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History Major Wins UMD Honors Thesis Award

April 14, 2023 History


Julia Grafstein Chosen for Winston Honors Writing Award

Julia Grafstein has been awarded the Winston Family Award for Best Departmental Honors Thesis.

Established by Roger (’76, ’79) and Karen Winston (’75), the annual Winston Honors Writing Awards recognize the best essays, research papers, and theses written by honors students. These prestigious awards are coordinated by the faculty and staff of University Honors for the Honors College. 

Advised by Dr. Kate Keane, Julia's thesis explores a largely unexamined part of American history: the activism of transpeople in the 1970s and 1990s as they sought to fight discrimination, secure legal rights, and improve health care. Using a wide range of primary sources, Julia's thesis adds an important analysis to the presumed unity in the "LGBTQ" coalition as she identifies critical moments of conflict in the queer community and the women's movement. She scoured available digital sources (newspapers, oral histories, archival collections, memoirs, legal cases) to build a persuasive case detailing the areas of cooperation and the areas of conflict in LGBT and women's organizing.