Congratulations to Emma Cobb (Comparative Studies) who has been awarded the 2019 Patrick B. Mullen Award for best graduate student paper!
The review committee sent the following comments about her paper: "Our selection for the Patrick B. Mullen Graduate Prize is “Whispering Networks/What Gossip Tells Us." We found this paper to be innovative in approach and ambitious in scope. Each section offers a thorough, well-balanced, and timely investigation of a different aspect of gossip/whisper networks. As a whole, the paper offers a nuanced consideration of the types of communication that fall within the genre of gossip (and related genres), the social functions of these types of communication, and the social implications of the labels we attach to these different kinds of communication. We were particularly struck by the author's insight into how gossip and related genres can be both crediting (when just the fact of their existence serves as evidence that something happened) and discrediting (as in their dismissal by virtue of association with women), as well as the author's attention to the complex discursive terrain created by these different framings. Finally, we appreciate how the author takes an intersectional approach to this topic, identifying not only the gendered dynamics shaping how different kinds of communication is framed — but also attending to who is excluded from the whisper networks."