Prize of $250 cash and one year membership of the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives
The 2015 ALGA thesis prize was awarded to Michael McDermott, for his Screen and Cultural Studies thesis, University of Melbourne: ‘Queerbaiting: Narrative, Fandom and Contests over the meaning of Supernatural’. McDermott’s thesis provides a sophisticated and insightful analysis of the relationship between queer fans and television producers. ‘Queerbaiting’ positions contemporary television’s exploitation of queer fandom in Supernatural against the longer history of queer subtextual production. By illuminating queer fans strategies of resistance to queerbaiting, the thesis provides an incisive critique of the conservatism and ambivalence of contemporary television towards queer subjects. Special commendation was made to Belinda Chaplin for her thesis: ‘Sex Reassignment Surgery: Panacea, Placeboor Pandora’s Box? A Narrative Inquiry’.