Earl James Weaver Graduate Essay Prize

In the spring of 1993 the American Studies Student Association established the Earl James Weaver Jim WeaverGraduate Paper Prize to honor of the retirement of Earl James Weaver, Professor of American Studies, past Department Chair, and a founder of the Department of American Studies at California State University Fullerton. Jim, shown at right congratulating Paul Stewart, the first winner of the Weaver Prize, passed away in December 2000.

With an original endowment raised from the generous contributions of American Studies students and alumni, the Weaver Prize is an annual $250 cash award for the best paper written by an American Studies graduate student during the preceding year. Papers are judged by a three person panel of American Studies faculty and the winning paper is guaranteed publication inThe American Papers.

Application Procedures: Eligible submissions are papers written by an American Studies graduate student for any CSUF course in the spring, summer, or fall semesters of the preceding year. Both extended essays and research papers are welcome.

If you have a paper to submit, please attach a cover sheet to a clean copy of your paper, identifying your name, the course the paper was written for (and in which semester), and your contact information (phone and email)--then place it in an envelope clearly marked ?Weaver Submission? and deliver it to the department office, UH-313. The deadline each year will be announced via e-mail, in classes, and on the department web site.

WEaver Prize Recipients by Year with Essay Title

Year Awarded


Essay Title


Melissa Garrison “Settler Dominance and Indigenous Defiance: Native American Spaces and Places in Modern Television" 


Michelle Le remember me in all my glory, in all my pieces, and all my losses: The Memory of Little Saigon in the Oral History of Vietnamese Americans in Southern California.”
2021 Raymond Gandara "Imperial Machinery: the Roads, Camineros, and Engineers of the U.S.-Occupied Philippines" 
2020 Laura Fauvor "Take a Seat: Huey P. Newton's Infamous Chair and the Memory of the Black Panther Party"
2019 Henrik Schneider "Controlling Technology and the Female Body in Jurassic World (2015)"
2019 Kai Lisoskie "'A regular morgue': American Soldiers, Death, and Dying on the Western Front"
2018 Clayton Finn "The Price of a Sexual Politics of Respectability: W.E.B. DuBois, Racial Uplift, and the Harlem Renaissance"
2017 Ashley Loup "Plead the Fifth: The Evolution of the African American Lawyer"
2016 Judson Barber “Silent Ruins: The Politics, Distribution, and Confinement of Memory Surrounding Alcatraz Island”
2015 Kacie Hoppe "The Cultural Work of Steampunk Literature in Cherie Priest's Boneshaker"
2014 Mike West "The Birth of the Pin-Up Girl: How Footlocker Art Swept the Nation and Influenced Gender Roles" 
2013 Greg Rozsa "The Little Economic Engine that Could: Las Vegas' Search for Water Security Under the Shadow of Owens Valley"
2012 Jason Ward "The Privatized City: Finding Space for the Working Poor in Orange County"
2011 Patrick Covert "Politicizing your Mailbox: Extracting Motivation from Bob Mizer’s Physique Pictorial"
2010 Heather Andrews Emily Starr “Landed Masculinity and the Landless Native Other: Raced and Gendered Discourse and the Dawes Act of 1887” “The American Prince and His Third World Cinderella: Mail-Order Brides and Global Hierarchies of Gender and Race"
2009 Jennifer Moore "The Mythopoetic Men's Movement on Television: A Gathering Place for the '90s Male"
2008 Jaclyn Mahoney Kimball Maw "Pushing Processed Over Process: How Mother's Milk Alternatives Dismiss Natural Processes of Female Health"
"YouTube, Harry Potter Fans, and the Dissemination of Textual Authority"
2007 Jill Somers "Practiced Place and Negotiated Race: The Co-Production of Race and Space in Pankey, Arkansas"
2006 Kristiane R. Joy "Visualizing the 'Struggle for Fun:' ZZ Top's Eliminator Videos and the Narrative of Transformation
2005 Stephanie Kolberg "Attacking the 'American Cinderella:'Philip Wylie's 'Momism' and the Scapegoating of Women in 1940s-50s America"
2004 Kristin Ann Hargrove "The Peel and What Lies Beneath It: The Underside of Orange County's Public Memory"
2003 Carla Melissa Anderson "Studying Visual Media: Putting Fish, Baudrillard, and Geertz to the Test"
2002 Nicole Elise Peeples "Life Outside the Borg Cube: American Studies and the Collapse of the Culture Concept"
2001 Justine Pas "Translating Identities: The Rhetoric of Self in Multiple Cultural Contexts"
2000 Trista O'Connell "White Slave or New Woman: Competing Images of Prostitution and Womanhood in Reformist Tracts and The Masses, 1910-1917"
1998 Shauna Butler "From Public Whipping to Self Immolation: Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Construction of the Self"
1997 Eric Olson "William Burroughs and Naked Lunch: Running Down the United States Drag"
1996 Timothy Yates "Misery & Restoration: A History of Antidepressant Advertising"
1995 Sharon Sekhon "Americans in Paris: Josephine Baker and James Baldwin"
1994 Paul Amiel Stewart "Welcome to America(nization)"

 Melissa Anderson Kristiane R. Joy Jill Somers Kimball Maw Patrick Covert

Weaver Prize recipients: Top row: Melissa Anderson; Kristiane R. Joy; Jill Somers; Kimball Maw; Patrick Covert;  Jason Ward