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American Studies Major Carrie Monahan Wins Golden and Kennedy Thesis Prizes

In June 2018, American Studies’ Carrie Monahan was awarded the David M. Kennedy Prize, Stanford’s highest award for an honors thesis, for her genre-crossing, book-length project, “‘A Dream Remembered’: Collective Memory and Ancestral Responsibility in Eufala, Alabama.” The award means that Monahan’s thesis was deemed the best among those theses that won the Robert M. Golden Medal, which is awarded to the top 10% of honors thesis in the Humanities and Arts.  As the citation that accompanied the award put it:

“Carrie Monahan’s thesis, “‘A Dream Remembered’: Collective Memory and Ancestral Responsibility in Eufala, Alabama,” is a stunning, evocatively written, and absolutely unique accomplishment.  Braiding memoir and family history into thoroughly researched local, regional, and national histories, this work of creative non-fiction explores fraught but urgent questions of race, responsibility, memory, and reconciliation—and does so with rare care, depth, sensitivity, and openness.  In part what makes the thesis so impressive is just how richly yet seamlessly Carrie weaves together the results of her exceptionally ambitious, multi-year research forays—forays both extensive and intensive, involving everything from interviews and site visits, to local archival ephemera, to a wealth of historical and historiographical studies and literary sources.  What makes this work of extraordinarily deep mapping that much more significant and meaningful is the author's willingness to involve herself in—not distance herself from—the difficult reckonings at the project’s heart.”