(from AN Feb 2002)
Squeaky Wheel Award
Miriam Chaiken, COSWA Chair
The Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology (COSWA) is pleased to announce that the 2001 Squeaky Wheel Award has been presented to Naomi Quinn of Duke U. The Squeaky Wheel Award was established to recognize the contributions of individuals to promoting gender equity and parity in anthropology, and to acknowledge their role in educating members of the profession concerning gender issues. On both counts, Naomi Quinn represents an ideal candidate to receive the Squeaky Wheel Award.
For 20 years, Naomi Quinn has sought to improve gender and social equity within the discipline of anthropology and in university employment in general. She served on a National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Employment of Women and Related Social Issues (1981-87) and participated in the AAA Committee to Study the Academic Employment of Women in Anthropology (1982-1993), which resulted in the publication of two major examinations of gender relations in anthropology: "A New Resolution on Fair Employment Practices for Women Anthropologists," published in Signs (co-authored with Carol Smith); and "Academic Employment of Women in Anthropology," published in the Oct 1994 Anthropology Newsletter (co-authored with Michael Burton, Patty Jo Watson and Cynthia Webster). She led a COSWA-sponsored informational session for department chairs on the issues of sexual harassment in academia at the 1998 AAA Annual Meeting and published a subsequent piece in the Anthropology Newsletter.
In her own scholarly activity, Naomi Quinn has helped to make the focus of psychological anthropology more gender-sensitive. She also has promoted feminist psychological anthropology and increased our understanding of reproduction issues in their social context. She has helped ensure that feminists have a voice in anthropology and was the co-founder of the Association of Feminist Anthropology, a thriving section of the AAA.
In addition to her role as a researcher, scholar and advocate, Naomi Quinn has been a personal mentor and champion for other women in the discipline, including in contexts where overt hostilities and subtle sexism have created tense working conditions for her peers. Her personal courage has been a model to others; her generosity of spirit has helped younger colleagues persevere through difficult times. One of her nominees noted the inadequacy of the name "Squeaky Wheel" as an award for Quinn, for "Naomi Quinn deserves a 'Great Blazing Trumpet and Fiery Chariot Award.'" However, until such an award is created, we are pleased to make this modest commendation on behalf of grateful colleagues.
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