Mary Maples Dunn Prize

There has been a lot of talk across the feminist blogosphere about the meaning of feminism and canonized feminists over the past year; a conversation that repeats throughout the existence of the feminist movement(s). These discussions often center around who is centered in mainstream feminism and/or feminist herstory and who is often hidden or presumed absent. Many of these conversations have assumed that academic feminists are at the forefront of the failure(s) to be inclusive regardless of the battles many of us have fought during our careers or to their detriment. For those who are academics and are researching, writing, teaching and/or actively working with a diverse group of women the Mary Maples Dunn Prize provides a unique opportunity to write/right back across these trends while establishing critical publication in the earlier part of one’s career. As a prize in early history, it offers the chance to re-examine or shed light on the women who helped build feminism and/or the world but have been shoved out or marginalized so as to be rendered invisible even to the women to whom they are similar in the present.

Please find the info for the prize below, copied from Historiann:

The Mary Maples Dunn Prize will honor the best article in early American women’s history by an untenured scholar published in The William and Mary Quarterly that uses gender as a primary analytical category.  All untenured writers are eligible-graduate students, independent scholars, non tenure-track instructors, and untenured faculty members.  The prize committee especially welcomes essays that are innovative in their choice of subjects or methodologies, and/or present significant new evidence or fresh interpretations.  All appropriate submissions to the journal by eligible authors will be evaluated by the Quarterly according to the usual process (see guidelines at; the external prize committee will consider articles once they have been accepted for publication.  The award will include a cash prize of $1,000, and an announcement in The William and Mary Quarterly.

Mary Maples Dunn is an Early American historian and women’s historian who has had a long and successful career as a faculty member and administrator.  She has served as a History professor and Dean of Bryn Mawr College, President of Smith College, the Director of the Schlesinger Library, the first Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and as the co-Executive Officer of the American Philosophical Society.  In every position she has held, she has worked to advance other women’s careers in the academy, as students, faculty members, and administrators.  In keeping with her legacy of generous assistance to younger scholars, the Mary Maples Dunn Prize is specifically designed to help untenured scholars establish themselves professionally, and to provide them with some funds to assist with their research.  And in keeping with Mary’s pioneering work as a women’s historian, it is designed to encourage the creation of more excellent scholarship in women’s and gender history.

We are still accepting donations to the prize fund.  If you would like to donate, please make out your check to the Mary Maples Dunn Prize, and mail it c/o Ann M. Little, Treasurer, to the Department of History, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1776.

If you have any questions about the prize or donations, please contact

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