The Critical Ethnic Studies Committee of the ASA is delighted to announce the winner of the 2021 Critical Ethnic Studies Prize.
This year we present the award to Dr. Rachel Jane Carroll, Lecturer in the African American and African Diaspora Studies Program at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, for her paper, “Found Materials.” Through a careful analysis of the artist Senga Nengudi’s R.S.V.P. series of nylon pantyhose “performance objects,” Carrol shows how their material components register and offer commentary about distinct, layered regimes of racial capitalism and imperialism. Situating Nengudi’s work within a genealogy of Black feminist cultural critique, Carroll shows how this creative/intellectual trajectory offers important commentary on US militarism during the Cold War period. The Committee selected this essay not only for the brilliance of its content, but also for its remarkable quality of prose. Carroll effectively theorizes the complex place of the art works with an uncommon clarity while offering vivid descriptions that bring them to life for the reader. We are so pleased to have the honor of recognizing such a distinct and important contribution to the field of critical ethnic studies and American studies more broadly.
The Committee would also like to recognize the work of two additional scholars, who receive honorable mention for their brilliant essays:
“(Dis)Proving Pain & Performing A Commons of Pain,” by Lau Malaver, PhD Candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado, Boulder.
“Reconstructing Memory Landscapes: The Politics of Witnessing in the Aftermath of the Vietnam War,” by Jacinda Tran, PhD Student in the Department of American Studies at Yale University.
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