Catherine Medalia Johannet Memorial Prize in Comparative Literature & Society

This prize was created by family and friends in memory of Catherine Medalia Johannet, a Medicine, Literature and Society major, CC’15. Consistent with Catherine’s interest in literature and its use in effecting change in society, this prize will be awarded annually to a Comparative Literature & Society or Medicine, Literature & Society major who has written a distinguished senior thesis that demonstrates the highest academic rigor, creativity and engagement with ethical questions. The winner will be chosen by a faculty committee consisting of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Director of the Medicine, Literature and Society major and two other faculty members associated with ICLS.

The Catherine Medalia Johannet Senior Thesis Prize Winners:

Naazanene Vatan
“Literary Conceptions of an Epistemic Genre: Narrative and Agency in 18th- and 19th-century Obstetric Case Histories”


Emma Kenny-Pessia
“Not a Genetic Panopticon, but a Genetic Highway: Using a Deleuzian Framework to Illuminate the Paradox of Freedom and Control in the Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Sector”

The 2018 prize was awarded to 2 students:

Grace Alford-Hamburg
“#Criminal: Trump, Macron, and the Discourse of Deportability”

Josue Chavez
“Translation Aesthetics: Making Legible the Home-yet-to-come as an Instance of the Event Before the Multiplication of Labor”


Catherine Medalia Johannet Summer Intern Fellowship winners:

The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society awards the Catherine Medalia Johannet Summer Fellowship annually to a CLS or MLS major to support internships or volunteer work relevant to the field of literature and/or medical humanities.

Nora Kushner Salitan (CC’21) was awarded the summer intern fellowship for her service as a research assistant at The Global Health Justice and Governance Program (GHJG), a university-wide initiative housed at the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University. There she assists in an ongoing, multi-country study of donor-funded programming on sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) that seeks to answer why these programs have not produced greater results and to identify good emerging practices. The research evidence will generate policy recommendations regarding how to implement essential GBV services within emergency preparedness and future epidemics; recommend funding strategies to ensure critical funding in these under-funded areas does not further diminish in crises; and identify and promote funding practices that reinforce effective GBV responses during emergency responses.

2019 (Inaugural Year)
Alondra Aguilar (CC’21) worked with GlobeMed’s GROW internship in partnership with Gulu Women’s Economic Development and Globalization (GWED-G). GlobeMed is a national organization that aims to find grass root health organizations throughout the world to partner with and support through fundraising, education, and awareness. The Columbia University chapter of GlobeMed is partnered with GWED-G in Gulu, Uganda, which was founded by women in the community to combat the immense cultural, economic, social and health effects of the war in Northern Uganda.

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