2023 Catherine Medalia Johannet Prize Winners

May 16, 2023 – Achievements

The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society is proud to announce the 2023 Catherine Medalia Johannet Memorial Prize recipients. More information about this award can be found here.

The winners of our 2023 Catherine Medalia Johannet Memorial Senior Thesis Prizes are:

Runnie Exuma, Comparative Literature and Society, GS’23
The Black Captive Mater(nal) at the End of the World
Advised by Saidiya Hartman, University Professor

Runnie’s remarkably expansive thesis, The Black Captive Mater(nal) at the End of the World, focuses on the Black Maternal — or the captivity of the black woman’s body — through early modern cartography, archives of contemporary mobility across the Mediterranean, and the 2013 trial of Fabienne Kabou as seen through the lens of the 2022 film Saint Omer.

Ruby Mendelsund, Medical Humanities, CC’23
Constructions and Reconstructions of Silence in the Oralist Movement and the d/Deaf World
Advised by Maura Spiegel, English and Comparative Literature

Ruby’s thesis, Constructions and Reconstructions of Silence in the Oralist Movement and the d/Deaf World, is an original and skillful reconstruction of the ways in which late-19th century eugenics movements operated to construct d/Deafness as silent, empty, and, as result, to cast it as a threat to the ‘normalcy’ of the body politic.

The winners of our 2023 Catherine Medalia Johannet Summer Internship Awards are:

David Hong, Comparative Literature and Society CC’24, is working on the expanding Friendly Calls to Seniors (FCS) project, part of the Columbia Student Service Corps, that pairs students with seniors in the community who live alone. Founded at the outset of the pandemic, FSC volunteers regularly call older adults with underlying psychiatric conditions and develop longitudinal relationships with them. The calls provide social support and opportunities to identify and refer health concerns to care providers, thereby addressing both the medical and social needs this group faces, particularly during the pandemic.

Davey Liu, Medical Humanities, GS’24, is working with the Columbia University contingent of a multi-university study funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the NIH’s Heal Initiative. Davey will be investigating HIV-related stigma within the healthcare system and its effect on HIV prevention. He will use data collected from over 3,000 medical providers nationwide to study physicians’ practicing patterns when encountering patients with HIV to provide a constructive understanding of the role of disease-related stigma in creating healthcare barriers for patients from underserved populations.

 The Heyman Center for the Humanities, Room B-101
74 Morningside Drive
New York, NY, 10027
  (212) 854-4541
  (212) 854-3099