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William Henry Exum Award

The intent of this prize is to honor the memory of William Henry Exum, a member of the Department of Sociology and the African American Studies Department, who died in 1986 at the age of 43. Exum was concerned with the quality of writing and research analysis in student papers. He was also interested in racial problems facing minority youths in higher education. This award was established as a means of continuing his goals of breaking barriers for all minorities.

Students are NOT limited to a sociological approach in preparing submissions, and this award is NOT limited to sociology/social science majors.

Papers should focus on the subject of race and ethnicity and be 15-25 pages (typed and double spaced including references). Include a cover sheet with your name, address, phone number, email address, year in school, and major. You may submit a paper from a course as long as the course was a 300-level or higher. Limit one entry per student per year. Honors theses are not eligible and a paper that has been submitted to a previous competition cannot be submitted again.

DEADLINE:  Check back in Winter 2025.

Please submit your paper via email to: (include “Exum Award—[Your Last Name]” as the subject line)
Phone number: 847-491-5415

2024 Exum Award Winner

Ashanti Hatchett
Race, Mental Illness, and Police Violence

Jackson Kruse (Honorable Mention)
The Sicilian Mafia and Processes of Domestic Orientalism

Maria Virginia Lorenzo Errazquin (Honorable Mention)
Identification and Classification: The Power of Craniofacial Measurements in Nazi Germany

2023 Exum Award Winner

Hannah Zhihan Jiang
Division or Unity: A Comparative Look at the Impact of the 2015 #Rhodesmustfall Student Movement and the 1976 Soweto Uprising on the Black South African Community

2022 Exum Award Winner

Laurisa Sastoque
The American Perception of Colombian Immigrants: Drug-related
Stigmatization and its Development between 1979-1990

Valerie Fong (Honorable Mention)
Representations of East Asians in American Film

Eric Wang (Honorable Mention)
Wealth and Nativism during the California Gold Rush

2021 Exum Award Winner

Nathan Omprasadham
Last Breaths of Empire

Hatim Rachdi (Honorable Mention)
Northwestern University in Qatar's Required Courses and Coloniality: "A Love-Hate Relationship"

2020 Exum Award Winner

Maya Glenn
“INTERSECTIONAL PLACEMAKING”: How Queer Students of Color, Black Heterosexual Women, and White Queer Students Foster Community and Operationalize Intersectionality in Space

Sophie Rodosky (Honorable Mention)
"Il Faut des Frontierés:" Legacies of Colonialism in the French Government's Response to Migrants in France

2019 Exum Award Winner

Evan Augeri
Baseball in the United States’ Philippines: How ‘just a game’ became an insidious device for racial and cultural imperialism

2018 Exum Award Winner

Stacy Tsai
Reimagining Pluralism from Atlantic to Pacific: Post-colonial Representations in Contemporary Art of Trinidad and Tobago and Hawai’i

2017 Exum Award Winner

Julia Clark-Riddell
From Palestine to Ferguson? The Successes and Failures of the Analogy Comparing the Movement for Racial Justice in America with the Movement for Palestinian Liberation

Aaron Clarke (Honorable Mention)
Freedom in the Flesh: Discourses of Disability in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

2016 Exum Award Winner

Ken-Terika Zellner
Black Wombs, White Babies: The Racial Biopolitics of the Illinois Gestational Surrogacy Act

2015 Exum Award Winners

Claire Kissinger
Race and Representation: Revising the Discourse on the Guerrilla Girls'Met. Museum Poster

Emily Park (Honorable Mention)
Politics of Student Activism in Ethnic Studies Movements