the beginnings of a distinctly ecofeminist theodicy of natural evil and disease that offers comfort, meaning, and value to both human beings and the natural world.
2009 – 10 Viola Rossing Awards
Margaret Shoemaker - Gender in Early Education
I visited elementary schools and observed how teachers influenced gender in the classroom. Teachers reinforce certain behaviors and I wanted to observe and interview the teachers to see if their personal beliefs about gender were expressed in their teaching methods. I also researched the history of how gender became an issue of debate in the education system and how it currently is included in the definition of ‘diversity.
My paper was entitled “Entertaining Knowledge: Trends in Popular Women’s Magazines 1910-1960.” I surveyed and researched St. Olaf’s archives of popular women’s magazines (primarily Good Housekeeping) using four lenses. The first was a historical overview of women’s publications during said time period and the following three sections included observations I made from the content of the magazines, titled “Women and Politics,” “Women and Work,” and “Women and Domesticity.”
In Jan Hill’s Intro to Women’s Studies class, we were required to write a 4-6 page paper discussing trends in magazines from different historical periods that reflect changing attitudes about women in recent United States history. I focused on the portrayal of marriage and the “single woman” in young women’s magazines within the last 60 or so years.