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ISU professor wins American Studies Association Dissertation Prize

Illinois State Professor Erin Durban-Albrecht (right) at the 2015 American Studies Association Awards Ceremony.

Illinois State Professor Erin Durban-Albrecht (right) at the 2015 American Studies Association Awards Ceremony.

Illinois State’s women’s and gender studies program is proud that Professor Erin Durban-Albrecht has been honored with the Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize 2015 awarded by the American Studies Association (ASA) for her dissertation, Postcolonial Homophobia: United States Imperialism in Haiti and the Transnational Circulation of Antigay Sexual Politics.

The Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize has been awarded annually since 1987 to the best doctoral dissertation in American studies, American ethnic studies, or American women’s studies. The prize honors Ralph Henry Gabriel, professor emeritus at Yale University, and a founder and past president of the American Studies Association.

Durban-Albrecht’s research makes significant contributions to queer postcolonial studies, religious studies, transnational feminisms, and anthropology. Her work documents the ways that U.S. imperialism in Haiti during the last century has detrimentally impacted LGBT and other queer Haitians.

Durban-Albrecht joined the faculty of the women’s and gender studies program at Illinois State University this semester. She has a joint appointment with the program and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

In addition to her outstanding scholastic achievement, Durban-Albrecht is recognized as an enthusiastic and generous professor, teaching WGS 120: Women, Gender and Society and WGS 292: Introduction to LGBT/Queer Studies. She has also initiated alternative programming with a lunchtime colloquium, QUEERtalks, offering a conversation to new work in LGBT/queer studies.

Durban-Albrecht also received the National Women’s Studies Association-University of Illinois Press’ 2015 First Book Prize for her manuscript theorizing postcolonial homophobia, or when imperialist discourses render postcolonial nations simultaneously too queer and too homophobic. The prize is awarded for cutting-edge intersectional feminist scholarship that is interdisciplinary and offers new perspectives on issues central to women’s and gender studies. Recipients receive a book contract with the University of Illinois Press.

Congratulations to Durban-Albrecht for these great achievements. The women’s and gender studies Program looks forward to her long career of future accomplishments.