Diana Woodhouse Receives Top Paper Award at NCA | Communication Studies

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Diana Woodhouse Receives Top Paper Award at NCA

Diana WoodhouseDoctoral candidate Diana Woodhouse received the “Top Paper Award” for her piece entitled, “Women's Textile Graffiti: A Performative Rendering of the 'Moral Mother' Trope,” at the National Communication Association’s Performance Studies division at the conference in Las Vegas in November. Every year the Performance Studies Division has a panel for competitive paper submissions, and of those submissions there are 5 papers selected for the panel. Of those 5 papers, one is awarded the "Top Paper." Woodhouse said she was excited and honored to have received the award.

The paper was taken from Woodhouse’s dissertation on the public art form called textile graffiti (also called "yarnbombing"). Also called yarnstorming, textile graffiti, and guerilla knitting, yarnbombing is generally—but certainly not exclusively—practiced by collectives of women and involves “the act of attaching a handmade [textile] item to a street fixture, or leaving it in the landscape.” In the paper, she provides an overview of the moral mother trope as a still pervasive gender ideal stemming from Victorian era ideologies on presumed women's roles in public and private life. The paper explores how yarnbombers simultaneously invoke and subvert the "moral mother" trope. Woodhouse is scheduled to defend her dissertation later this month. Woodhouse’s doctoral advisor, Dr. Nathan Stucky, said “Diana’s dissertation is insightful, timely, and very enjoyable to read.”