We are proud to announce that Maggie Unverzagt Goddard (Ph.D. candidate, American Studies, Brown University) is the winner of the Graduate Student Conference Paper Prize for ASAP11, held at the University of Maryland College Park in 2019. This year’s competition was exceptionally difficult to judge with so many entries worthy of recognition. The committee thanks all those who took the time to nominate scholars and their work.

Maggie Unverzagt Goddard’s “Aesthetic Strategies for Political Action: Doreen Garner and Black Youth Project 100” identifies a meeting point between Black Youth Project 100’s activism and the work of visual artist Doreen Garner as they both explore the legacies of violence and violation that shape the past and present of Black women’s experience, particularly in the health care system. The paper describes BYP100’s recent public protest calling for the removal of a statue dedicated to the “father of modern gynecology” who experimented on Black women, James Marion Sims, alongside Garner’s photographs and installations that often feature medical equipment and amputated limbs. In the blurred boundary between art and activism, Goddard describes the potential for new modes of visuality and reading strategies that attend to the political work of aesthetics. Committee members praised Goddard’s evocative descriptions and close analysis of public performances, fine art photography, and installation work. Reading across visual objects, “Aesthetic Strategies” enacts the same expansive and nonlinear approach as the artwork it explores; thus, it is able to acknowledge the continued trauma that motivates this work while offering “a beauty in persistence” as a generative aesthetic strategy.

The committee for ASAP11’s Graduate Student Conference Paper Prize was: Yogita Goyal (Professor, African American Studies and English, University of California, Los Angeles) and Lauren Cramer (Assistant Professor, Cinema Studies, University of Toronto).

Please join us in recognizing and congratulating Maggie on this achievement.