Thelma Hunter Gender and Politics PhD Prize

Thelma Hunter Women and Politics PhD Thesis Prize is awarded biennially to the best PhD dissertation on gender and/or women and politics, broadly defined.

Thelma Hunter Women and Politics PhD Thesis Prize 2022 (TBA)

  • Call for Nominations 
  • Closing Date for Nominations 
  • Commission of Winner’s Award 

The Thelma Hunter Gender and Politics PhD Prize replaces the Women and Politics Essay Prize from 2018. It is awarded on a biennial basis, alternating with the Carole Pateman Gender and Politics Book Prize.

Nomination Guidelines

  • Supervisors are invited to submit dissertations awarded to their PhD students who are Australian residents and a current financial member of APSA in the year of nomination.
  • The nominated dissertation must be completed at an Australian University and have been passed by examiners on or before the 31 December in the two-years preceding the nomination (e.g. A thesis is eligible for entry in the 2022 competition if it has been passed by its examiners between 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021).
  • The Prize will recognise a PhD of distinction in the field of gender and/or women and politics, broadly defined.
  • To enter, please complete the Thelma Hunter Gender and Politics PhD Prize Nomination Form, accompanied by a brief report by the supervisor – half a page – outlining the merits of the dissertation, an electronic copy of the thesis, together with electronic copies of all examiners’ reports for the thesis, and evidence of the date the PhD was passed (e.g. a copy of the email from the Graduate Research School (or equivalent body) to the candidate advising that their PhD has been passed). All documents should be emailed to Arts-SSPS-APSA@unimelb.edu.au by the announced due date. Please do not submit anything until the call for nominations is announced.

Judging Process

  • The decision will be made by a judging panel chaired by an APSA Women’s Caucus Executive member (or delegate). The panel will consist of at least three judges (including the chair), with at least two other women caucus members or gender and politics experts in addition to the chair. Past winners will be encouraged to participate in the judging process for future awards.
  • Members of judging panels should adhere to the Guidance on Identifying and Managing Conflicts of Interest. If the Chair of a judging panel has a significant conflict of interest, they must relinquish their position as Chair to one of the other panellists.
  • The judging panel will rely both upon the examiners’ reports and their own reading of the thesis to make their determination.
  • APSA reserves the right not to award the prize in any given year.

Award Details

  • The winner will be invited to attend the Association’s annual conference dinner and receive the prize of $1000 and a trophy.
  • This Prize is funded by APSA $500, the APSA Gender, Women and Politics PhD Prize scheme $250 and the Thelma Hunter bequest $250.

Post Winners:

2020: Federica Caso, University of Queensland, ‘Liberal Militarisation: Visualising the Military Body as a Form of Governance.’

Past Winners of Women and Politics Prize 1982 – 2016:

2016 winner: Freya Jensens, ‘Suit of power: Fashion, politics and hegemonic masculinity in Australia’, AJPS 54 (2): 2002–218.

2012 winner: Ryl Harrison, ‘Women in Political leadership: coming so far to fail’

2010 winner: Katherine Curchin, ‘Pakeha Women and Maori Protocol: The Politics of Criticising Other Cultures’, AJPS 46 (3): 375–388.

2008 winner: Nina Hall, ‘East Timorese Women Challenge Domestic Violence’, AJPS 44 (2): 309–25.

2006 winner: Anna Boucher, ‘Skill, migration and gender in Australia and Canada: The case of gender-based analysis’, AJPS 42 (3): 383-401.

2004 winner: Tania Domett, ‘Soft power in global politics: Diplomatic partners as transversal actor’, AJPS 40 (2): 289-306.

2001 winner: Katrina Lee Koo, ‘Confronting a Disciplinary Blindness: Women, War and Rape in the International Politics of Security’, AJPS 37 (3): 525–36

1999 winner: Natasha Cortis, ‘Gender and the Re-evaluation of Human Service Work: Pay Equity in New South Wales’, AJPS 35 (1) 49–62.

1997 winner: Sharon Broughton and Sonia Palmieri, ‘Gendered Contributions to Parliamentary Debates: The Case of Euthanasia’, AJPS 34 (1): 29–45.

1995 winner: Helen Irving, ‘Equal Opportunity, Equal Representation and Equal Rights: What Republicanism offers to Australian Women’, AJPS 31 (1): 37–50.

1993 winner: Susan Blackburn, ‘Gender Interests and Indonesian Democracy’, AJPS 29 (3): 556–74.

1991 winner: Tony Smith, ‘Gumshoes or Galoshes? The Case of Contemporary Australian Women Crime Writers’

1989 winner: Prize not awarded, two entries highly commended: Meg Montague, ‘At a Snail’s Pace: The Development of Policy towards a Women’s Employment Strategy in Victoria’ and K. V. Blake, ‘The Government of Reason’.        

1986 winner: Ann Villiers, ‘Legislating for Women’s Rights and Conservative Rhetoric—Lessons for Feminists’, Australian Quarterly 59 (2): 128–44.

1984 winner: Clare Burton, ‘Public and Private Concerns in Academic Institutions’ Politics 20 (1): 59–64. and

Desley Deacon, ‘State Formation, The New Middle Class and the Dual Labour Market: Women Clerks in an Australian Bureaucracy 1880–1930’, published as ‘Australian Bureaucracy 1880–1930 and the Dual Labour Market’, Australian Quarterly 57 (1&2): 32–46.

1983 winner : Desley Deacon, ‘Political Arithmetic: The Nineteenth Century Census and the Construction of the Dependent Woman’, Signs 11 (1): 27–47. Reprinted in Barbara Laslett et al, Gender and Scientific Authority Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

1982 winner: Sara Dowse, ‘The Women’s Movement’s Fandango with the State’, Australian Quarterly 54 (4): 324–45. Reprinted in Cora V, Baldock and Bettina Cass (eds) Women, Social Welfare and the State in Australia, Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 1983; 2nd edn 1988.