SCMS: Queer and Trans Caucus Chris Holmlund Graduate Student Writing Prize

We are thrilled to announce that the 2021 SCMS Queer & Trans Caucus Chris Holmlund Graduate Student Writing Prize has been awarded, in a tie, to the following essays:

Joshua Bastian Cole (PhD candidate, Department of Performing and Media Arts, Cornell University), “The Prosthetic Gaze: Re-visions on the Trans Mirror Scene” 

Sean Donovan (PhD candidate, Film, Television, and Media, University of Michigan), “In the Corporate Rainbow: OutFest and the Politics of Programming Queer Affect”

Both winning articles will be published in the Summer 2022 issue!

Please check back in mid-2022 for the announcement of the next award cycle. 

2020 winner Tory Jeffay‘s (PhD student in Film & Media, UC Berkeley) article “‘Flat-Out’ Formalism: Strong Island as Trans-of-Color Critique” was published in our Summer 2021 issue.

Excerpt: “This formal emphasis on surface mirrors the film’s rejection of a mode of seeking truth through uncovering hidden, authoritative knowledge. Flatness, as I theorize it, critiques the logic of the trial, in which the only evidence admissible in court pertains directly to the circumstances of the crime. Ford instead incorporates the evidence of history, space, and body, reaggregating a broad range of evidence by leveling it onto the same flat plane of relevance. Opposing the narrative expectations of nonfiction film in which facts are logically strung together to reveal an authoritative truth, Ford fabulates connections so that landscape, family snapshot, and his own body intersect as evidence in his brother’s murder.” READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

2020 Honorable Mentions:

Joshua Bastian Cole (PhD Candidate, Department of Performing and Media Arts, Cornell University) “Missing Things: The Eerie Allure of Hidden Trans Masculinity in John Carpenter

Rhys Ernst Films”Erin Nunoda (PhD Candidate, Cinema Studies Institute) “On Ephemerality: Tiger Beat and Teenage Time”


2018 winner Cameron Clark’s (Ph.D. Candidate, Departments of English and Comparative Media Analysis and Practice, Vanderbilt University) article, “Grief, Ecocritical Negativity, and the Queer Anti-Pastoral,” was published in our Summer 2019 issue.

Excerpt: “For queer film scholars, these [queer anti-pastoral] frameworks often prioritize generative world-building endeavors, especially in regard to romance, sensual discovery, communal recovery, or ecological awareness. Queer anti-pastorals such as my three case studies, however, present more nonegalitarian, inhospitable, and discomforting representations of queerness within the natural world that often struggle to achieve interpersonal or ecological connections. This representative practice may seem to counter critical discourses for queer ecocinema and world cinema. Yet, my argument is that these queer anti-pastorals reconfigure these discourses by bringing more attention to injurious world-shattering occurrences and their subsequent restructurings. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.