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The official publication of the North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS), the Journal of British Studies, has positioned itself as the critical resource for scholars of British culture from the Middle Ages through the present. Drawing on both established and emerging approaches, JBS presents scholarly articles and books reviews from renowned international authors who share their ideas on British society, politics, law, economics, and the arts. In 2005 (Vol. 44), the journal merged with the NACBS publication Albion, creating one journal for NACBS membership.

NACBS Awards (2013)

Prize List (see details below)

NACBS/Huntington Fellowship:  Lauren Miller, Indiana University: “Refugee-Nation: The Origins of Practicing English Toleration, cv. 1680-1732.”

Dissertation Year Fellowship: Hillary Taylor, Yale University: "Voices of the People: Language, Class and Politics in Early Modern England."

Dissertation Year Travel Grant: Jennifer Wells, Brown University: “Prelude to empire: state-building in Cromwellian Ireland and Scotland, 1649–1660.”

Walter Love Prize: Erik Linstrum, University of Michigan: "The Politics of Psychology in the British Empire, 1898-1960," Past & Present 215 (May 2012).

John Ben Snow Prize: Nicholas Rogers, York University: Mayhem: Postwar Crime and Violence in Britain, 1748-53 (Yale University Press, 2012).

Stansky Book Prize (co-winners): Jim Epstein, Vanderbilt University: Scandal of Colonial Rule: Power and Subversion in the British Atlantic during the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Jordanna Bailkin, University of Washington: The Afterlife of Empire (University of California Press, 2012).

Undergraduate Essay Contest for U.S. Colleges and Universities

Amy Cote, “Parables and Unitarianism in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton.” University of Victoria. Nominated by Lisa Surridge. amycote@uvic.ca, lsurridg@uvic.ca

James Doing, “The War of Nerves: British Civilians and the Threat of Invasion, 1940-1941.” University of Wisconsin. Nominated by Daniel Ussishkin. doing@wisc.edu, ussishkin@wisc.edu

Martha Groppo, “The Rise of Maternal Healthcare in Britain and around the World.” University of Kentucky. Nominated by Philip Harling. mjgrop2@g.uky.edu, harling@uky.edu

Megan McCauley, “‘Round the Empire in a Day’: Exhibiting Empire at Wembley, 1924.” Boston University. Nominated by Arianne Chernock. meganm@bu.edu, chernock@bu.edu

Alicia Meyer, “‘The Misfortunes of Jane Danyell’:  A Tale of Devotion, Deceit, and Disaster in Early           Modern England.” University of Nebraska. Nominated by Carol Levin. aliciameyer@gmail.com, clevin2@unl.edu

Alison Mueller, “Curing London: How the London Sewer System Eradicated Cholera.” UC-Riverside. Nominated by Thomas Cogswell. alison.mueller@email.ucr.edu, thomas.cogswell@ucr.edu

Ryan Patterson, “The Contagious Diseases Acts: Under the Microscope.” Florida State University. Nominated by Charles Upchurch. rnp12@my.fsu.edu, cupchurch@fsu.edu

Rachel Phillips, “Sacrificial Rites – and Wrongs: Imoinda’s Death as a Sacrifice in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko.” Western University. Nominated by Richard J. Moll. rphill28@uwo.ca, rmoll@uwo.ca

Alexa Price, “‘For Nelson’s Sake’: The HMS Foudroyant, Naval Nostalgia, and Public          Understanding of the Royal Navy at the Close of the Victorian Age.” University of New Hampshire. Nominated by Nicoletta Gullace. alexa.price@mac.com, nicoletta.gullace@unh.edu 

Rory Scothorne, “Subverting the ‘Civil’/‘Wild’ Divide in the Baltinglass Rebellion.” Washington University in St. Louis. Nominated by Derek Hirst. roryscothorne@wustl.edu, dmhirst@artsci.wustl.edu

Monica Thornell, “My Dear One?  A Recovery of Queen Anne, Regent of England.” McGill University. Nominated by Brian Cowan. monica.thornell@mail.mcgill.ca, brian.cowan2@mcgill.ca

Alex Warshick, “‘Unalterable Law’: Going Beyond the Material in Meredith’s ‘Lucifer in Starlight’ and Hopkins’ ‘God’s Grandeur’.” St. Francis Xavier University. Nominated by Matthew Fellion. x2010nmz@stfx.ca, mfellion@stfx.ca


NACBS-Huntington Library Fellowship, 2010-11
Lauren Miller, Indiana University: “Refugee-Nation: The Origins of Practicing English Toleration, cv. 1680-1732.”

Dissertation Year Fellowship
Hillary Taylor, Yale University: "Voices of the People: Language, Class and Politics in Early Modern England." Ms. Taylor’s dissertation investigates the causes and consequences of plebeian “inarticulacy” amid such socio-economic changes in Early Modern England as the expansion of the gentry, the growth of commercial and professional classes, and the emergence of a larger population of landless permanent laborers. This innovative and ambitious approach to examining the social soundscape of plebeian England revolves around the binaries of universality/particularity and inclusion/exclusion that characterize the development of language. Ms. Taylor’s research engages not only with the overlooked subject of the language of the lower classes, but with the daily experiences and attitudes of those at the bottom and how these affected politics, economics, and social developments during this period.

Dissertation Year Travel Grant
Jennifer Wells, Brown University: “Prelude to empire: state-building in Cromwellian Ireland and Scotland, 1649–1660” In this dissertation, Ms. Wells seeks to provide the first comprehensive analysis of state-building in Scotland and Ireland during the Interregnum from the English, Irish and Scottish perspectives. Her project focuses on the ways that England’s proto-imperial network subdued and integrated two neighboring countries through various legal, financial, administrative, educational and religious measures as forms of legitimation to consolidate power and establish authority in the wake of violent conquest. Its goal is to demonstrate further how English domestic state-formation evolved into an imperial framework in Ireland and Scotland in the 1650s and the ways in which modern state- and empire-building borrowed from each other during this transformation.

Love Prize

Erik Linstrum, University of Michigan: "The Politics of Psychology in the British Empire, 1898-1960," Past & Present 215 (May 2012). Erik Linstrum’s analysis of experimental psychology and psychoanalysis in the British Empire challenges our assumptions about colonial science and what we often assume are intrinsic links between the acquisition of imperial knowledge and the project of empire itself.  While imperial infrastructures and imbalances of power certainly enabled and shaped psychological studies in African, Asia, and the West Indies, Linstrum convincingly demonstrates the importance of those studies in undermining and eventually displacing the commonplace European belief that so-called primitives had no inner lives or individual psychological complexity.  The impact of British Imperial psychology, then, was not to strengthen British Imperial racism but rather to build new, post-colonial models of the human psyche, and thus to promote the role of social scientific expertise in the emerging post-colonial states of the twentieth century. 

Jon Ben Snow Prize

Nicholas Rogers, York University: Mayhem: Postwar Crime and Violence in Britain, 1748-53 (Yale University Press, 2012). Mayhem follows the problems of demobilizing soldiers in a wide variety of directions, from bawdy houses to the gin craze to popular religion and demographic enquiry, from the centre to the localities and, indeed, to the colonies beyond. In a book both erudite and engaging, Professor Rogers disrupts assumptions of eighteenth-century stability by engaging with a range of popular tensions that constituted a surprisingly serious challenge to governmental authority, especially when allied to the ambiguity of a military victory that felt a lot like a defeat.  While each chapter shows a different element of society on its own terms, Mayhem produces a coherent and compelling whole.  

Stansky Book Prize (co-winners)

Jim Epstein, Vanderbilt University: Scandal of Colonial Rule: Power and Subversion in the British Atlantic during the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2012). James Epstein’s Scandal of Colonial Rule reminds us of just how compelling history can be.  Epstein centers his work on the story of Louisa Calderon, a mixed-race woman who was tortured by the first British governor of Trinidad, General Thomas Picton, in 1801 in order to force her to admit to her alleged role in a robbery.  From this core narrative, and the debates it engendered, he leads us in a dazzling array of directions, demonstrating a mastery of social, cultural, political, gender, legal and imperial history along the way.  What emerges is a nuanced and kaleidoscopic view of the British Empire in the decades around 1800, when the British were still grappling with their new global power. This is history simultaneously revelatory and readable, as Epstein leads his readers through a world in which very little was fixed and much was in flux, never losing his footing.

Jordanna Bailkin, University of Washington: The Afterlife of Empire (University of California Press, 2012). Jordanna Bailkin’s boldly original The Afterlife of Empire opens up entirely new ground and maps out an ambitious agenda for future scholars of 20th century British history. By placing into a single analytic frame decolonization and welfare, post-war and post-colonial, Bailkin brilliantly “decolonizes” the history of welfare while showing the role of welfare in decolonization. She allows us to see each of these much-studied developments in new ways that attend to the human dimensions of large-scale impersonal global processes through the quotidian lives of ordinary people. Bailkin focuses on the post-WWII decades, but this compassionate study powerfully shows us that these processes continue to unfold in unexpected and profoundly consequential ways for us today. 

Undergraduate Essay Contest for U.S. Colleges and Universities 

Amy Cote, “Parables and Unitarianism in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton.” University of Victoria. Nominated by Lisa Surridge. amycote@uvic.ca, lsurridg@uvic.ca

James Doing, “The War of Nerves: British Civilians and the Threat of Invasion, 1940-1941.” University of Wisconsin. Nominated by Daniel Ussishkin. doing@wisc.edu, ussishkin@wisc.edu

Martha Groppo, “The Rise of Maternal Healthcare in Britain and around the World.” University of Kentucky. Nominated by Philip Harling. mjgrop2@g.uky.edu, harling@uky.edu

Megan McCauley, “‘Round the Empire in a Day’: Exhibiting Empire at Wembley, 1924.” Boston University. Nominated by Arianne Chernock. meganm@bu.edu, chernock@bu.edu

Alicia Meyer, “‘The Misfortunes of Jane Danyell’:  A Tale of Devotion, Deceit, and Disaster in Early           Modern England.” University of Nebraska. Nominated by Carol Levin. aliciameyer@gmail.com, clevin2@unl.edu

Alison Mueller, “Curing London: How the London Sewer System Eradicated Cholera.” UC-Riverside. Nominated by Thomas Cogswell. alison.mueller@email.ucr.edu, thomas.cogswell@ucr.edu

Ryan Patterson, “The Contagious Diseases Acts: Under the Microscope.” Florida State University. Nominated by Charles Upchurch. rnp12@my.fsu.edu, cupchurch@fsu.edu

Rachel Phillips, “Sacrificial Rites – and Wrongs: Imoinda’s Death as a Sacrifice in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko.” Western University. Nominated by Richard J. Moll. rphill28@uwo.ca, rmoll@uwo.ca

Alexa Price, “‘For Nelson’s Sake’: The HMS Foudroyant, Naval Nostalgia, and Public          Understanding of the Royal Navy at the Close of the Victorian Age.” University of New Hampshire. Nominated by Nicoletta Gullace. alexa.price@mac.com, nicoletta.gullace@unh.edu 

Rory Scothorne, “Subverting the ‘Civil’/‘Wild’ Divide in the Baltinglass Rebellion.” Washington University in St. Louis. Nominated by Derek Hirst. roryscothorne@wustl.edu, dmhirst@artsci.wustl.edu

Monica Thornell, “My Dear One?  A Recovery of Queen Anne, Regent of England.” McGill University. Nominated by Brian Cowan. monica.thornell@mail.mcgill.ca, brian.cowan2@mcgill.ca

Alex Warshick, “‘Unalterable Law’: Going Beyond the Material in Meredith’s ‘Lucifer in Starlight’ and Hopkins’ ‘God’s Grandeur’.” St. Francis Xavier University. Nominated by Matthew Fellion. x2010nmz@stfx.ca, mfellion@stfx.ca

PREVIOUS AWARD WINNERS

The winners of the prize and fellowship competitions are announced at the NACBS annual conference. Previous winners of recent competitions are available below: