Anna L. Weissman — 2018 Kenneth Sherrill Prize Award Recipient

The American Political Science Association (APSA) will present the Kenneth Sherrill Prize to Anna L. Weissman at the 2018 APSA Annual Meeting & Exhibition, the world’s largest gathering of political scientists and source for emerging scholarship in the discipline. The $200 prize recognizes the best doctoral dissertation proposal for an empirical study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) topics.

Anna L. Weissman is a PhD Candidate at the University of Florida and former FLAS Fellow at UF’s Center for European Studies (2013-2017). Her research theorizes the relations between sexuality, the state, and national identity, particularly through lesbian, gay, and trans reproductive rights. Anna’s dissertation focuses on lesbian, gay, and trans reproductive rights reproductive rights in Poland, Sweden, France, and the Czech Republic, uncovering the intertwining history of normative sexuality, traditional procreative gender roles, and the mythology of the nation-state, and develops of the concept of Repronormativity. Building on sociocultural historical tracing and discourse analysis, she explains not only attitudes toward LGBT parenting, but also shows how heteronormative reproduction colors ideas of political belonging. Anna has published in the Journal of GLBT Family Studies, the International Feminist Journal of Politics, the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy, in the Routledge Handbook of Gender and Security (Caron Gentry, Laura J. Shepherd, and Laura Sjoberg, editors), and is co-editing (with Laura J. Shepherd and Lucy B. Hall) Troubling Motherhood: Interrogation of Maternality in Global Politics (under contract with Oxford University Press).

By unanimous agreement, the committee for this year’s Kenneth Sherrill Prize for best dissertation proposal in the empirical study of LGBT politics enthusiastically awards the Prize to Anna L. Weissman (University of Florida) for her proposal entitled “LGBT Tolerance and the Focus on Non-Normative Parenting: Same-Sex Marriage vs. Same-Sex Parenting.” Anna’s dissertation will take a comparative, mixed-methods approach to better understand why support for marriage rights for same-sex couples is greater than support for parenting rights for LGBT people around the world. Her hypothesis is that even as LGBT rights advance, traditional and patriarchal notions of reproduction persist, creating the growing gap between acceptance of marriage and support for LGBT families. Anna plans comparative studies of France, Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, chosen for their variation with regard to laws and religiosity. Her methodology will include historical process tracing, discourse analysis, and analysis of public opinion data in all four countries.