Tuesday, May 5, 2020

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment in 2020, it is fitting to reflect on the broad reach of political activism by Iowa women prior to and after ratification.

To that end, the University of Iowa is offering two prizesone to a UI undergraduate student, one to a UI graduate studentfor original essays based on primary source research about the ways in which Iowa women claimed citizenship at various times from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century.

We encourage historical essays that pay attention to voices that have been missing from the story of Iowa women's political activism.  For example, what issues drew working-class, rural, indigenous, immigrant, Latina, or African American women into the political process, broadly defined?  How did women mobilize for and claim citizenship, even when denied access to the ballot?  What activism preceded the ratification of the 19th amendment? What was the impact of the amendment's ratification?

Two awards will be given: one for the best undergraduate essay, one for the best graduate student essay.Each award carries a cash prize of $2500. 

Essays submitted by undergraduates should be a minimum of 3750 words (approximately 15 pages); graduate student essays should be a minimum of 6250 words (approximately 25 pages). All essays should be double-spaced, in 12-point font. Any student currently enrolled at the University on the submission date is eligible.  

Submit essays as PDF files to: historydept@uiowa.edu

Essays are due August 26, 2020. Winners will be announced in September 2020.


Leslie Schwalm, for the UI Planning Committee for the Commemoration of Women's Suffrage Centennial

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Leslie Schwalm in advance at 319-335-0619.