Fellowships & Awards

CLAGS offers three significant fellowship and award opportunities for exceptional student advocates and researchers in the area of LGBTQ studies:

  • The Kessler Award is given to a scholar who has, over a number of years, produced a substantive body of work that has had a significant influence on the field of LGBTQ Studies. 
  • The José Esteban Muñoz Award was created to honor an LGBTQ community leader or activist for their advocacy and promotion of LGBTQ Studies.
  • The Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship assists scholars and professionals whose research on the LGBTQ experience can benefit from access to CLAGS’s resources and its location in midtown Manhattan.

Additional fellowships and awards for which students may apply are detailed below. Please review all application deadlines and requirements carefully.

All questions and inquiries should be directed to clagsfellowships@gmail.com.

General Events Fellowship ($5000)

This fellow will assist in the planning of events for the academic year (fall and Spring semesters). The fellow will be directly involved in the execution of all Spring 2023 events. This fellow should be collaborative, organized, detail-oriented, and able to take direction from multiple team members. The fellow should be knowledgeable and familiar with online meeting/presentation platforms like Zoom. The fellow will work directly with both the CLAGS Board Events Committee and staff. The fellow will support the marketing and promotion activities related to all events as well as take a logistical lead on event-related work. For maximal event promotion, the fellow will liaise with internal campus contacts, internal CUNY persons, and external community partners. The fellow must be available to attend and support all Spring 2023 events. The fellowship’s activities require a large in-person component, though some events may be hybrid or online.

Deadline: TBA

Not accepting applications at the moment.

This fellow will help CLAGS in building out student and public facing educational training/assessment activities. The fellow should be organized, interested in planning and evaluation work, and have a background in data collection and analysis. The fellow should have an interest in curriculum design, experience is a plus. The fellow will work directly with the CLAGS Education Committee, collaborative department partners within the Graduate Center, and staff. The fellow will maintain an inventory and tracking of courses offered that satisfy the LGBTQ Studies concentration both within the GC and at other CUNY institutions. The fellow will liaise with the GC registrar and educational training areas throughout CUNY. The fellow will track and monitor students working toward the completion of the LGBTQ Studies concentration. The fellow will support LGBTQ Studies certificate planning activities, including a student interest survey. The fellow will develop promotional materials for the LGBTQ Studies-related work. The fellow will develop and implement an informational session about LGBTQ Studies at the Graduate Center. The fellow will create a general assessment tool to be used for all CLAGS-related events and activities. The fellow will support the collection and entry of organizational data used for various institutional reports. This fellowship has both an in-person and online component. 

Deadline: TBA

Not accepting applications at the moment.

This fellow will plan and execute four (4) events for the semester. Three events will include the discussion of topics of interest to students. One event will be a student social. This fellow should be organized, self-directed, and a multi-tasker. The fellow will create the vision, planning, and implementation of all events. This does include completing all logistical tasks. Some tasks must be completed on-site such as picking up flyers and posting them throughout the GC; day of activities like checking the room, prepping the space, and being actively present for the duration of each event. Staff will provide minimal support as needed. This fellow must have an interest in getting involved in campus life and should maintain a significant presence at the GC. This fellowship cannot be completed fully online.

Deadline: TBA

Not accepting applications at the moment.


This fellow will coordinate and complete virtual promotion and information distribution activities. The fellow should be an innovative thinker, self-starter, multi-tasker, have strong writing skills, experience in online content development, and a background specifically in social media promotion and content design. The fellow should be knowledgeable and familiar with a diverse set of virtual platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. Experience with other online/digital platforms such as Canva, Eventbrite, and Constant Contact as well as press release creation is welcome. The fellow will provide general virtual support for event promotion. The fellow will assist in the development of content as well as dissemination of other relevant CLAGS or community-based information. The fellow must be willing to have a FB account - it can be a "dummy account" – for the purpose of managing the CLAGS page. The fellow will also support CLAGS staff to create a virtual/online expansion plan to increase the organization’s digital footprint. The fellow will support the monitoring of the general CLAGS email. This fellowship mainly has a large online component.

Deadline: TBA

Not accepting applications at the moment.

Next Deadline: June 1st, 2024

This award, which honors the memories of Monette, a poet and author, and his partner, Horwitz, an attorney, will be given for the best dissertation in LGTBQ Studies, broadly defined, by a PhD candidate within the City University of New York system. The dissertation should have been defended in the previous year. Adjudicated by the CLAGS fellowships committee.


  1. A cover letter stating your name, address, contact information (mailing address, email address, and phone number), school/campus affiliation, and project description.
  2. One full copy of the dissertation.
  3. One full copy of the abstract.

Applications may be submitted directly through email or through file-transfer sites such as WeTransfer. Please send all submissions/file transfers to clagsfellowships@gmail.com. Files saved on CD are also accepted. Print copies will not be accepted.

Previous Recipients


Benjamin Gillespie

“Staging Retro-Perspectives: Performing Age, Memory/Loss, and Queer Desire in the Later Works of Split Britches (2009-2020)”

Benjamin Gillespie (he/him/his) holds a PhD in Theatre & Performance Studies from The Graduate Center, CUNY. His dissertation “Staging Retro-Perspectives: Performing Age, Memory/Loss, and Queer Desire in the Later Works of Split Britches (2009-2020)” explored the intersection of aging, gender, and queer identity in the performances of the New York-based lesbian-feminist theatre company Split Britches, made up of Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver. He is currently at work editing a critical anthology of Split Britches’ later works based on his dissertation research. Benjamin is Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies in the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College, CUNY where he teaches gender and media studies, performance studies, and professional communication. He is also Associate Editor of PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. His articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as Performance Research, Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, Modern Drama, Theatre Survey, PAJ, Theatre Research in Canada, and Canadian Theatre Review, along with a number of scholarly anthologies.


Patrick Clement James

“Hermeneutics of Residue: Archival Slime and Queer Literacy”

Patrick Clement James is an essayist, poet, and researcher from Woodstown, NJ. His writing has appeared in several journals, including The New Delta Review, AGNI, American Chordata, The Mid-American Review, and The Cincinnati Review. As a music critic, he has contributed extensively to Parterre Box. His research interests include rhetoric and composition, queer theory, and archive studies. His current project, Hermeneutics of Residue: Archival Slime and Queer Literacy, deploys a variegated set of disciplinary frameworks—such as queer theory, cultural rhetorics, literacy studies, and historiography—to address various queer modes of learning and literacy. He has previously taught at the University of Houston and Brooklyn College. He currently teaches writing at West Chester University of Pennsylvania


Mariana Romo-Carmona


Mariana Romo-Carmona (@piedrambar) was awarded the 2019 Monette-Horwitz prize for her doctoral dissertation, “Una enunciación intersticial: la poética del destierro de Carlos de Rokha,” a study of queer poetics and suicide in the Chilean Vanguard Era.

A bilingual writer and translator, she is the author of the books Living at Night, Sobrevivir y otros complejos: Poems in Englillano, Speaking like an Immigrant, and Conversaciones. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Latin American and Latin@ Studies Program, and the Classical and Modern Languages Department of City College, CUNY. Her research interests include surrealism and queer poetics, and race, class, and gender in Latin American and Latinx literature in Spanish and English.


Jagadīśa-devaśrī Dacus

Dr. Jagadisa-devasri Dacus is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University.

Dr.Dacus has conducted two National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded research studies that focused on maintained HIV-negativity in Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in New York City. His research aims to identify and understand the psychological, social, and spiritual strengths and resiliencies that contribute to the maintenance of HIV-negativity in Black MSM populations.

He is a state-licensed social worker who possesses an extensive history of working for and with community-based organizations, nonprofits, and local and state health departments engaged in the provision of HIV programs, interventions, and other services for at-risk people of color populations, youth, drug users, and LGBTQ+ populations.

Dr. Dacus is a skilled facilitator and trainer and has worked extensively with organizations in the areas of strategic planning, team building, and program development and evaluation. As a subject matter expert his expertise centers on organizational cultural competence, broadly, and cultural competence. He received his MS in Social Work from Columbia University and his PhD from The Graduate Center, City University of New York.


Timothy M. Griffiths

Bricolage Propriety: The Queer Practice of Black Uplift, 1890-1905

Timothy M. Griffiths is a postdoctoral fellow in English and African American Studies at the University of Virginia. He recently earned his PhD in English from The Graduate Center, CUNY with a certificate in American Studies. His areas of research include queer theory, African American Culture, nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, posthumanism, and popular music studies. His essays and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in African American ReviewAmerican LiteratureCallalooGLQISLE, and The Journal of Popular Music Studies. His current project, Bricolage Propriety: The Queer Practice of Black Uplift, 1890-1905, situates post-Reconstruction black American culture in the genealogy of queer American studies. It also roots current queer theory in this archive. Focused on archival papers and novels by Charles W. Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, Sutton Griggs, Thomas Nelson Page, William Hannibal Thomas, and Thomas Dixon Jr., Bricolage Propriety illuminates inventions of and challenges to black sexual propriety in late-nineteenth-century culture. It argues that this archive not only calls into question the purity and novelty of queer antinormativity in the present, but it further illustrates the constitutive relationship between performatives of blackness and American theories of sexual propriety in postbellum American history. Previously, he has taught at Brooklyn College and is also a former Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow and NYPL Schomburg Center Scholar in Residence.


Tara Burk

Let the Record Show: Mapping Queer Art and Activism in New York City, 1986-1995

Tara Burk is a Philadelphia-based art historian. Her work appears in places such as Women Studies Quarterly and Journal of Curatorial Studies. She has lectured widely at institutions and conferences including the Brooklyn Museum, The IFA-Frick Symposium on the History of Art, The College Art Association Annual Meeting, and The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies.
She received her doctorate in Art History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2015. Her dissertation, “Let the Record Show: Mapping Queer Art and Activism in New York City, 1986-1995,” examines the American activist art collectives Silence=Death Project, Gran Fury, and fierce pussy. It traces the development of cultural AIDS activism in the urban public sphere and the reconfiguration of both artistic and political engagement during the American culture wars of the late twentieth century.
Tara is currently a lecturer at Rutgers University, where she teaches a course on pornography and gender. She recently curated a Visual AIDS web gallery, “Summer Streets,” which considers the urban street as both a site and a feeling of crucial significance to sexual outlaws. Her latest project examines the iconography of hands in queer art, which is supported in part by the Leather Archives and Museum Visiting Scholar program.


Thomas Hafer

‘The Last of the Great Bohemians’: Film Poetry, Myth, and Sexuality in Greenwich Village and the Atlantic, 1930-1975

Thomas W. Hafer completed his Ph.D. in History at the Graduate Center, CUNY in 2014. His dissertation, ‘”The Last of the Great Bohemians”: Film Poetry, Myth, and Sexuality in Greenwich Village and the Atlantic, 1930-1975’, examines the modernist identity, art, and sexuality of a group of bohemian artists as they encounter postmodernist art and gay liberation in the 1960s and 1970s. He regularly teaches history at John Jay College, Brooklyn College, and St. Francis College.


Salvador Vidal-Ortiz

A recent doctoral graduate from the Graduate Center’s department of Sociology, was awarded the Monette-Horowitz award for his dissertation, “Sexuality” and “Gender” in Santería: Towards a Queer of Color Critique in the Study of Religion. His dissertation theorizes the relationship between sex, gender, and sexuality by empirically studying the participation and reception of Lesbian-, Gay-, Bisexual-, and Transgender- or Transsexual- (LGBT) identified practitioners of Santería, an Afro-Cuban religious-cultural practice, in New York’s metropolitan area. Using traditional ethnographic and interview methods, selected media coverage, experimental qualitative methods, and Santería literatures, the dissertation challenges the relationship between “gender” and “sexuality” as either interrelated categories in the social sciences, or as ontologically distinctive.


Jordan Schildcrout

Awarded the 2005 Monette-Horwitz prize for his dissertation, This Thing of Darkness: Reclaiming the Queer Killer in Contemporary Drama. Schildcrout completed his Ph.D. in Theatre at The Graduate Center, CUNY in May 2005. His dissertation analyzes “the queer killer” as a frequently recurring character type in dramatic narratives. The study examines the homophobic paradigm that imagines sexual nonconformity as criminal, destructive, and evil, but also aims to deepen and enrich our understanding of plays featuring queer killers by interpreting them as complex works of imagination that trade on metaphor and fantasy to entertain, provoke emotion and thought, and illuminate queer experience.


Terence Kissack:

Awarded the Monette-Horwitz Prize for his dissertation, “Anarchism and the Politics of Homosexuality.” Kissack defended the dissertation at The Graduate Center, CUNY in the Fall of 2003 and is currently revising the manuscript for publication. His work has appeared in the Radical History Review, the Journal of the History of Sexuality, and the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. He is currently serving as executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society (http://www.glbthistory.org).


Sean Massey

(Honorable Mention): Sean Massey received an honorable mention for his dissertation in psychology, completed at The Graduate Center, CUNY, “Polymorphous Prejudice: Liberating the Measurement of Heterosexuals’ Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men.”.


Patty Kelly

Patty Kelly was awarded the 2003 Monette-Horwitz Prize for her dissertation, “Sex Work in the ‘Other’ Chiapas: Prostitution, Morality, and Modernity in Urban Mexico.” Kelly received her Ph.D. in anthropology in October 2002 from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship at Baruch College, CUNY, and just published a chapter called, “I Made Myself from Nothing: Women and Sex Work in Urban Chiapas” in Women of Chiapas: Making History in Times of Struggle and Hope (Christine Eber and Christine Kovic eds. Routledge 2003). Based upon twelve months of ethnographic and archival research, Kelly’s work examines legalized prostitution in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, in order to analyze both the relationship between neoliberalism, urbanization, and culture, and how cultural beliefs surrounding gender, sexuality, and morality are constructed, experienced, and contested in contemporary Mexico.


Bruce Kirle

Bruce Kirle for “Cultural Collaborations: Re-Historicizing the American Musical.” Kirle argues that musical theater texts are not fixed by authorial intent or by the authenticity of an original production, but can be read in relation to their cultural moments. To explore this phenomenon, he focuses on three successful Broadway musicals that featured queer characters and opened in the season following the Stonewall riots: Company, Coco, and Applause.


Walter R. Holland

PhD in English graduate of CUNY Graduate Center in 1998. His dissertation “The Calamus Root: American Gay Male Poetry Since World War II” was awarded the first Paul Monette-Roger Horwitz Dissertation Prize.

Next Deadline: December 1st, 2023

An endowed fellowship named for CLAGS founder and first executive director, Martin Duberman, and partner, Eli Zal, this fellowship is awarded to a graduate student, an independent scholar, or an adjunct from any country doing scholarly research on the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer (LGBTQ) experience.

University affiliation is not necessary. The award is adjudicated by the CLAGS fellowships committee.

The winner of the fellowship may be asked to participate in CLAGS’s programming the following academic year to present their research project.


Applications must include the following:

  1. A cover letter with your contact information (address, phone number, and e-mail), the title of your project, the names of your recommenders, and the fellowship you are applying for.
  2. A research proposal of 7-10 pages, double-spaced, including references.
  3. A brief statement of how the funds will be used.
  4. A curriculum vita.
  5. Two letters of recommendation.

Please send all submissions electronically via e-mail to clagsfellowships@gmail.com.

Letters of recommendation should be sent by email directly from recommenders to clagsfellowships@gmail.com.


CLAGS will confirm the receipt of email submissions within a few days of receiving them.

Previous Recipients



Nneoma Onyinye Onwuegbuchi

“Male Barbies”: Trans-Identity, Body Politics, and Social Media in Africa

Nneoma Onyinye Onwuegbuchi is a Ph.D. student in the Department of African Cultural Studies with a minor in Gender and Women Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes in transgender and sexual identities in West Africa, African fashion and film, and social media politics. Her master’s thesis, which sets the tone for her dissertation project, was entitled “The Fashion Politics of Nigeria’s ‘Male Barbie.”’ Onwuegbuchi is a member of the Amnesty International UW-Madison Chapter, which seeks to establish policy-based changes and spread awareness about social injustices and human rights abuses. Additionally, she is a 2023 cohort member of The Discussion Project, which designs and implements equitable, inclusive, and engaging discussions in virtual and in-person classrooms. Before joining UW-Madison, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. Finally, Onwuegbuchi was assistant editor of The Muse, established in 1963 by Chinua Achebe and the oldest surviving student publication in West Africa. 



Zainab Khalid

Geographies of Collective Care for Queer Muslims in the United States

Zainab Khalid is a PhD Candidate at the Anthropology Department at Syracuse University with a certificate of advanced studies of Women’s & Gender Studies. Her research interests include imperialism, sexuality and Islam in the United States, specifically the convergence of queer Muslim identity and practices of collective care within the context of Euro-American imperialism.


Chris (Doza) Mendoza

Femme Formants & Morphology Queens: Language, Ballroom & Activism from Spanish Harlem to San Juan

Chris (Doza) Mendoza is an incoming Ph.D. student in Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Their forthcoming research project examines the discursive construction of the body and cross-modal semiotic interplay between gesture, voice, words, morphemes, and gender in the communicative practices of performers in the Ballroom scene. They are interested in unveiling how language is central to understanding Ballroom’s transformation from its origins in Black and Latinx Harlem to its current emergence and political mobilization in Puerto Rico. Combining online multimodal discourse, ethnographic interviewing, and queer of color (linguistic) critique, they hope to shed light on how the patería of borivoguers continues the historical tradition of Ballroom as a space for alternative world-making through their use of language.


Shilpa Menon

There are no Hijras here: Transgender Rights and Subnational Identity in Kerala, South India

Shilpa Menon is a PhD student of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her dissertation work looks at the emerging movement around transgender rights in Kerala, South India. Through ethnography, she examines how the English term “transgender” has come to attain unprecedented state and popular recognition, not primarily through the globalized rubric of “LGBTQIA+ rights,” but by drawing on long-standing, regionally specific discourses and institutions tying subnationalist identity to gender politics through the figure of the (cis) woman. Theoretically, this work asks how the dialogue between queer and transgender studies, area studies, and the anthropology of gender and sexuality can be enriched by expanding the study of regional conceptions beyond nationalism and transnationalism.


Javier Fernández Galeano

Contested Sexualities: Male Homosexuality and the State in Twentieth-Century Argentina and Spain

Javier Fernández Galeano is a History PhD candidate at Brown University. His dissertation explores how state authorities, scientific experts, and sexual nonconformists battled over the meanings of male homosexuality in Argentina and Spain between the 1940s and 1980s. He has a BA in history and a BA in anthropology -both cum laude- from the Universidad Complutense. He received a MA in historical studies from The New School, where he studied as a Fulbright scholar. In 2018-2019, he will be a Mellon/ACLS fellow. He has published in the Journal of the History of Sexuality and has a forthcoming article in LARR.


Robert Franco

Revolution in the Sheets: The Intimate Politics of the Mexican Left, 1901-1981

Robert Franco is a PhD candidate in History at Duke University whose work is concerned with the politics of gender, sexuality, and the family in Latin America. His dissertation project, titled “Revolution in the Sheets: The Sexual Politics & Intimate Practices of the Mexican Left, 1901-1981” examines the antagonism of the Mexican Left – communists, socialists, and anarchists – towards sexual politics. His project seeks to historicize the political foundations of these hostilities to understand why sexual politics wax and wane as issues of concern for the Mexican Left, and what are the contingencies that undergird the outburst of intolerance in political discourse.


Andrés Castro Samayoa: Understanding Social Identities’ Histories in Educational Data Collection Instruments in Contemporary United States   This project explores the social histories of survey instruments utilized to amass large-scale educational research data. Drawing from sociology of knowledge, bibliometrics, and history of science, my project connects the contemporary interest in big data with the various constructions of demographic information, such as racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual categories.


Mab Segrest: For her project ST EOM, Jayne County, and the Georgia-to-NYC Rural Queer Avant-Garde. Mab Segrest is Professor Emeriti of Gender and Women’s Studies at Connecticut College. Segrest has worked for thirty-five years as a teacher, writer and activist in a range of movements on queer issues, anti-racism, and social and economic justice. “Memoir of a Race Traitor” (South End Press, 1994) was Editor’s Choice in the Lambda Literary Awards, was named an Outstanding Book on Human Rights in North America by the Gustavus Myers Center on Human Rights, and was nominated for Non-Fiction Book of the year by the Southern Regional Council. She is currently living in Brooklyn and working on two books of social history on Georgia’s state mental hospital at Milledgeville, the largest such institution in the world during the 1940s and 1950s as culmination of her work on identity, culture and power in the U.S. South.


Clare Hemmings: Senior Lecturer in Gender Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the UK. Her project, “Bisexuality, Transnational Sexuality Studies and Western Colonial Legacies,” explores the work that bisexuality does within the expanding field of transnational sexuality studies. Clare asks why it is that bisexuality matters in relation to dilemmas within the field, particularly those concerning naming of sexual practices outside of contexts where sexual identity categories are readily available. Her focus is thus not on what bisexuality is, or which practices, where, might nestle under the term, but on what the absence or presence of bisexuality means for theorists of transnational sexuality. The work so far has highlighted ways in which citation of bisexuality locks transnational queer studies into a developmental paradigm it might otherwise wish to challenge.

2006 (two winners)

Susan Stryker: Beginning research for a biographical film about Christine Jorgensen, the working title of which is “Christine in the Cutting Room.” It focuses on Jorgensen’s career as a photographer and film maker.

Kathryn Conrad (Honorable Mention): Received the Duberman honorable mention for “Space for Change: Sex, Knowledge, and the Politics of Public Space,” a book-length project on visibility, sexuality, and political epistemology in Northern Ireland.

2005 (two winners)

E. Patrick Johnson: Associate Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies and Director of Graduate Studies at Northwestern University. His research project, Sweet Tea: An Oral History of Black Gay Men of the South, examines the oral histories of black gay men who were born, raised, and continue to reside in the South. Gathering oral histories from black gay men between the ages of 19 and 93 from states that were a part of the confederacy, Johnson tries to fill a void in the historical accounts of racialized sexual minorities in the South. Ultimately, Johnson hopes that this project will complicate gay histories that suggest that gay subcultures flourished mostly in northern, urban, industrial cities, by theorizing the South as a “vital” subculture and reconsidering this region as “backward” and “repressive” when clearly gay community building and desire emerge simultaneously from within and against southern culture.

Jim Hubbard (Honorable Mention): Received a Duberman Award honorable mention for the “ACT UP Oral History Project,” an archive of interviews with ACT UP organizers. Interview transcripts and video clips of the project can be seen at http://www.actuporalhistory.org


Ellen Lewin (Honorable Mention): Professor in the Departments of Women’s Studies and Anthropology at the University of Iowa. Her research examines the experience of gay men who are or seek to become fathers by investigating the moral and cultural claims that actual or potential parenthood allows them to make. Her research questions the assumptions about the centrality of motherhood in shaping gender, the position of fathers within families, and the designations of appropriate maternal and paternal spheres. Lewin conducts most of her research in the Chicago area.

2002 (two winners)

Laurence Senelick (Honorable Mention): Fletcher Professor of Drama at Tufts University and has published widely on gender, performance, and the arts. He has published The Changing Room: Sex, Drag and Theatre, which received the George Freedley Award’s Honorable Mention for best theatre book of 2000 from the Theatre Library Association and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. He is currently conducting research for his next book, Picturing Perverts: Popular Imagery of Sexual Deviates, which will trace the evolution of popular imagery of what is now referred to as the gay man and the lesbian woman from the Reformation to the Second World War.

Kathy Conrad (Honorable Mention): Assistant Professor of English at the University of Kansas and teaches courses ranging from Irish culture and literature to women’s autobiography. She is currently completing a book manuscript, Locked in the Family Cell: Gender, Sexuality, and Political Agency in Irish Discourses of the Nation, which looks at the relationship among gender, sexuality, and nation, and, in particular, the ways in which narratives shape political rhetoric and political agency. She has previously received the Dermot McGlinchey Award for her work in Irish Studies and has recently lectured on lesbianism in Irish feminist writing, on sodomy and sovereignty in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and on the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization.


James Green: Green is examining the interaction of Brazilian social and cultural norms with the lesbian and gay movement, including the significant interchange between lesbians and gay men, and currently works in Latin American history at California State University, Long Beach.


Michael Bronski: Bronski’s work explores shifts in conceptualizing outsider status and citizenship that occurred during the 1950s as the restrictions of overt (although not covert) discrimination changed for American Jews, and a more vocal and visible “minority” of homosexuals emerged into mainstream consciousness.

Next Deadline: December 1st, 2023

An award to be given annually for a graduate student, an academic, or an independent scholar for work on a dissertation, a first book manuscript, or a second book manuscript. The CLAGS Fellowship is open to intellectuals contributing to the field of LGBTQ studies. Intended to give the scholar the most help possible in furthering their work, the fellowship will be able to be used for research, travel, or writing support. Adjudicated by the CLAGS fellowships committee.


  1. A cover letter stating your name, address, contact information, school/campus affiliation and project description.
  2. If submitting a dissertation, please submit the most complete version of your dissertation; if submitting a first or second book manuscript, please submit at least three chapters from your proposed project.
  3. If submitting a dissertation, one copy of the abstract; if submitting a book manuscript, one copy of your prospectus.

Applications may be submitted directly through email or through file-transfer sites such as WeTransfer. Please send all submissions/file transfers to clagsfellowships@gmail.com. Files saved on CD are also accepted. Print copies will not be accepted.

Previous Recipients



Selima Jumarali

The Influence of Psychiatric Hospitalization on Mental Health Help-Seeking for LGBTQ People of Color

Selima Jumarali (she/hers) is a queer, Indo-Caribbean, Muslim educator, scholar, and healing practitioner committed to abolitionist and anti-carceral practice within the mental health field. She is a PhD candidate in the Clinical-Community Psychology program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research focuses on the mental health experiences of queer and trans communities of color and the material needs of survivors of intimate partner violence. Her thesis study was an inductive qualitative study that explored the expectations and experiences of LGBTQ people of color (POC) in identity-based matched psychotherapy arrangements with LGBTQ therapists of color. Her dissertation study is a quantitative study examining the prevalence of perceived coercion among LGBTQ POC who were psychiatrically hospitalized for suicidality and investigating how perceived coercion, institutional betrayal, and needs satisfaction influence the traumatic impact on patients and their future mental health help-seeking. Selima previously co-led diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during her 9+ year career in student affairs at NYU. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology from the University of Miami, her Master of Arts in Student Affairs from NYU, and her Master of Arts in Human Services Psychology from UMBC.


Emrah Karakus

Queer Debt: Affective Politics of Security and Intimacy in Kurdish Turkey

Emrah Karakus is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Arizona, and for the next two years, he will be a junior research fellow at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. His interdisciplinary research lies at the intersection of cultural anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, and security studies, with a focus on the modern Middle East. Bringing together anthropological methods and literature with interdisciplinary approaches of queer and feminist studies, his research shows that the securitization of everyday lives not only involves domination and resistance but also remakes selfhood across racialized and sexual identities and political causes through the restructuring of desire, difference, and belonging. His dissertation, entitled Queer Debt: Affective Politics of Security and Intimacy in Kurdish Turkey, draws on 18 months of Wenner-Gren Foundation-funded dissertation fieldwork in Turkey to analyze the effects of emergent security regimes in intimate lives and livelihoods of queer and transgender Kurds. Emrah is also a Jean Monnet Scholar who completed his MSc at University College London’s Security Studies program. His research interests include Kurdish struggle and sexual politics in the Middle East, critical race scholarship, affect theory, queer migration, and war ecologies.


Kemi Adeyemi

Feels Right: Black Queer Women’s Choreographies of Belonging in Chicago

Kemi Adeyemi is Assistant Professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies and Director of The Black Embodiments Studio at the University of Washington. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Her books include Feels Right: Black Queer Women’s Choreographies of Belonging in Chicago (under contract with Duke University Press) and the co-edited volume, Queer Nightlife (University of Michigan Press). Recent writing appeared in GLQ, Women & Performance, TSQ, and the Routledge Companion of African American Art History


Kareem Khubchandani

Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife

Kareem Khubchandani is Mellon Bridge assistant professor in theatre, dance, and performance studies, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Tufts University He holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Kareem is developing several book projects include: Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (forthcoming, U. Michigan Press), Queer Nightlife (co-edited with Kemi Adeyemi and Ramón Rivera-Servera, under contract with U. Michigan Press), Decolonize Drag! (under contract with Warscapes), and Auntologies: Queer Aesthetics and South Asian Aunties.  He has published in South Asia, SAMAJ; Scholar and Feminist Online; Transgender Studies Quarterly; Journal of Asian American Studies; The Velvet Light Trap; Theater Topics; and Theatre Journal. Kareem is also a performance artist; his alter ego LaWhore Vagistan has performed at The Asia Society; AS220; Queens Museum; Jack Theater; Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance; Links Hall, and ART Oberon.


Roy Pérez


Roy Pérez is an associate professor of English and American Ethnic Studies at Willamette University, and a visiting scholar in the Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA for 2018-2019. He received his PhD in English at NYU in 2012. His essays and poems have appeared in Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility (MIT Press, 2017), Narrative, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States (OSUP, 2017), Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, the Best of Panic! poetry anthology, Bully Bloggers, and FENCE magazine. He is the co-editor, with Kadji Amin and Amber Musser, of a special issue of ASAP/Journal on the topic of “queer form.” His current book project, titled Proximities: Queer Configurations of Race in Latinx Literature and Performance, examines cross-racial representation and collaboration in queer Latinx writing, performance, and visual art.


Rachel Corbman

“Conferencing on the Edge: A Queer History of Feminist Field Formation, 1969-1989”

Rachel Corbman is a doctoral candidate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stony Brook University. Her research interests center on the history of U.S. social movements, LGBTQ and feminist activism, and the relationship between social movements and the formation of interdisciplinary fields of study. Her dissertation, “Conferencing on the Edge: A Queer History of Feminist Field Formation,” traces the infrastructural and intellectual history of U.S. feminist and queer field formation, spanning the institutionalization of the first women’s studies programs in the 1970s and the development of gay and lesbian studies in the late 1980s. In addition to her work as a scholar and teacher, Rachel is on the coordinating committee of the Lesbian Herstory Archives, the oldest and largest lesbian historical collection in the world.


Shanté Paradigm Smalls

Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City

Shanté Paradigm Smalls is a scholar, artist, and writer. Smalls’s teaching and research focuses on Black popular culture in music, film, visual art, genre fiction, and other aesthetic forms. Dr. Smalls recently finished their first scholarly manuscript, Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City, which won the 2016 CLAGS Fellowship Award for best manuscript in LGBTQ Studies. Hip Hop Heresies is the first of its kind—placing queerness, hip hop, and black aesthetics in conversation with one another to argue that New York City hip hop cultural production from the 1970s to the mid-2010s inherently employs “queer articulations” of race, gender, and sexuality.


Elias Vitulli

Carceral Normativites: Sex, Security, and the Penal Management of Gender Nonconformity

Elias Vitulli is a Visiting Lecturer of Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College. His research explores the connections between queer/transgender studies and critical prison studies. His current project, “Carceral Normativites: Sex, Security, and the Penal Management of Gender Nonconformity,” examples the history of the incarceration of gender nonconforming and transgender people in the US from the early twentieth century to the present, focusing on the evolution and logics of penal policies and practices. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies, with a minor in Feminist and Critical Sexuality Studies, from the University of Minnesota in 2014. His work has appeared in GLQ, Social Justice, and Sexuality Research and Social Policy.


Ronald Cummings

Queer Marronage and Caribbean Writing

Ronald Cummings is currently Assistant Professor of Postcolonial Studies at Brock University. He was the 2013-2014 postdoctoral research fellow in Critical Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University. His research focuses on representations of queerness and marronage in Caribbean writing and cultural discourse.

Next Deadline: December 1st, 2023

This award, which honors the memory of Rivera, a transgender activist, will be given for the best book or article to appear in transgender studies this past year (2020-2021). Applications may be submitted by the author of the work or by nomination (the application requirements are the same for each; see below). Adjudicated by the CLAGS fellowships committee.


  1. A cover sheet detailing the article’s publication venue or book’s publisher, date of publication, and complete contact information for the applicant.
  2. Please send the entire article or, for books, the first chapter or first 20 pages in .pdf format.

Applications may be submitted directly through email or through file-transfer sites such as WeTransfer. Please send all submissions/file transfers to clagsfellowships@gmail.com. Files saved on CD are also accepted. Print copies will not be accepted.

Previous Recipients



Sayan Bhattacharya

Inhabiting the State Subjunctively: Transgender Lifemaking alongside Death and a Pandemic

Sayan Bhattacharya is an assistant professor in the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park Their current research is an ethnographic and archival exploration of various improvisatory and innovative strategies that Indian trans communities deploy to make life in an environment saturated by violence. These effortful strategies range from gestures that seek pleasure, negotiations with the nation state on demands of welfare to the performance of care labor for each other and devising dark humor on death that help trans people not only endure violence but also to refuse its overdeterminations of trans life. Sayan stages conversations between anthropologies of the everyday, trans, queer and critical disability studies scholarship on care and anti-caste literatures to study the efforts needed to reproduce an everyday that can be inhabited. Their research has appeared in Radical History Review, Global Public Health, Transgender Studies Quarterly, South Asian Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, QED and GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies among others. Sayan also volunteers with several community led trans and disability rights organizations in West Bengal in India.

2021(2 Winners)

Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes

Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance 

Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes is Professor and Chair of the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Women’s and Gender Studies, and a core faculty member of the Latina/o Studies Program. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he is author of Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities in the Diaspora (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), Escenas transcaribeñas: Ensayos sobre teatro, performance y cultura (Isla Negra Editores, 2018), and Translocas: The Politics of Puerto Rican Drag and Trans Performance (University of Michigan Press, 2021). In 2001, he invited Sylvia Rivera to a meeting of Latino Gay Men of New York and recorded her speech, which was then published in a special 2007 issue of CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies on “Queer Puerto Rican Sexualities” along with two articles on Rivera by Jessi Gan and Tim Retzloff. The audio recording is now part of the collection of the LGBT Community Center National History Archive in New York City. He has also published on Sylvia Rivera in Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies: A Reader (NYU Press, 2021). Larry performs in drag as Lola von Miramar since 2010 and has appeared in several episodes of the YouTube series Cooking with Drag Queens. He appears on social media as @larrylafountain and @lolavonmiramar.

Eric A. Stanley

Atmospheres of Violence

Eric A. Stanley is an associate professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and the author of Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/Queer Ungovernable (Duke 2021). Along with Tourmaline and Johanna Burton, Eric edited the anthology Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2017) and with Nat Smith, they edited Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press 2011/15).


Marquis Bey

Black Fugitivity Un/Gendered

Marquis Bey received a PhD in English and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Cornell University and is currently an Assistant Professor of African American Studies and English, as well as core faculty in Critical Theory, at Northwestern University. Their work concerns black feminist theorizing, transgender studies, critical theory, and abolition. Bey is the author of multiple books, most recently The Problem of the Negro as a Problem for Gender (U of Minnesota P, 2020) and the forthcoming Black Trans Feminism (Duke U P, 2022).

2019 (2 winners)

Aren Aizura

Mobile Subjects: Transnational Imaginaries of Gender Reassignment

Aren Aizura is Associate Professor in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota and the author of Mobile Subjects: transnational imaginaries of gender reassignment (Duke UP, 2018). He is the co-editor of the Transgender Studies Reader 2 (Routledge 2013) and his work has appeared in numerous journals and books, including Queer Necropolitics (Routledge, 2014) and Trans Studies: Beyond Homo/Hetero Normativities (Rutgers University Press, 2015). He is currently working on a new project on the intersections of transnational sex worker and transgender activism, and writing a short book about queer and trans social reproduction.

B Camminga

Transgender Refugees and the Imagined South Africa: Bodies over Borders and Borders over Bodies

B Camminga (they/them) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS), Wits University, South Africa. Their work considers the interrelationship between the conceptual journeying of the term ‘transgender’ from the Global North and the physical embodied journeying of transgender asylum seekers from the African continent. In 2018 they were runner up in the Africa Spectrum: Young African Scholars Award, which honours outstanding research by up-and-coming African scholars. Their first monograph Transgender Refugees & the Imagined South Africa was published in 2019 (Palgrave). The book received honourable mention in the Ruth Benedict Prize for Queer Anthropology from the American Anthropology Association in the same year. Their current book project, Beyond the Mountain: Queer Life in Africa’s ‘Gay Capital’ (Unisa Press), co-edited with Dr zethu Matebeni, explores the conflicting iterations of race, sex, gender and sexuality that mark Cape Town. They are the co-convenor of the African LGBTQI+ Migration Research Network (ALMN). The network aims to advance scholarship on all facets of LGBTQI+ migration on, from and too the African continent by bringing together scholars, researchers, practitioners, activists and service providers to spark critical conversations, promote knowledge exchange, support evidence-based policy responses, and initiate effective and ethical collaborations. Presently they are working on the first collection addressing African LGBTQI+ migration entitled: Bodies and borders: LGBTQI+ migration on, from and to the African continent.


C. Riley Snorton

Black on Both Sides

C. Riley Snorton, Professor of English Language and Literature and holds a residency at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Chicago. Snorton is a cultural theorist who analyzes representations of race and gender throughout history. He is the author of Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low(University of Minnesota Press, 2014) and Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction and an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book in Nonfiction. The book has also been recognized by the Organization of American Historians and the Institute for Humanities Research.

Snorton’s next monograph, tentatively titled Mud: Ecologies of Racial Meaning examines the constitutive presence of swamps to racial practices and formations in the Americas. Currently, he is coediting Saturation: Racial Matter, Institutional Limits and the Excesses of Representation (New Museum / MIT, forthcoming) and The Flesh of the Matter: A Hortense Spillers Reader (forthcoming). He has also coedited several special issues of journals, including “Blackness” for Transgender Studies Quarterly (2017), “The Queerness of Hip Hop / the Hip Hop of Queerness” for Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International (2013), and “Media Reform” for the International Journal of Communication.

Snorton has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at Pomona College, and two fellowships at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication with graduate certificates in Africana studies and women, gender, and sexuality studies.


Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel & Sarah Tobias

Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/ Homo Normativities

Yolanda Martínez–San Miguel is a cultural critic and literary theorist. She works on issues of sexuality and gender in the production of knowledge and cultural representations in Latin American colonial and Caribbean postcolonial literature and discourse. Her other areas of research and teaching interest include colonial Latin American discourses and contemporary Caribbean and Latino narratives, migration, and Cultural Studies. She has an MA and PhD in Latin American Cultural Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a BA in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico. Martínez– San Miguel is the author of Saberes americanos: Subalternidad y epistemología en los escritos de Sor Juana (1999), Caribe Two Ways: Cultura de la migración en el Caribe insular hispánico (2003), From Lack to Excess: “Minor” Readings of Colonial Latin American Literature (2008), and Coloniality of Diasporas: Rethinking Intra- colonial Migrations in a Pan-Caribbean Context (2014). In 2010-2013, she was the director of the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers, where she holds a holds a joint appointment in Latino and Caribbean Studies and Comparative Literature. During the 2017-2018 is the Martha Weeks Chair in Latin American Studies at the University of Miami.

Sarah Tobias is Associate Director of the Institute for Research on Women (IRW) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where she is also affiliate faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. Her work bridges academia and public policy. A feminist theorist and LGBT activist, she is co-editor of Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities (Rutgers University Press, 2016), co-author of Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families (University of Michigan Press, 2007), and editor of the online journal Rejoinder. Prior to joining IRW in January 2010, she spent over 8 years working in the nonprofit sector, including as Public Information and Research Director at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (now Outright Action International) and as a consultant to the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce (now the National LGBTQ Taskforce). She has also taught at Rutgers-Newark, the City University of New York (Baruch College and Queens College), and Columbia University. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, England.


Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a resource guide written by and for transgender and gender nonconforming people about all aspects of life, including health, legal issues, relationships, sexuality, history, and activism. It is packed with great information, as well as individual stories and photos that highlight real lives. It is a must-read for parents, friends, partners, teachers, therapists, and other health providers. (Edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth, Oxford University Press, 2014).


Che Gossett

We Will Not Rest in Peace: AIDS Activism, Black Radicalism, Queer and/or Trans resistance

Che Gossett is a genderqueer writer and activist who works to excavate queer of color AIDS activist and trans archives.  They have received a research grant from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for their project on legacies of Black queer solidarity with Palestinian struggle, have been selected as a Martin Duberman visiting scholar with the New York Public Library and have published work in Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex and volume two of the transgender Studies Reader.


Samuel Ng

Trans Power!: Sylvia Lee Rivera’s STAR and the Black Panther Party

Samuel Ng is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the American Studies program at NYU, working with advisor Nikhil Pal Singh. He graduated from Yale University in 2009 with a BA in American Studies.  Before coming to NYU, he worked as an intern in the National Museum of American History and as a teaching fellow in the history department at Phillips Andover.  His research interests include black intellectual history in the 20th century, civil rights movements, nationalism and empire, and gender and sexuality studies.  He is currently at work on a dissertation that charts the emergence and development of mourning and lingering in despair as a viable mode of black political protest and organizing in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century.


Amanda Lock Swarr

Sex in Transition: Remaking Gender and Race in South Africa

Amanda Lock Swarr is Associate Professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. Prior to joining the UW faculty in 2005, she was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Barnard College of Columbia University. She holds a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies and a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Bucknell University. Swarr’s research explores queer and trans* concerns, medical inequalities, gendered violence, and transnational feminist politics and has appeared in journals including SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and Feminist Studies. She is the author of Sex in Transition: Remaking Gender and Race in South Africa (2012) and co-edited the anthology Critical Transnational Feminist Praxis (2010) with Richa Nagar. Since 1997, Swarr has worked with South African activists to address transgender politics, gendered medical abuse and experimentation, HIV/AIDS treatment access, and sexual violence targeting lesbians and trans* people.


Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes, Inc.: Awarded the 2006 Silvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies for the pamphlet “Providing Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Services.” The publication is directed toward healthcare providers and offers information on the barriers transgender clients face in seeking healthcare, guidance on creating a more inclusive health center, a glossary of terminology related to gender and sexuality, as well as historical information and a guide to more resources. The pamphlet is an internal publication of Planned Parenthood and was distributed electronically and free of charge to Planned Parenthood centers around the country.


Sally Hines: A Research Fellow in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds, UK. She has published a number of journal articles and book chapters on transgender practices of identity and intimacy, and is currently revising her thesis for the publication of a research monograph, which is entitled ‘(Trans)Forming Gender: Transgender Practices of Identity, Intimacy and Care‘. She was awarded the Sylvia Rivera award for her article ‘ “I am a Feminist but…”: Transgender Men, Women and Feminism’, which was published in Reger, J. (ed.) (2005) Different Wavelengths: Studies of the Contemporary Women’s Movement, New York and London: Routledge. It examines the relationship between gender diversity and feminist theory and activism, and argues for stronger links between feminism and transgender.


Benigno Sifuentes-Juáregui: For Transvestism, Masculinity, and Latin American Literature: Genders Share Flesh. Sifuentes-Juáregui describes his recent Palgrave publication as “a detailed analysis of the relation among transvestism, male homosexuality, and gender figurations in contemporary Latin American cultural, social, and literary texts.”

Next Deadline: December 1st, 2023

Each year, CLAGS sponsors a  student paper competition open to all graduate students enrolled in the CUNY system.  A cash prize is awarded to the best paper written in a CUNY graduate class on any topic related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgender experiences. Papers should be between 15 and 50 pages and of publishable quality.


  1. Submissions should include a copy of the paper with the author’s name, contact information, campus affiliation, and the name of the course/instructor for which the paper was written.

Applications may be submitted directly through email or through file-transfer sites such as WeTransfer. Please send all submissions/file transfers to clagsfellowships@gmail.com. Files saved on CD are also accepted. Print copies will not be accepted.

Previous Recipients


2022 (2 Winners)

Alyssa Kayser-Hirsh

Embracing the Blurry Boundaries of Female Friendships: Lessons Learned from Nineteenth-Century Women’s College Fiction

Alyssa Kayser-Hirsh is a Masters candidate at The Graduate Center, CUNY in the Liberal Studies program. Her concentration is American Queer Women's History and her thesis focuses on friendships among female students at the Seven Sister Colleges in the late 19th century. In addition to her scholarship, Alyssa is an arts administrator and musician. She is the Executive Director of Luna Composition Lab, as well as the Social Media Coordinator at Carnegie Hall. Originally from Amherst, MA, Alyssa is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she received degrees in Music and American Studies. 

Maggie Schreiner

 "Stop AIDS Evictions!": Housing, Discrimination, and New York City's Homelessness Crisis (1985-1988)

Maggie Schreiner is a PhD student in History at the CUNY Graduate Center, researching queer and trans organizing for affordable housing in New York City from the 1970s through early 2000s. Maggie was the lead curator for Interference Archive's exhibition, publication, and programing series We Won't Move: Tenants Organize in New York City. Maggie is an adjunct faculty member in NYU’s Archives and Public History MA program, and the former manager of archives and special collections at Brooklyn Historical Society (now the Center for Brooklyn History).


2020 (2 winners)

Naomi Podber

“When I Read the Words “Contrary to the Fantasy of the Transsexual”:  Repopulating Feminist Scholarship with Embodied Experience”

I am a social psychologist whose research examines ways to develop a society that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of all people. I came to the Graduate Center to study Social/Personality Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies after spending a decade as an elementary and middle school music teacher, and my research has focused on the potential of the arts to foster a sense of personal value and power, as well as a dedication to equality. I have worked as a researcher and consultant for the Bernard van Leer Foundation, College Action: Research and Action, Education Through Music, and the NY Civil Liberties Union.  My master’s thesis project was a qualitative study that examined music as site of political engagement, community-building, and collaborative personal and social transformation within a majority queer and trans activist street band. My dissertation uses propensity score methodology to examine more broadly whether engagement in the arts during school may lead to an increase in prosocial values. I teach undergraduate research methods, statistics, and psychology of gender courses at the City University of NY and New York University, and I am a teaching assistant for graduate-level statistics courses at NYU.

Austin Oswald

“Intersectional Expansiveness Borne at the Neuroqueer Nexus”

Austin Oswald is a Social Welfare PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center and Doctoral Fellow at Silberman Aging: Hartford Center of Excellence in Diverse Aging. Austin is an anti-racist, queer gerontologist whose research and teaching is committed to queer, disability, and racial liberation across the life course. As a doctoral fellow at Silberman Aging, they manage a national program evaluation of LGBTQIA+ cultural sensitivity trainings for aging services providers across the United States. Their dissertation research applies an intersectional perspective to critically examine the “age-friendliness” of New York City alongside a coalition of LGBTQIA+ elders of color.


Olivia Dunbar

“Trans Rights as White Rights: Racialized Gender and the Canadian Settler State”

Olivia is a person who is white, Jewish, qt, and autoimmune with a background in visual art practice. They recently received an MA degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center, where their thesis traced contemporary white ideologies of big data and ‘artificial intelligence’ to Antebellum era conceptions of public and private space as shaped by racial slavery, Blackness, and embodied refusals of racial capitalism. Olivia is an incoming PhD student in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Guenther. Their current research focuses on abolition geographies, starting from an analysis of white settler colonial geographic, aesthetic, and carceral practices of perception, including remote sense and point of view.


LeiLani Dowell

“Finding a Way Out: Out in the Night and Our ‘Unbearable Wrongness of Being”

LeiLani Dowell is a Presidential MAGNET Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in English at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is interested in issues of grievability and power in relation to ‘human rights’ discourses. Her current work examines U.S. carceral logics through the case of the New Jersey Four, a group of lesbian and gender nonconforming people imprisoned for defending themselves against an attack in New York’s Greenwich Village in 2006.


Navid Khazanei 

“Reading Arendt after Sex and Obergefell: Education as the Solution for the Crisis in the Queer Revolution”

Navid Khazanei, CUNY Law J.D.c ’17, is currently serving CUNY Law Review as an Executive Articles Editor. Navid, an emigré from Iran, previously spent his Sorensen Fellowship tenure with Immigration Equality, providing direct legal services to LGBTQ/HIV+ immigrants and working for administrative and legislative changes in U.S. immigration law. His research interests include: Feminist Legal Theory; Critical Tax and Philanthropy Studies; Diaspora Studies; Critical Legal Pedagogy; and Arendtian Constitutionalism. 


Karen Lepri

The Poetics of Misrecognition, and the Aesthetic Potental of (Not)Knowing

Karen Lepri is the author of the collection of poems, Incidents of Scattering (Noemi, 2013) and was the recipient of the 2012 Noemi Poetry Prize. Her poetry, essays, and translations appear in Aufgabe, Boston Review, Lana Turner, Conjunctions and more. She teaches writing and literature at Queens College, The Cooper Union and Bard College. Her current dissertation research explores how entwined understandings of magic and poetry have had a racializing effect on the ways 20th century poetry critique thinks and works. She is also writing on the side on Stein’s social negativity, Wittgenstein’s erotic marginalia, and Barthes’ The Neutral.


Mariana Romo-Carmona

The constitution of lesbian characters in the novels of Ibis Gómez-Vega and Ena Lucía Portela

Mariana Romo-Carmona is co-editor of Cuentos: Stories By Latinas, author of the novel, Living at Night, and Sobrevivir y otros complejos: Poems in Englillano. Her Master’s thesis is on deterritorialization and suicide in the work of surrealist Chilean poet, Carlos de Rokha, and begins her doctoral studies (Fall, 2014) in the Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Lits. and Langs. Program at The Graduate Center, CUNY.


Maria Edurne Zuazu

Lip-syncing as Queer Autobiographical Performance in Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation


Ajay Gehlawat

“Don’t Spill the Juice! The Emergence of the Homosexual Subtext in Bollywood”

Next Deadline: December 1st, 2023

Each year, CLAGS sponsors a student paper competition open to all undergraduate students enrolled in the CUNY or SUNY system. A cash prize is awarded to the best paper written in a CUNY or SUNY undergraduate class on any topic related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgender experiences and scholarship. Essays should be between 12 and 30 pages, well-thought-out, and fully realized.


Submissions should include a copy of the paper with the author’s name, campus affiliation, and the name of the course/instructor for which the paper was written.

Applications may be submitted directly through email or through file-transfer sites such as WeTransfer. Please send all submissions/file transfers to clagsfellowships@gmail.com. Files saved on CD are also accepted. Print copies will not be accepted.

Previous Recipients


Kyle Aaron Reese

“The Intersection Between Gender Variant Individuals and Drug Use: Where Do We Go From Here?”

Kyle Aaron Reese is a student at Brooklyn College in the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies program, studying Queer Psychosocial Research. His work centers around the destigmatization of TGNC individuals and creating real and lasting social change through pedagogy and direct action. He is constantly working towards bettering education for and expanding the freedoms of LGBTQIA+ people in New York City and the rest of the country.


Joe Baez

“In My Dreams I Am Being Held”

Joe Baez is a recent graduate of Brooklyn College. He received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and Women’s & Gender Studies. Joe is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, a former CUNY Pipeline fellow, and an alumnus of the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) summer internship program. This Fall, he will matriculate into the doctoral program in American Studies at George Washington University. As a scholar, he dreams of radically transforming the ways we love ourselves, our bodies, and each other. 


Tatiana Ades

“Queer Cartographies: Reading and Travel in Fun Home and Girls, Visions, and Everything

Tatiana Ades is a recent graduate of CUNY Hunter College where she double-majored in Women & Gender Studies and English with departmental honors. As an undergraduate, she worked as an Editorial Intern for Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society and as a Rudin Intern for the Morgan Library and Museum’s Reference Collection. Currently, she is wrangling in her disparate research interests and reading as many books as possible.


Kadeem Robinson

“The Confucian Homosexual: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Homosexuality in Late Imperial China Through the Exploration of Law, Society, and Literature”

Kadeem Robinson is a Senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice majoring in Humanities and Justice Studies and minoring in Theatre Arts. A Jamaican immigrant, his interests include researching and understanding complex gender and sexuality issues in the Afro-Caribbean realm. His goal is to address the pervasive homophobia and misogyny in Anglo-Caribbean countries. His paper was inspired by his Justice in Non-Western Traditions class. Kadeem is currently the Secretary of John Jay’s Student Council and interns at the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services. He intends to pursue a PhD in Gender and Sexuality Studies.


Levi Bain

Shattering the lens: what we assume to be heterosexual Black men’s perceptions of Black MSM, and how they really see them

Levi Bain is a junior at CUNY: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he double-majors in Law & Society and Culture & Deviance Studies. His burgeoning interest in the social sciences has led him to produce two ethnographic research reports. He’s currently assisting two John Jay College professors with their own scholarly work and interns at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Upon graduating from college, he intends to pursue a J.D./Ph.D. in Anthropology.


Liron Cohen

The Death of a Lesbian – Death in Lesbian Theatre

Liron Cohen is an undergraduate CUNY BA student at Hunter College. Her unique degree is in Journalism / US Media and Culture. She is also the college newspaper’s theatre critic. Liron started her academic career as an international student from Israel. She has since then married her partner of four years and is now a happy equal resident of the US, thanks to the Supreme Court’s overturning of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

Past/Inactive Awards

The following awards are not currently being offered and will not accept new applicants. The program will announce when/if they reopen.

An annual award named for Robert Giard, a portrait, landscape, and figure photographer whose work often focused on LGBTQ lives and issues, this award is presented to an emerging or mid-career artist, from any country, working in photography, photo-based media, or moving image, including experimental, narrative, or documentary forms of these media. The award now alternates annually between artists working with still images (photography) and those working with moving image (video or film). This award will support the development or completion of a project, one that is new or continuing, that addresses issues of sexuality, gender, or LGBTQ identity. The Foundation is receptive to a variety of projects and approaches to these topics.

University affiliation is not necessary. If you are not sure whether you will be eligible for the award, we recommend that you contact us well before the deadline so we can make a determination; otherwise, you may be declared ineligible after the deadline and your application will not be submitted to the committee. This award is adjudicated by the fellowships’ committee of CLAGS and a jury of the Robert Giard Foundation.

All work ranging from experimental to documentary to traditional photo formats will be considered.

Download General Submission Guidelines

Applicants should send:

  1. Artist’s C.V.
  2. A description of the proposed project (500 – 750 words in length)
  3. Representative examples of their work (work samples)
  4. Two letters of support
  5. General Questionnaire

All materials should be sent to clagsfellowships@gmail.com. For information about how and where to send work samples, please look at our detailed Giard Fellowship guidelines. Please note that no applications will be accepted at this time.

Please email the CLAGS office with any questions.

Please make sure to print and read our detailed Giard Submissions guidelines in addition to these guidelines written here for the Robert Giard Award.


CLAGS will confirm the receipt of email submissions within two weeks of receiving all materials.

Final decisions for the awards are made in the spring.

The winner of the fellowship will be asked to participate in CLAGS and Giard Foundation programming the following academic year to present their completed project.

Previous Recipients


Roberto Tondopó studied photography at the Contemporary Photography Seminar, by Centro de la Imagen. Currently, he is pursuing a master’s degree in Visual Arts in the postgraduate program of Arts and Design at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).


P.J. Raval was awarded the fellowship for his “Untitled Jennifer Laude Documentary.” In this film, grassroots activists in the Philippines are spurred into action when a local transgender woman is found dead in a motel room with a 19-year-old U.S. marine as the leading suspect. As they demand answers and a just trial, hidden histories of U.S. colonization come bubbling to the surface.


Leonard Suryajaya is the 2016 – 2017 Robert Giard Fellow for his multimedia project Other Mother.

Suryajaya’s work explores intricate and complicated layers of selfhood in the context of cultural background, intimacy, sexual preference, and personal displacement. Prompted by his upbringing as a second-generation Chinese Indonesian raised by a Muslim woman, Suryajaya’s mixed media project examines expressions of allegiance in a globalized world.


Juan Carlos Zaldivar: ALTERATIONS follows J, a young trans person, as she sets out to reconnect with her estranged mother for the first time as a woman.  Months prior, when Jesus told his bi-polar mother, Mary Jane, that he was going to transition into a woman, his mother had a heart attack. When Mary Jane came to, she did not remember her identity and now believes that she is someone else. ALTERATIONS chronicles a magical weekend escapade where the two women meet as their new selves. When they challenge each other to face their worst fears, a new friendship blossoms that is independent from their blood ties. ALTERATIONS will use special technology, which allows for the video to contain ‘hot spots’ when viewed on the Web.  Users will be able to mouse-over the video as it plays on the Web to discover and access other elements of the story as well as additional, related experiences.


Ka-Man Tse: For her project, Portraits and Narratives of LGBTQ Asians and Asian-Americans in the U.S. and Hong Kong. Ka-Man Tse is a New York based photographer and video artist. She received an MFA from Yale University in 2009, and a BA from Bard College in 2003. She has exhibited at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York, NY, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Cornell University, Capricious, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Gallery 339 in Philadelphia, and the Eighth Veil in Los Angeles. She was a SPARC Artist-in-Residence through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and completed the Artist in the Marketplace program through the Bronx Museum of Arts. This summer her work will be featured in two shows, at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, and in Our Portraits, Our Families at the Museum of the Chinese of America, a group photography exhibition featuring portraits of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals and their families. She teaches at Yale University School of Art and at Cooper Union. To see more of Ka-Man’s work, check our her website here:www.tsewhat.com


Carmen Oquendo-Villar: For her film, Diana de Santa-Fe. Carmen Oquendo-Villar ‘s films explore gender issues in Latin America and within Latin@ communities in the United States. She’s trained in documentary filmmaking (Harvard University) and narrative fiction (NYU’s Graduate Film Program). Her films include: Boquita (2005), Mizery (2006), The Needle (2012), Camil (2013), Carmelo (in post-production) and Santa Fe (in development). Her work has been supported by foundations like the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Jacob Javits Fellowship, Fulbright, WGBH, NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers) , and most recently, by the Robert Giard Foundation. Oquendo-Villar holds a Ph.D. in literature from Harvard University.


Cary Cronenwett: Go with Flo is a personal essay film that describes my relationship with a close friend and creative partner, Flo McGarrell, and revolves around a dream McGarrell had, which caused him to have a realization of his transgender identity and ultimately brought us together. The film is a non-traditional love story that spans the time from when I first met Flo in 2004 to his memorial service in 2010. I am recreating the story from memory with the intent of creating an archival document that solidifies our relationship. The first person narration will be punctuated by dates, which suggest that parts of the text are excerpts from diary entries. Archival footage from a variety of sources piece together a document of visual evidence of our work as individuals and as creative partners. Go with Flo will stand on its own as a short work (with a run time of 20 minutes), and will eventually be screened as a companion piece to Kathy Goes to Haiti, which is a documentary/ fiction hybrid that revolves around the incomplete narrative (based on the 1978 novel, Kathy Goes to Haiti, by Kathy Acker) McGarrell and I were co-directing together at the time of his death. This short, experimental narrative film was intended to be part of a longer work based on Acker’s complete novel, which was scheduled for completion in summer of 2011, but less than three weeks after wrapping production on the short, McGarrell died in the earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010. Go with Flo investigates McGarrell’s impact on the lives of artists, particularly queer artists, at FOSAJ art center in Jacmel. A context for interpreting McGarrell’s contributions to the queer community in Jacmel will be created through lesbian, gay, and transgender Haitians discussing life for queer people in Haiti.   Cary Treadwell Cronenwett received the Bay Area Guardian Goldie Award for Local Discovery after the release of his 2009 film, Maggots and Men (55min). His first short film, Phineas Slipped (2002) played extensively in the international LGBT film festival circuit. Currently, based in Los Angeles, he is pursuing an MFA in the Film/Video program at CalArts, but is on exchange at Universtät der Kunst in Berlin. He is in post-production on a documentary/ fiction hybrid set in Haiti, which is loosely based on the novel, Kathy Goes to Haiti, by Kathy Acker.


Yoruba Richen: The New Black, a 30-minute documentary about American Black Christian churches and the gay rights movement, will air on PBS in 2014. After receiving the Robert Giard Fellowship, Yoruba Richen was awarded support from the Ford Foundation, Jerome Foundation, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the 2012 Creative Promise Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Find more information at The New Black.


Molly Landreth & Amelia Tovey: Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life In America


Sonali Gulati: For her project, “Out & About,” a short personal documentary film recounting her travels in India where she presents a portrait of four families dealing with LGBTQ identified children. Sonali Gulati is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Photography & Film. She has an MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University and a BA in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College. Gulati has made several short films that have screened at over two hundred film festivals worldwide. She has won awards, grants and fellowships from the Third Wave Foundation, World Studio Foundation, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Theresa Pollak Award for Excellence in the Arts, amongst several others. Her upcoming documentary project Out & About is a noteworthy film on parents of LGBT youth in India for which Gulati was awarded the Robert Giard Fellowship.


Angela Jimenez (Finalist): (Finalist.) A freelance photo documentarian/journalist based in Brooklyn where she is a regular contributor to the New York times, a contract photographer at Getty Images and does a personal project work, with a special emphasis on gender and sexuality. She has a BA in English Literature/American History from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Photojournalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is currently completing a documentary photography book on Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. You can find her work online at www.angelajimenezphotography.com. Her project, Womyn’s Land is an ongoing documentary project about the historic network of feminist-separatist (mostly lesbian) intentional communities in North America. The womyn’s land movement was the radical feminist branch of the back-to-land movement of the 1970s. Angela is documenting the contemporary state of this movement, in the form of photographs and documentary sound. A portion of this work was published in February 2009 in this article “My Sister’s Keeper,” which ran in the Sunday Styles section in The New York Times.


Madeleine Olnek (Finalist): A playwright, director and filmmaker working in comedy. Her first movie “Hold Up” was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and won the Newfest audience award for best short. Her second movie, “Make Room for Phyllis,” a comedy about polyamory, played at festivals throughout the US and Europe; and her third movie, “Countertransference” was an official selection of Sundance 2009, as well as winning the Outfest Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Dramatic short. More info about her projects is available at www.countertransferencethemovie.com. Her project, Neurosis is a Pre-Emptive Behavior is part of an ongoing project; a series of shorts that look at lesbians and gays in therapy.

Each year, CLAGS sponsors two student travel awards open to all graduate students enrolled in the CUNY system.

A cash prize is awarded to a student presenting subject matter that addresses gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgender issues in their respective field. Presentations can be for conferences held in the U.S. or abroad.


Submissions should include a one-page abstract of the paper or presentation and a cover sheet detailing the conference dates, location, and complete contact information for the applicant

Please send all applications via e-mail to clagsfellowships@gmail.com. Please note that no applications will be accepted at this time.

Award winners will be required to submit proof of attendance and travel.

This award recognizes the achievements and promise of an emerging scholar in LGTBQ Studies. The awardee is chosen annually by the CLAGS fellowships committee from a list of nominations made by our national advisory board of distinguished scholars in the field.

Previous Recipients


Marcia M. Gallo: A lesbian social justice activist who has taught the history of sexuality, U.S. and New York history, and American Studies at Lehman College for the last three years. She is the author of Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement (Carroll & Graf, 2006), the first and only full-length work to explore the pioneering American women’s organization. It won the 2006 Lambda Literary Foundation Award for LGBT Nonfiction and was a finalist for the 2006 Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award. Different Daughters also was named one of the best books of 2006 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Gallo has researched and written about Cold War women’s history, focusing on the ways in which women of color, working and poor women, and sexually nonconforming women organized for civil and human rights in the U.S. and internationally. She is now working on a book about Catherine “Kitty” Genovese, who was murdered in Queens, New York in 1964 and became an international symbol of urban apathy and the failure of community.


Dwight McBride: An Associate Professor of English and African American Studies, and Chair of African American Studies at Northwestern University. He has published widely in the areas of literature, race theory and black cultural studies. He is the editor of James Baldwin Now (NYU Press, 1999) and co-editor of Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Fiction (Cleis Press, 2002). His latest work, Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch: Essays on Race and Sexuality in the U.S., is forthcoming from NYU Press in 2004.


Siobhan Somerville: Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and is the author of Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture (Duke UP, 2000). She has edited “Queer Fictions of Race,” a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies (2002); and (with Judith Roof), “Recent Lesbian Theory,” a special issue of Concerns. Her work has also appeared journals such as American Literature and the Journal of the History of Sexuality. Her current work explores questions of citizenship, sexuality, and race in American law, fiction, and film in the U.S. from 1940-1968.


Robert McRuer: Assistant Professor of English at George Washington University. He published The Queer Renaissance: Contemporary American Literature and the Reinvention of Lesbian and Gay Identities in 1997 and has edited the forthcoming Desiring Disability, a special issue of GLQ that looks at queer theory and disability studies. He attended the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on Disability Studies and is currently working on a book project tentatively titled De-Composing Bodies: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability.


Molly McGarry: A lecturer in the department of History at Bryn Mawr College. In 1994, she was co-curator of the New York Public Library’s groundbreaking exhibition, Becoming Visible: The Legacy of Stonewall and co-authored the follow-up publication entitled Becoming Visible: An Illustrated History of Lesbian and Gay Life in Twentieth Century America (Viking/Penguin, 1998). Her dissertation, “Haunting Reason: Spiritualism and the Cultural Politics of Nineteenth-Century America,” was nominated for an Allan Nevins Award for best dissertation in American History by the Society of American Historians and was awarded NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Dissertation Award.