University of Arizona, Tucson

“Language casts sheaves of
reality upon the social body, stamping
it and violently shaping it.”

The Straight Mind and Other Essays
by Monique Wittig




This scholarship honors the life and work of Monique Wittig, French novelist, poet and social theorist. Wittig was a professor at the University of Arizona, Tucson from 1990 to 2003. First published as a novelist, Monique Wittig’s fiction revolutionized French literature. Mary McCarthy called her “the best writer anywhere of her generation.” Wittig’s fiction, as well as theoretical writing, has had a fundamental and worldwide impact upon feminist theory and lesbian and gay theory.

In honor of Monique Wittig, the Monique Wittig Writer’s Scholarship will foster innovation in literary forms and the connection between politics and language. It will allow University of Arizona graduate and undergraduate students to allocate more time to their writing.

This scholarship is open to writers in all fields including literature, film, theater, poetry, essays and new/mixed media. The winner will be expected to present from the work in progress at the awards ceremony.

Applications should include the application form and a cover letter indicating how the student’s work addresses the political and artistic goals of the scholarship, and how the project relates to the student’s other work, and where possible, the work of Monique Wittig. It should also include a writing sample (or other artistic sample) from the project that will be helped by the award, and a plan that demonstrates how the scholarship will aid the student in completing his/her project.

1) Completed Application Form 2) Cover Letter 3) Writing Sample from your project—8-18 pages (if prose, double-spaced) 4) A plan on how this scholarship will facilitate the completion of your project 5) Compile all the components of the application into one PDF, with a file format = last name of the applicant.PDF (e.g., smith.PDF)

Applications due April 1, 2015 by 5:00 p.m.
Download the application PDF.

Submit applications via email to Professor Sandra Soto at sotos@email.arizona.edu.

Direct questions to:
Monique Wittig Writer's Scholarship Gender & Women's Studies Department
Leigh Spencer, Program Coordinator
Email: spencerl@email.arizona.edu
Phone: 520-621-5656

2014 Scholarship Recipient: Sally McCallum Bio

Sally McCallum is in her final year of undergraduate study at the University of Arizona, where she is a triple major in Creative Writing, French and English. During the 2013-14 academic year she studied French literature and literary translation at Université Paris 7 Diderot. After graduating she hopes to return to France as an English Language Teaching Assistant. Some of her current work involves transcribing a recording and re-working audio recordings she made while walking around Paris. The inspiration for the recordings came from the habit of using a hands-free microphone as a means to avoid having to talking to men who hassled her in certain situations, a habit which led her to think about how monologues can simulate private places, and private identities. She hopes to raise questions about the constitution and constancy of identities and to evoke the problematic relationship between the interior monologue that (we wish to believe) constitutes our "real" self, and the identity we seek to project when we speak aloud. She also wish to interrogate the relationship between the written and spoken word.


2012 Scholarship Recipient: Daisy Fleur Pitkin Bio

Daisy grew up in rural Ohio with her three brothers. She earned a BA in Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies from Macalester College. Then for 10 years, she worked as organizer and writer in support of the organizing efforts of garment and industrial laundry workers around the world. She makes sculptural books, letterpress art, and video installations, and she recently earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Arizona.


2010 Scholarship Recipient: Emily DePrang Bio

Emily DePrang is a writer and journalist whose explorations of identity and visibility have been documented on the blog Pigeon in the Sun, at the WYSIWYG and SMUT reading series in New York, NY, and in her essays for Nerve.com, The Texas Observer, and more. Her work has been republished in the anthologies Best Sex Writing 2006 and We Who Dared Say No to War: American Anti-War Writing From 1812 to Now. She's currently a Contributing Writer for The Texas Observer, the 2010-2011 Nonfiction Editor for the Sonora Review, and is pursuing her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She is 29.


2009 Scholarship Recipient: Patricia I. Escarcegá Bio
Honorable Mention - Bo McGuire Bio

Patricia Escárcega received her MFA from the University of Arizona in May 2008. She is currently a graduate student in the School of Information Resources and Library Science. She is finishing her first novel, tentatively titled The Window Seat.


2008 Scholarship Recipient: Christina Louise Smith Bio
Honorable Mention: L. Monique Tippins

C.L. Smith is a poet and writer graduating from the University of Arizona with a BA in English Lit. and Creative Writing in Spring 2008. Having lived in many places, locality reproaches her. Her chapbook of poetry is titled Blackberrying.


Bo McGuire hails from Hokes Bluff, Alabama, and currently suffers the Tucson heat gladly where he is a Rogers' Fellow in creative writing at the University of Arizona. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from elimae, Forklift,Ohio, and The Pinch. Currently he is at work on two projects: one, a manuscript of poems called Holler and a second critical work exploring queerness in the U.S. South through hillbilly diva worship.


2007 Scholarship Recipient: Lydia Omolola OkutoroBio

Lydia Omolola Okutoro was born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She is a former middle school teacher who currently works as an editor at Scholastic, Inc. in New York. Her writing has appeared in Essence Magazine, Worcester Magazine, So To Speak, and Reading Community, a Harcourt Brace textbook. Her first book, Quiet Storm: Voices of Young Black Poets, published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books, was selected by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults in 2000. Lydia is currently at work on her memoir about being an immigrant child in America and growing up without her family. The Wittig Scholarship helped her fund a writers' workshop in Prague, where she received valuable feedback on the memoir project.


2006 Scholarship Recipient: Susan Meyers Bio
Honorable Mention: Waylon N. Begay and Sandy Yang

A Seattle native, Susan Meyers has lived and taught language and writing in Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota in 2004, and she is currently finishing a doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Arizona. She has strong interests in both the cross-cultural aspects of written communication as well as women's historical struggle to find voice - whether in fiction, poetry, or rhetoric. Her doctoral thesis focuses on written literacy in the lives of migrant women in Mexico, and her novel manuscript, The Candybutcher's Daughter, is fictionalized account of her grandmother's early life as a circus acrobat, under-aged tavern proprietor, WWII welder, and nightclub photographer. Susan used the Wittig scholarship to pay travel expenses to attend a residency at the Hedgebrook Retreat for Women Writers in Whidby Island, WA. Her two months at Hedgebrook during the summer of 2006 were instrumental in helping her produce the first completed draft of her novel manuscript, which she is now revising and preparing for submission. Also, while at Hedgebrook, she met a former-Fulbrighter, who helped give her a sense of how to apply for a Fulbright fellowship. Happily, she was successful, and is now engaged in her own Fulbright year! She believes that in many ways, the seeds of her current achievements lay in that summer at Hedgebrook--which was directly funded by the Wittig scholarship.


2005 Scholarship Recipient: Padma Viswanathan Bio

Padma Viswanathan's novel, The Toss of a Lemon, has been published in six countries and was shortlisted for for the Commonwealth Prize (Regional) for Best First Book, Amazon.ca First Novel Prize and the Pen Center USA Fiction Award. The novel was her thesis at the University of Arizona, and the work for which she received the Monique Wittig scholarship. Her short fiction has appeared in journals including New Letters, Subtropics, and The Malahat Review, and she took first prize in the 2006 Boston Review Short Story Contest. Other prizes include fellowships from the NEA and the Canada Council for the Arts, and residencies from the MacDowell Colony and the Banff Playwrights' Colony. She now lives in Arkansas, where she is at work on another novel.


Donors can support the Monique Wittig Writer’s Scholarship Endowment
in the following ways:
A gift of cash. ( Please make checks payable to the UA Foundation/Wittig Scholarship Endowment, with "Women's Studies" listed in the memo section.)
. A pledge over three to five years.
. Marketable securities. We accept securities and sell them upon receipt.
. A family foundation can transfer funds to the UA Foundation
. Planned or estate gifts.
. Real Estate or personal property.

All contributions are tax deductible.
All contributions are greatly appreciated.
For further information, please contact Ginny Healy, Development Officer, College of Social and Behavioral at 520 621-3928. The mailing address is:
Monique Wittig Scholarship Endowment, Women's Studies, University of Arizona, PO Box 210438, 925 N. Tyndall, Tucson, AZ, 85721.