Congratulations to the CSRPC Best Essay Prize and BA thesis winners!


Outstanding Essay by a Student in a Masters or Professional School Program

Demi Alexis Moore, “’Aboriginal Absence’ in Movements for Reparations Across the Americas” 


Moore’s outstanding paper is a comparative analysis of reparation movements in the Caribbean and the United States and closely attends to the disconnects between claims made for restitution by the descendants of enslaved Africans and Indigenous claims. As Moore argues, reparation movements in both locations are “afflicted by a lack of serious engagement with the variegated nature of colonialism in relation to slavery.” Rigorously historical and politically incisive, Moore highlights a deeper engagement across anticolonial Black and Indigenous theories and praxis could lessen the chasm between African presence and Indigenous absence, wherein repair becomes a framework for thinking expansively about the relationship between moral and material debt.



Outstanding Essay by a Student in a PhD Program

Leila K. Blackbird, “‘It Has Always Been Customary to Make Slaves of Savages’: The Problem of Indian Slavery in Spanish Louisiana Revisited, 1769-1803”


Drawing on unpublished court records, colonial law and proclamations in this stunning essay, Blackbird contests the general consensus among scholars of Indigenous slavery in early Louisianan history, as she demonstrates the critical disjuncture between legal pronouncements and their enforcement. Blackbird meticulously demonstrates how multiple paradoxes and contradictions in law and practice facilitated the ongoing enslavement of Native people well after Governor Alejandro O’Reilly 1769 proclamation “banning Indian  slavery in Louisiana and all of its dependencies.”


Outstanding Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Undergraduate Thesis Project

Liana Fu, “I uprooted return”


In this scholarly creative project, Fu works through past selves and Chinese American history with an interest in exploring whether there might be something like an emotional inheritance. Across the text you may hear her ask: “What can I do with the past, what can I do with what I’ve been given?” Juxtaposing childhood diary entries, Angel Island artifacts and immigration records, and poetry, Fu reckons with personal and social history, racial and sexual identity, and the politics of identification.



Outstanding Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Undergraduate Thesis Essay

Zeinab Hussen, “From Human Being to Zombie: Racialization, Recognition, and the Right to Opacity”


Hussen’s essay examines the relationship between zombification and radicalization and epistemic frameworks classify both zombies and radicalized subjects as non-human. What if the prospect of a truly “post-racial” liberation is not post-race, but post-human, and the zombie has demonstrated that potential all along? Zeinab’s essay is engaging,  gorgeously written and well-researched, layering skillful analyses of seemingly disparate cultural and political moments in which Black people, anti-Black violence, and the non-human collide.


Outstanding Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Undergraduate Thesis Project

Enid, “Bigi Minx’s Books were Stolen by Feds but Then We Got them Back So Here’s Some Critical Writing About What Bigi Wrote"

In this inspired curatorial project and commentary on the work and life of Black anarchist organizer and activist Bigi the Mink, Enid focuses on two sets of texts: “The “Conquest of Bread: Adapted for the Modern Lumpenproletariat” and the Hurricane Harvey Journals. Enid places Bigi’s work within intellectual trajectories recognizable to the academy and to CRES, most especially through the personage and writings of back anarchist Lucy Parsons. The writing is sharp, biting, haunting, rhythmic. The analysis is sterling.