Students Take Three of Four National Awards in Essay Contest

Davidson students took three out of four national Undergraduate Essay Contest awards of the Disability Studies Graduate Student Association (DSGSA) of The Ohio State University.

Submissions for the contest came from across the United States and were judged anonymously on their merits by a panel of graduate student members of the association.

Winners for the 2016-17 academic year include:

Deanna Grayson '17 for "I Get by with a Little Help from My Ends: Disability, Inspiration Porn, and Kantian Ethics," with the support of Assistant Professor of Philosophy Daniel Layman in his class Philosophy 215 (Ethics), and with the support of Professor of English Ann Fox.

Judges noted that Grayson crafted a "strong, focused work with a clear argument and substantial research" and a "well-written essay making astute connections between Kantian ethics and ‘inspiration porn.'"

Elaine Ruth Boe '17 for "The Subversive Narrative Authority of the 'Feebleminded' in Two Revisions of Eudora Welty's ‘Lily Daw and the Three Ladies,'" with the support of Professor of English Ann Fox, for whom the essay was written in "Disability in Literature and Art."

Judges noted that Boe uses an "impressive blend of literary criticism and disability studies" to create an "intriguing comparison of story versions to show how Welty emphasized a critique of eugenicist ideas with revisions."

Jacob D'Aurizio '20 for "When You Can't Crawl Out Through the Fallout: Disability Representation in Fallout 3," with the support of Professor of English Ann Fox, for whom the essay was written in "Writing 101: Extraordinary Bodies."

Judges noted that D'Aurizio pieces together "a unique topic," that "ends up in an interesting place when they suggest that the game presents what disability might look like in an apocalyptic world–that is, when they locate the ableism within the characters and not within the game itself."

DSGSA supports scholarship and activism that examines the nature, meaning and consequences of disability in global culture from an integrated social, political and cultural model.

Ann Fox specializes in 20th- and 21st-century dramatic literature and disability studies. Her teaching interests include modern and contemporary drama and disability in drama, literature, and visual culture. Her scholarship on disability and theatre has been published in Legacy, Contemporary Theatre Review, the National Women's Studies Association Journal, Gendering Disability, The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, and Disability Studies Quarterly.


  • May 16, 2017