Thursday, September 13, 2012

Writing Contest, Susan B. Anthony

Hi, all! I'm reproducing below the email I received from Sharon Green from the Office of Academic Support.

The Susan B. Anthony writing contest is, of course, named after the woman whose name has become the best known in association with the efforts to get women the vote, or suffrage, in the 19th century. She lived 1820 to 1906, and thus did not see the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. constitution in 1920, which stated "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

Anthony wasn't a saint. She (like many other first-wave feminists) cut her teeth in the abolition movement, opposing slavery in the decades leading up to the Civil War. However, shortly after the war she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton accepted money to tour parts of the newly-rejoined United States from George Francis Train. Train's main motivation in sponsoring these two women seems to have been to insure that only whites were given the right to vote--and if that included white women, so be it. Toward the end of the 19th century, Anthony also bewailed the idea that ignorant European immigrant men were permitted to vote as soon as they attained citizenship, while morally-superior, American-born white women could not vote.

She's a compelling character, who made compromises to accomplish what she saw as the greater good.

This contest has been held at NU for at least the last 15 years, probably more. To the best of my knowledge, the award was announced and bestowed at the end of April/beginning of May "College of Arts & Sciences Day of Recognition." This year, as Ms. Green points out, the award will be set to coincide with the Susan B. Anthony event, around the time of her birthday on February 15. Look for more information in the coming months.

You don't have to write about Anthony. The basic requirements are that the paper must include connection to women's issues; and that it must either have been written for an NU class, or be an original piece of writing. More information is given in the flyer--I've posted it here for your convenience:

Dear faculty,

We wanted to let you know about a change to the 2013 Susan B. Anthony Writing Awards.  In past years, the awards were given at the Arts & Sciences Day of Recognition near the end of spring semester.  However in 2013, we plan to give the awards at a Susan B. Anthony event in February.  Therefore, the deadline for submissions has been moved up to January 25, 2013.   We also plan to invite the professors for whom the winning papers were written to participate in the event.

We wanted you to be aware of this earlier deadline as you plan your fall courses, and we would ask that, if appropriate, you announce the awards in your classes.  We’ll be publicizing the awards later in the fall and again  in January.   

Submissions must have been written for an undergraduate course at NU within the last three semesters, or be an original piece of writing.
Thank you.

Ms. Sharon Green
Chair, Susan B. Anthony Writing Awards
Coordinator of Instructional Services
Office of Academic Support
Niagara University
Seton Hall, 1st floor
Niagara University, NY 14109
(716) 286-8071

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