Virginia Ramey Mollenkott Award

To encourage and support original research and study of LGBTQ religious history, LGBTQ-RAN offers an annual award for papers, the Virginia Ramey Mollenkott Award. Initiated in 2005, this award honors outstanding scholarship in LGBTQ religious history from among an array of academic papers submitted. The Virginia Ramey Mollenkott Award is the only award offered in this academic arena.

This award was named for Virginia Ramey Mollenkott in 2022 in collaboration with Virginia’s friends and colleagues who generously established a memorial fund to underwrite this award. Dr. Mollenkott had a profound impact upon the lives of countless LGBTQ persons and their families and friends during her four decades of courageous witness and advocacy. It is fitting that Virginia’s legacy will support the endeavors of young queer scholars in religion for years to come.

Submission Guidelines →

2023-24 Honoree

Austin Steelman for his paper "Not an 'Ordinary Man:' J. Gresham Machen and the Un-Queering of Evangelical Theology."

2022-23 Honoree

Wallace Best, Ph.D. for his paper "Everybody Knew He Was 'That Way:' Chicago's Clarence H. Cobbs, American Religion and Sexuality During the Post World War II Period."

  • Best's paper was published as a chapter in The Sexual Politics of Black Churches, edited by Josef Sorett (Columbia University Press: 2022).
  • Press Release
  • Interview with Wallace Best at the March 8, 2023 Mollenkott Award presentation.

2021-2022 Honoree

Katie Hemphill, Ph.D. for her paper, “’Pastor Was Trapped:’ Queer Scandal and Contestations Over Christian Anti-Vice Reform”

2020-2021 Honoree

Dan Royles, Ph.D. for his paper, "There Is a Balm in Gilead: AIDS Activism in the Black Church."

Honorable mention to William Stell for his paper, "From Neighbors to Outcasts: Evangelical Gay Activism in the Late 1970s."

2019-2020 Honoree

Suzanna Krivulskaya, Ph.D. for her paper, “’Queer’ Rumors: Protestant Pastors, Unnatural Deeds, and Church Censure in the Twentieth-Century United States.”

2018-2019 Honoree

K. Mohrman, Ph.D for her paper, “Becoming White: Theologizing Heteronormativity in Mormonism, 1890-1945.”

2017-2018 Honoree

The jury decided not to award a submitted paper this year. 

2016-2017 Honoree

The jury decided not to award a submitted paper this year.

2015-2016 Honoree

Bruce Dorsey, Ph.D. for his paper, "'Making Men What They Should Be:' Male Same-Sex Intimacy and Evangelical Religion in Early Nineteenth-Century New England"

  • Dr. Dorsey's paper (published in the Journal of the History of Sexuality; subscription required)

Honorable mention to Judith Weisenfeld, Ph.D. for her paper, "'Real True Buds:' Celibacy and Same-Sex Desire Across the Color Line in Father Divine's Peace Mission Movement"

2014-2015 Honoree

Brett Krutzsch for his paper, "The Martyrdom of Matthew Shepard"

  • Brett Krutzsch's paper (published in Dying to be Normal: Gay Martyrs and the Transformation of American Sexual Politics)

Honorable Mention to Lynne Gerber for her paper, "How to Have Christmas in an Epidemic"

2013-2014 Honoree

The jury decided not to award a submitted paper this year

2012-13 Honoree

Timothy Willem Jones, Ph.D. for his paper, "The Stained Glass Closet: Celibacy and Homosexuality in the Church of England to 1955"

2011-12 Co-Honorees

Rebecca L. Davis for her paper, "'My Homosexuality Is Getting Worse Every Day': Norman Vincent Peale, Psychiatry, and the Liberal Protestant Response to Same-Sex Desires in Mid-Twentieth-Century America," 

  • Davis' paper (published in American Christianities: A History of Dominance and Diversity).

Anthony Petro for his paper, "Protest Religion! ACT UP, Religious Freedom and the Ethics of Sex."

2010-11 Honoree

The jury decided not to award a submitted paper this year.

2009-10 Honoree

Shaun Jacob Halper for his paper, "Fashioning a Gay Jewish Identity in Interwar Prague: The Case of Jiří Langer (1894-1943)." 

2008-09 Honoree

The jury decided not to award a submitted paper this year.

2007-08 Honoree

Heather Rachelle White, Ph.D. for her paper, "From Sin to Sickness: Pastoral Counseling and the Sex Variant, 1946-1963."

2006-07 Honoree

Kathryn Lofton, Ph.D. for her paper, "Queering Fundamentalism: The Case of John Balcom Shaw (1860-1935)."

2005-06 Honoree

Michelle Sauer, Ph.D. for paper entitled "Representing the Negative: Positing the Lesbian Void in Medieval English Anchoritism."