Traci Voyles, an assistant professor of Women’s Studies at Loyola Marymount University, has been awarded the prestigious Graves Award in the Humanities for her research and teaching in gender studies. This biannual award, administered by Pomona College, rewards younger faculty members for excellence in teaching through research.
The award includes a $10,000 stipend to support Voyles’ research and writing, which focuses on environmental justice at the Salton Sea and the intersectionality of gender in history.
“The Graves Award has a wonderfully unique purpose that’s particularly well-suited to the teacher-scholar model we have here at LMU: the award is designed to promote excellence in teaching through research,” Voyles said. “I’m thrilled to have received the award because it makes space for both sides of our intellectual work.”
With the support of the Graves Award, Voyles’ work is being expanded to include a critical, social, environmental and feminist examination of the state of the Salton Sea and the impact of history upon the condition of humans and the environment.
“The Salton Sea poses crucial questions for those of us who study the intersections of gender, race and nature,” Voyles said. “It is somewhat uniquely situated at the center of concerns about water, drought, wildlife, and human health, making it an important site for environmentalism and environmental justice.”
Voyles plans to incorporate the themes of her research with her course, “Women and Gender in California History, 1769 – Present.” “The course will aim to help students understand the key role of gender in shaping historical events,” she said. “More broadly, it asks students to consider different rubrics by which we come to understand history and historical events: gender as it intersects with race, nature, and even ability and disability.”