2013-2014 Departmental Awards

April 29, 2014

The Comparative Studies Department held its annual Departmental Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014. The following is a list of the award recipients:

Marilyn R. Waldman  Award for best essay by an undergraduate:
John Kendall, "Re-Urbanization of the Suburban City". The committee had great difficulty ranking the excellent and diverse papers in the pool, but John's paper particularly impressed us, because it put the Columbus cityscape, social theory and policy documents into lively conversation.  Kendall contends that the problem of proliferating parking lots in Columbus is a sign of the city's de-urbanization, and city planners' solutions, while couched in the language of cultural revitalization and cloaked in nostalgia for the pedestrian-friendly "Old Urban", produce only a two-dimensional, staged environment that is marketed to the very suburbanites who have fled.  Nowhere in these plans do the needs of ordinary city residents appear.  Kendall concludes with a plea for the rights of all people, marginalized as well as privileged, to the city.  
2013-14 Bjornson Award for best essay by a graduate student
  • Cristina Benedetti, “Protest, Performance, Politics, and Port-A-Potties: A Preliminary Look into Public Gathering Logistics for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” (submitted to CS 5957.02, Dorry Noyes).  The paper presents remarkable insights and builds the groundwork for a much more extensive investigation into the material work of organizing political gatherings. She shows how political organizer's own attention to basic sanitary requirements and infrastructures reveals, and helps us understand, their anxieties about being heard and about their claim on public space. Her paper provides an innovative approach to accessing the implicit, but sophisticated, understanding among Civil Rights activists of the conditions for their ultimate political success (and the exclusions it required).
  • Honorable Mention: Seth J. Josephson, “Boundaries of Affection: Immigration, Non-monogamy, and American Buddhist Identity” (submitted to CS 7380, Theresa Delgadillo)
The Margaret Lynd Award for excellence in teaching: 
  • Dr. Katey Borland (Faculty)
  • Dr. Nancy Jesser (Lecturer)
  • Brian Murphy (GTA)

See photos from the event as well as a list of graduating students here. Congratulations to all!