2013 Catt Prize supports five projects on women and politics

Five research projects received funding through the 2013 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics.

A selection committee of 12 faculty members blind-reviewed 46 proposals submitted from researchers from 23 states and five countries. The committee chose three projects as winners of the Catt Prize and two projects as honorable mentions. Each of the winning prize proposals will receive $1,500, and each honorable mention award will receive $750.

Prize winners for 2013 are:

Annette Joseph Gabriel, Ph.D. candidate in the French and Italian department at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., for “Women Subverting Empire: Gender and Anticolonial Politics in the Francophone World (1940-1975).” The study will examine the strategies employed by four women who were instrumental in challenging French colonial power from 1940-1975 by analyzing their written works and activism. The award will be used for travel expenses to Senegal to visit the Archives du Senegal in Dakar and the Musée da la femme at Gorée.

Michael Callaghan Pisapia, assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C., for “Governing Education: Gender, Federalism and the Rise of Women's Political Authority.” The study will examine the extent that the expansion of the state’s role in education provided pathways for women to exercise increasing political authority. The award will be used for travel expenses to visit the archives at the Library of Congress and at Gelman Library at George Washington University.

Beth Reingold (left), associate professor of political science at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., and Adrienne Smith (right), assistant professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn., for “Legislative Incorporation and Intersections of Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the American States.” The study will analyze the forces that influence the institutional mobility of women and racial/ethnic minorities in American state legislatures. The award will be used to hire a research assistant to help collect and code the data.

Honorable Mention

Wendy E. Chmielewski, curator at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Swarthmore, Pa., for “Her Hat Was in the Ring: U.S. Women Who Ran for Political Office Before 1920.” Chmielewski is creating a free, web-accessible database on women who were nominated, campaigned and/or elected to federal, state and local political office before 1920. The award will be used to hire a research intern to help collect and enter data on the 2,000 – 2,500 women who are not yet part of the database.


Melanie Hughes, associate professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa., for “Indigenous Women in Politics Worldwide.” The project will produce a database on the legislative success of indigenous women in national legislatures around the world and comparative data on indigenous men, allowing further study on the causes and consequences of indigenous women’s legislative successes and failures. The award will be used to hire research assistants with foreign language skills to assist in data collection.

The annual research prize has been funded since 1994 by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. Members of the 2013 Catt Prize Selection Committee are David Andersen, David Peterson, Kelly Shaw, Alex Tuckness and Robert Urbatsch, all with the department of political science; Amy Bix, department of history; Margaret LaWare and Abby Dubisar, both with the English department; Nell Gabiam, departments of anthropology and political science; Susan Stewart, department of sociology; and Valerie Hennings and Dianne Bystrom, both with the Catt Center. The committee was assisted by Sue Cloud, communications specialist at the Catt Center.