Winners of the 7th Barbara Bagilhole Memorial Awards announced.

A student sitting down with a book

Xaver Boxhammer

The winners were awarded at a virtual ceremony held by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities on 14 November.

The Barbara Bagilhole Memorial Award is a School-wide prize, founded by Professor Line Nyhagen in 2017 to celebrate students’ work in Equality and Diversity. It is named after Professor Barbara Bagilhole, a Professor of Social Policy, and Equal Opportunities at Loughborough University. She conducted ground-breaking EDI-related research on gender inequalities in the construction industry.

The virtual ceremony was led by the acting Dean of the School, Professor Elizabeth Peel, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience), Professor Rachel Thomson.

The winners were:

Best Student Paper: Xaver Boxhammer – Contemporary Literature and Culture

Commended: Yanqi Chen – Global Media and Cultural Industries

Best Other Academic Coursework: Sadia Nadeem – English with Creative Writing

Commended: Nyasha Mukonoweshuro – History and Politics

The Best Student Paper winner this year is Xaver Boxhammer's submission ‘Pulp (2018) and LOTE (2020): Reclaiming, Rewriting, and Overcoming Literary Heritage’. The panel were impressed by this well-written and highly readable essay, which takes the form of a hypothetical book review for an LGBTQ+ literary journal. The essay asks how contemporary writers – and readers – can engage with a historical past which has so often buried or ‘straightwashed’ their narratives. Through a nuanced discussion of two recent novels that imagine the possibilities of a queer past, the essay reflects on the exclusions of literary history and the heritage industry.

In this category, the Panel also commend Yanqi Chen's essay ‘Post-Feminist Era: A Critical Analysis of Femvertising and Commodifying Female Empowerment in Advertising Industry’. This is an original and wide-ranging essay on the commodification of feminism in the advertising industry. The essay puts forward a nuanced analysis of this significant phenomenon that captures its achievements while at the same time pointing to what is lost when feminism is co-opted by commercial forces.

The prize in the Best Other Academic Coursework category is awarded to Sadia Nadeem's ‘Creative Writing Portfolio’ submission for the module Driving On: Writing Towards Publication. The Panel was very impressed and moved by this portfolio which exposes everyday racism and the normalisation of Whiteness on campus. It is written in a short prose format and bears witness to the ubiquity of racism – from the day of arrival to student committee work, partying, and socialising – from the perspective of those affected by it.

The Panel also commend Nyasha Mukonoweshuro's submission in this second category – a ‘Pamphlet: Lessons from black anarchism’. This is an excellent and very original pamphlet that critically engages with the tenets of anarchism through the lens of ‘Black Consciousness’ analysing the contributions of Black anarchist scholarship which tends to be underrepresented in the Eurocentric literature and vision of anarchism.

Congratulations Xaver, Yanqi, Sadia and Nyasha!  Many thanks to all those who submitted work. The Panel were impressed by the quality of the submissions received this year and the breadth of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity related topics addressed within.