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National Geographic Explores Same Issue as 2017 Lang Prize Winner

National Geographic is wrestling with its past portrayals of non-Western cultures — the very same topic explored by Harley Wong, one of our 2017 Lang Prize winners. Specifically, Wong dedicated her research for an art history graduate seminar to analyzing National Geographic’s photographs of nude non-Western women.

In her paper, Wong argues that National Geographic is a contemporary continuation of nineteenth-century Orientalist paintings and photographs that characterize Eastern societies as primitive. This week, National Geographic announced that in its forthcoming issue on race, the magazine will be taking “a good hard look at its own history” to address some of the very issues that Wong examined in her research.

But Wong didn’t just have her finger on the pulse of an important social issue. As a Lang Prize winner, she also demonstrated her advanced understanding of the academic research process. Wong made extensive use of  library resources, such as Interlibrary Loan and several databases, in her research process.

The Norma J. Lang Prize for Undergraduate Information Research recognizes undergraduates like Wong across all disciplines who make exceptional use of the library’s resources and expertise in a research or class project.

If you have a research project you’re proud of, apply for the 2018 Lang Prize by April 9. Prizes of up to $1,000 are awarded in both Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and Science, Math and Engineering.

Have questions about whether your project qualifies for the Lang Prize? See our FAQ page or contact us at




Lang Prize