2019/20 Dissertation Prize Winner

The winner for the 2019/20 Dissertation Prize is Monisha Jackson (University of Leeds). She is currently in Atlanta doing a PhD at GSU. The dissertation is entitled “I’m Not your SISTA”: Queer Black Women’s Experiences in LGBTQ+ Night-time Spaces. It will be added to the RACE dissertation prize winner archive, which can be found here.

“Navigating and negotiating LGBTQ+ night-­time spaces can be difficult for any person trying to explore their sexuality or establish community outside of heteronormativity. For queer Black women, it can be even more challenging, due to the intersectional oppression that occurs within these public spaces. This research investigates the experiences of queer Black women navigating and negotiating both mainstream LGBTQ+ night-­time spaces and QTIPOC night-­time spaces. Semi-structured interviews were used in order to best provide and centre the voices of the queer Black women who were involved in this research. The study found that whilst participants desired to engage in night-­time spaces that were not heteronormative, mainstream LGBTQ+ night-­‐time spaces were sites where numerous incidents of intersectional discrimination occurred. Homonormativity also structured general LGBTQ+ night-­time spaces in creating a distinction between undesirable and desirable clientele, informed by processes of capitalism. These spaces therefore were found to cater to gay white men whilst excluding other members of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically queer Black women. As a result of the intersectional discrimination that participants experienced in general LGBTQ+ night-­‐time spaces coupled with QTIPOC night-­‐time spaces offering increased comfort, safety and acceptance for queer Black women, this research found that QTIPOC night-­time spaces transformed queer Black women’s experiences of navigating LGBTQ+ night-­life in a largely positive way.”

Monisha said the following when she got the news:

“Wow! What a wonderful email and news to receive. Thank you so much, I am truly honoured to have won this.”

Please feel free to tweet congratulations to Monisha – @monishaissano

We would normally present the prize to Monisha at the RGS-IBG conference in the summer, but it got cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. Instead, we are looking into another way to acknowledge this achievement, such as an interview for the RACE blog. There will be more information on the RACE Working Group’s summer plans soon, too (race and teaching special issue, dissertation materials, online events).

James Esson (dissertation prize co-ordinator) and RACE would also like to acknowledge the following people for their help and support as reviewers: Adefemi Adekunle, Akile Ahmet, Emma Bates, Stefanie Boulila, Nader Fekri, Matilda Fitzmaurice, Hang Kei Ho, Rowan Jaines, Nigel De Noronha, Francesco Nurra, Agostinho Pinnock, Peny Sotiropoulou.

We try our utmost to make sure our dissertation prize is awarded based on a rigorous and fair process, and this is only possible with the hard work of RACE members. THANK YOU!

We are looking forward to receiving the new dissertation submissions next month. More information on what, how and when to submit here.

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