Sidney prize is a monthly award for outstanding investigative journalism that fosters social and economic justice. Its past winners include Patrick Dodson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Joseph Stiglitz, the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and the #MeToo Movement.
The prize is a result of a gift from the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, in memory of Maxwell E. Arthur, its former President.
Established in 2004 by a donation from the Sydney Mechanics School, this prize is awarded annually on the recommendation of the Head of the Department of English to a student of English at the University of Sydney who achieves the highest mark in 12 junior units of Australian Literature, provided that the work is of sufficient merit.
It is not restricted to students who are majoring or minoring in English and there is no limit on the amount or variety of material that may be submitted by an individual. The prize is a celebration of Sidney Cox’s rigorous standards for originality and integrity, which he set for himself and his students in teaching and writing.
The Sidney Cox Memorial Prize is offered annually for that piece of undergraduate writing which most nearly meets those high standards of originality and integrity which Sidney Cox set for himself and for his students in his teaching and in his book, Indirections for Those Who Want to Write.
Since its establishment, the Prize has been administered by a committee of which Budd Schulberg ’36 is active chairman. This year’s prizes will be presented at the Creative Writing Awards ceremony in May.
In his time as Dean of Yale College from 1985 to 1989, Sid believed that science majors should emerge from Yale with a deep appreciation of the humanities and social sciences, and that non-science majors should develop a sound understanding of the natural sciences. He also had a strong sense of the value of public-engaged research, and he encouraged his students to address systemic processes of social exclusion and resistance through theory development.
He made it a priority to support research addressing systemic problems of gender, class and the environment. In his view, these areas were key to the political economy and he was particularly interested in the work of historians who were exploring the ways in which ideas about race, gender, and the environment have been reconstructed or redefined over time.
This is why his scholarship focuses on the work of such important writers as William James, Henry Thoreau and John Dewey. He also has a long-standing commitment to the idea that the social sciences, not the natural ones, should be the main focus of academic research.
His belief in the importance of a good education for both social and political life has been reflected in the many awards, fellowships, and grants that he has received over the years. His writing and research have been influential in the development of several social movements, including the feminist movement.