Dominique D. Johnson wins 2018 Clarke Dissertation Prize

The 2018 Eric O. Clarke Dissertation Prize, jointly administered by CLST and the Department of English, has gone to Dominique D. Johnson (Niq. D. Johnson) for her 2017 dissertation, “Beyond Bare Life: Onto-Epistemic Archives, Precarity, and the Praxis of Being Human,” which she completed for her PhD in Communication. The judges, in evaluating the dissertation in light of the prize guidelines, felt that it illustrated "'the most innovative graduate student work' in the Humanities at Pitt."  The dissertation stood among those nominated as being “the most ambitious, best realized, consistently mind-expanding, and urgently delivered.” The committee praised "Beyond Bare Life" as “noteworthy for being an unusually strong, as well as theoretically ambitious, scholarly intervention into current debates over the volatile and shifting biopolitical status of the meaning of ‘blackness’ in the U.S. today.”

Since there was one year since the prize started being offered during which no award was made, the committee was able to recommend that a second Clarke Prize be given this year, to which CLST and English administration happily assented. That prize went to a student not in the CLST program, Laura Stamm, from Film Studies, for her "“Sustaining Life during the AIDS Crisis: New Queer Cinema and the Biopic.”