Privilege & Identity Abroad Writing Contest
Brought to you by Entropy & InterAction Initiative Inc.
We are excited to be co-sponsoring this important writing contest with InterAction Initiative Inc. and hope you will participate by sharing your stories with us. Please help spread the word to those who might be interested.
January 15, 2018
Describe a time when one of your privileges surfaced during your abroad experiences. In what moments did you hold power in these spaces? How and why did you realize your privilege in this instance and what did you do about it? How were you aware of your national identity, gender, race, etc. in contrast to where you were?
Definition of Privilege
Our short definition of privilege is unearned benefits, immunities, and advantages given to a social group based on their social identity such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, ability, citizenship etc.
Our long-form definition
A group of unearned cultural, legal, social, and institutional rights extended to a group based on their social group membership. Individuals with privilege are considered to be the normative group, leaving those without access to this privilege invisible, unnatural, deviant, or just plain wrong. Most of the time, these privileges are automatic and most individuals in the privileged group are unaware of them. Some people who can “pass” as members of the privileged group might have access to some levels of privilege (J. Beal 2009).
Some examples of privilege-checking we are interested in are white privilege, American privilege, class/socioeconomic privilege, male privilege, light-skin privilege, Christian privilege, able-bodied privilege, etc.
How did the spaces you occupied influence your conceptions of power dynamics and privilege?
In what ways did your identity embody power or authority over space and/or over others whether voluntarily or involuntarily?
What power dynamics did you observe when first arriving at your abroad destination?
Describe a time when you were vulnerable while abroad.
In what ways did you find your study abroad program problematic or useful in highlighting marginalizations and privileges?
Describe a moment where your prejudices, assumptions, beliefs or ideologies were questioned in your study abroad experience.
The narrative should be 300 to 600 words.
We are looking for nonfiction narratives that transport readers into the experience. We want raw stories that express and share a specific experience that the writer lived through. We are NOT looking for academic essays. We are also NOT looking for abstract writing of an experience. We are open to different expressions of writing about your experience that addresses the prompt.
Given the changing geopolitics of the world and its effect on the international travel experience, we are looking for narratives that take place after the year of 2010. It may or may not have been a part of a study abroad experience.
- Submissions are open to current students, past students, and young people with real lived abroad experiences from after 2010 to the present day.
- We welcome stories which are representative of complex, intersectional and marginalized narratives.
- We welcome stories which are critical of how power and privilege may operate in contexts at broad and at home.
- We will not consider misogynistic, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or otherwise prejudiced or discriminatory work.
- Titles are not compulsory.
- There are no font requirements, we are giving you the space to express yourself however you wish but double-spaced, size 12 is preferred.
- At this time we are looking for stories written in English but intersections with other languages are welcome.
- 1st – $250
- Runner Up
- Honorable mention
The 1st place winner (and the Runner Up) will be published through Entropy.
How these stories will be used:
By entering the contest, you will be donating your story to be used as an educational resource with InterAction Initiative Inc. By donating your work, you are giving us permission to edit it, if necessary, for length, anonymity, and clarity, as well as to reproduce it for the purpose of curriculum development, fundraising, marketing, etc. Reproductions may be but are not limited to, the stage, DVD, website, or print publication. In all such reproductions, the work will be noted as authored. By donating your work, you represent and warrant that you are the sole author of this work and own the rights thereto. Such donation does not prohibit you from re-publishing your work under your own name elsewhere at a later date, but be aware that a publisher may consider that publication a re-print.