Thesis Awards

Every year, MAPSS awards two prestigious prizes, the Johnson Prize and the Fogelson Prize, to outstanding theses.

The Johnson Prize

The Earl S. and Esther Johnson Prize is awarded annually to the MAPSS student whose MA paper best combines high scholarly achievement with concern for humanistic aspirations and the practical applications of the Social Sciences. The prize was established in the memory of the long-time Director of the Program.

Recent Winners:

2023 | Keshav Kundassery, “Biopolitical Revival: Love, Care, and Subject (Re)formation Inside the Chicago Recovery Alliance.”

2023 | Mike (Youchuan) Ma, “The Effects of Bilingual Experience on the Development of Executive Function in Early Childhood.”

2022 | Daniel Muras, “A Pandemic of Exclusion: The Revanchist Overtones, Quest for Peircean Firstness, and Nascent Dialogisms in the Wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

2021 | Siming Ding, "Me Watching the City': Chicago's Urban Sensing Project and a Power that Rules via Seeing."

2021 | Yixi Chen, "Navigating Uncertainty: Sensemaking, Boundary Spanning, and Power in a Post-Acquisition Integration."

2020 | Yunhan Wen, "From Cunning Bumpkins to Victims-Servants: Examining China's Urban Transformation Through a Discursive Fight in Shenzhen's Informal Settlement."

2020 | Helen Galvin Ross, "Sacred Precincts: Women's Sphere and the State of Exception in Liberal Democracy."

2019 | Carol Elizabeth García, “Remittance Development and the Creation of a Binational State: Organized michoacanos in the City of Chicago.”

2019 | Khwan Kim, “Diversity and Ambiguity in American Popular Music, 1965 to 2015.”

2018 | Marcel Moran, “Ride-Hailing and the Public Good: An Analysis of the Privatization of Public Trust via Uber and Lyft in American Cities."

2018 | Jose Eos Rodriguez Trinidad, “Structural Limitations and Functional Alternatives Reducing Suspensions and Preserving Racial Suspension Gaps."

2017 | Andrew Seber, "Slaughterhouse Dreams: Carnal Aspirations and American Life, 1899-1909."

2016 | Catherine (Ci-Ci) Coquillette, "#NotBuyingIt: Tactics, Strategy, and Success in Online Activism."

2016 | Joseph Wallerstein, "Panhandling and the Pity Economy.”

2015 | Felice Ling, “Perfect Strangers: Revaluing Urban Sociality Through Street Performance.”

2015 | Kevin Kiley, “Sieves and Ladders: Between Major Differences in the Association Between Students’ Backgrounds and Academic Success.”

2014 | Steven D. Schwartz, “Indigeneity at the Edge.”

2014 | Brendan Mackie, “One Last Cup of Coffee.”

2013 | Kyla R. Bourne, “Space, Surveillance and Security Culture: An Ethnography of Urban Struggle in Chicago.”

2013 | Ciruce A. Movahedi-Lankarani, “Taming the Machine: Technological Modernity in the Propaganda of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1979-1988.”

The Fogelson Prize

The Raymond D. Fogelson Prize annually honors the best MAPSS thesis in the ethnological and historical sciences. The prize was established in honor of Raymond D. Fogelson, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and the College and longtime stalwart of MAPSS governance and program development.

Recent Winners:

2023 | Annika Hirkme, “Building in Process: Environmental Design in Montana.”

2022 | Grace Richards, “Reevaluating Lebensraum: Friedrich Ratzel, Darwinism, and the Argument for Imperialist Continuity, 1871-1945.”

Honorable Mention | C. A. R. Hawkins Lewis, "Pishtacos in Amazonia: Unsettling Ethnology, Biopoliticized Ecologies, and Indigenous Extractivism in the Ucayali River Region."

2021 | Madalyn Hay Kellar, "Establishing the Foundation of Political Understanding Between Past and Future: Historical Understanding and Narrative in the Work of Hannah Arendt."

2020 | Jun Zhou, Two Schemas, Two Circuits: Gender, Family and Business Lives in Flux."

Honorable Mention | Jiahe Mei, "Disability on Display: The Adventure of a Veteran Troupe in Socialist China (1958-1959)."

2019 | Paloma Cobo Diaz, “Politics of Ambivalence: Historical Intimacies in a Young Pro-Peace Movement in Bogota.”

2018 | Ethan Goodnight, “‘The Disadvantages of Education:’ Jarena Lee’s Journal as a Historical Challenge to Daniel Alexander Payne.”

2017 | Anna Sophie Rose, "Spectators of Suffering: Antislavery and the Politics of Morality in the Dutch Republic, 1763-1797.”

2016 | Zoe Berman, "'Similar Until We Remember Why We’re Different': The Political Affect of Youth Humanitarianism in Invisible Children.”

2015 | Charlotte Gaw, “Abolition’s Born-Again Market: Evangelical Redeption, Free Produce, and the Search for Free Cotton in the American South, 1844-1850.”

2014 | Hardeep Dhillon, “In the Name of Shah Bano: Citizenship and Rights in Postcolonial India.

2013 | Jason W. Blaesing, “The Hidden Geography of Healing: Ontologies of Number in Northern Peru and the Political Arithmetic of the Inka.”