Writer and activist Sarah Schulman wins 2021 Ann Snitow Prize

The Organizing Committee of the Ann Snitow Prize is pleased to name Sarah Schulman its second annual honoree. The $10,000 award recognizes a feminist of outstanding vision, originality, generosity, and effectiveness, whose work combines intellectual and/or artistic pursuits with feminist and social justice activism. 

The Award Ceremony featured “Love/Hurts: Conflict, Compassion and Feminist Community-Building,” a conversation between Schulman and her nominator, Susan Stryker, Click here to view the complete ceremony.

Sarah Schulman is a writer, scholar, and activist whose prolific body of work across mediums—fiction, nonfiction, theater, and film—attests to a lifetime of creativity and dedication to queer, left, and feminist causes. She is the author of nineteen books, most recently Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT-UP New York, 1987-1993 (2021), which has been praised as “remarkable,” “amazing,” and “definitive”; in the words of one reviewer, “a resounding rebuttal to exclusionary versions of AIDS history.” Sarah’s nominator, Susan Stryker, the groundbreaking historian and leader in trans theory and activism, calls the book “the capstone of Schulman’s decades of activism on AIDS-related issues.” 

Schulman was selected by judges Kaavya Asoka, Liat Ben-Moshe, Karma Chavez, Sarah Leonard, Premilla Nadasen, and Barbara Ransby. Nadasen, the winner of the inaugural Ann Snitow Prize, notes that Schulman’s “fierce courage in tackling difficult issues, and her unwavering commitment to not only theorize but to help build a more just society—in the U.S. and abroad—embody the essence of the Ann Snitow Prize.” Fellow judge Chavez adds: “Schulman’s longstanding and diverse feminist and queer activism on issues ranging from HIV/AIDS to the sexism of the literary world to gentrification to Palestine made her a truly ideal candidate. In particular, the importance of her recent book, Let the Record Show, as a handbook for activists facing government inaction and pandemic politics made her an ideal choice in this historical moment.”

Sarah Schulman, winner of the 2021 Ann Snitow Prize. Photo: Drew Stevens

Schulman expresses her own astonishment and thanks: “Because we live in a time where perfection and smooth lack of difference are broadly demanded, I never thought I could be the recipient of this prize,” she said. “I have had differences of opinion with half of the judges, while also cooperating with them. For those long, true histories of parallel, crossing, overlapping work for justice, this means so much to me. It feels so deep to be recognized by my real peers. It is reassuring, and even more—it is moving.”

The Ann Snitow Prize Organizing Committee thanks the judges, the Nominating Committee, and our generous donors.