The National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) has established a new book prize named in honor of the late Alison Piepmeier, a professor of women’s and gender studies and English at the College of Charleston who passed away on Aug. 12, 2016, following a long battle with a brain tumor.
The Alison Piepmeier Book Prize, which comes with a $1,000 award, will be presented annually for a groundbreaking monograph in women, gender, and sexuality studies that makes significant contributions to feminist disability studies scholarship.
The prize was made possible by a $10,000 gift from Susan Shaw, Patti Duncan, Kryn Feehling-Burton and Nancy Barbour.
Piepmeier became the first full time director of Women’s and Gender Studies at the College in 2005. Her work on Third Wave feminist activism led to a 2003 co-edited anthology, Catching a Wave: Reclaiming Feminism for the 21st Century, and a 2009 book, Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism. She then began writing on feminism and disabilities, with important articles in Disability Studies Quarterly, Feminist Formations, and Feminist Studies. Prior to her passing, she was doing research on the high incidence of abortion for fetuses at risk for Down Syndrome.
Piepmeier was an active NWSA member and leader. She served on the organization’s governing council and was a regular panelist at professional workshops. She also served as president of the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association.
“Alison’s scholarly commitments to intersectional thinking, her willingness to examine her own life (and death) publicly and honestly, her feminist activism, her powerful teaching, and her work with NWSA will create a legacy that the Alison Piepmeier Award honor,” the NWSA said in a news release announcing the prize.