For the eighth biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, the Whedon Studies Association will provide up to three student awards of $750.00 to help defray conference and travel expenses. The current officers and current program chairs will select the recipients based on their proposals and other factors where relevant, such as attendance at prior conferences and/or publications. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2018, if you wish to be considered for one of the awards. Students must be registered for the conference before submitting their names for consideration.
The Sineya Award (updated to included TWO awards)
These awards are intended for a presenter of colour, regardless of gender, sexuality, or religion, who plans to present a conference paper at ‘Slayage 2018,’ the official biennial conference of the Whedon Studies Association. While preference will be given to students, activists, young researchers, adjuncts or non-tenure track instructors, and independent or retired scholars—particularly if their presentation also deals with issues of diversity or considers community education, activism, or participation—any person of colour, of any nationality, who has been accepted to present at the conference is welcome to apply regardless of their membership status in the Whedon Studies Association (WSA). That is, you do not need to be a member of the WSA to apply, though we encourage non-member applicants to consider joining the WSA as this is part of the awards’ long term goals of increasing diversity within the organisation and furthering its mission of inclusiveness.
The Sineya Awards are named for the First Slayer in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While Sineya is largely silenced in the show, these awards attempt to bring additional voices and perspectives into the scholarly conversation of the WSA, increasing the diversity of an organization committed to inclusivity. Intended as an homage to black women leading an intersectional fight for rights and an acknowledgement of their contributions to feminism, the awards are also an attempt to address the structural inequalities many people of colour face, both on a global societal scale and specifically within institutional structures themselves (such as academia and activism). Therefore, they are in addition to, rather in competition with, any other awards available within or outside of Whedon Studies (which offers its own travel grants to young academics).
The two awards are each a one-time payment of USD 200. While the funds are intended to facilitate the presentation of the awardee’s work, should extenuating personal or political circumstances arise that require the person to withdraw their work from the conference, the scholarships once awarded will remain theirs to do with as they see fit.
A three person panel of judges will consider and evaluate the submitted proposals and will determine the awards. Their decision will be final. The judges include Dr. Ananya Mukherjea (College of Staten Island, CUNY), Dr. Bertha Chin (Swinburne University, Sarawak, Malaysia), and Dr. Lynne Edwards (Ursinus College, Philadelphia). Judges will be offered a small fee of USD 20 to acknowledge their contribution to and support of the community. Monetary acknowledgement of work by people of colour at all levels of the awards is important and intended to indicate that this work isn't something that becomes less valued as scholars, activists, or presenters become more established or have more institutional access for various reasons.
Please submit (1) a short biography (of no more than 150 words) with any relevant information, (2) an up-to-date CV, (3) a statement of purpose addressing the aims of the award (of no more than 500 words), (4) a copy of your accepted conference proposal, and (5) the email that confirms acceptance from the WSA for ‘Slayage 2018’ to email@example.com. The final date for submissions is April 1, 2018.
An announcement regarding the awardees will be made a month from the last date of submissions.
Any person who self-identifies as a person of colour within an understanding of race as defined by global hierarchies of ethnicities, cultures, and nationalities will be considered by the scholarship committee. Exclusions may be made in the event of unexpected situations, such as one made infamous by Rachel Dolezal but are unlikely to occur otherwise.
While these awards are intended to benefit scholars of colour and encourage their presence in the WSA, we urge others to step in to create support structures for other marginalised parties, whether this is further awards or crowd-sourced funds. We also encourage outreach to various colleges, whether these are Historically Black Colleges and Universities, work from marginalised and low-income areas, and international academics and activists outside of North American structures (who may themselves be from low or high privilege structures within their countries).
The funds for the awards are provided by Samira Nadkarni, Jessica Hautsch, Lynne Edwards, Hélène Frohard-Dourlent, Rukmini Pande, and Kajori Sen. The creation of this document is the result of feedback from several scholars, including, but not limited to, Samira Nadkarni, Rukmini Pande, Hélène Frohard-Dourlent, Jessica Hautsch, Ananya Mukherjea, and Lynne Edwards.