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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.


The NACBS DISSERTATION FELLOWSHIP is awarded to support dissertation research in the British Isles on any topic of British (including Scottish, Irish and Imperial) history or British Studies. The Fellowship consists of a $10,000 stipend. Two runners-up will receive a $5,000 travel grant. Each advisor may nominate one candidate enrolled in a Ph.D. program in a U.S. or Canadian institution. At the time of application, the nominee must have completed all degree requirements save the dissertation. 

  • The nomination must be made by the student's dissertation advisor, supported by one additional letter of recommendation.   The nominating advisor and the nominee must both be members of the NACBS.
  • The candidate must need to travel to the British Isles for the purpose of dissertation research. The fellowship awardee must conduct full-time research in the British Isles for an extended stay of at least three-months duration. Travel grant awardees may conduct shorter research trips.
  • These fellowships may be held concurrently with other awards.
  • Winners must utilize these fellowships by August 31, 2018 and must also submit, by this date, a financial report on the use of the funds.

 Procedures for Application:

  1. The application consists of the two letters of nomination and recommendation described above; a one-page curriculum vitae of the candidate; and a 1000-word research proposal written by the candidate, which should explain the importance of the topic to the field of British history and include a description of the relevant primary materials that are to be consulted in the British Isles.  Appended to the CV should be a list of the financial support (source, type and amount) received by the applicant since the beginning of graduate study, and an indication of any current pending applications for financial aid to support dissertation research.
  2. Letters of reference should address themselves not only to the student's past record, but also to the importance of the topic and the need to pursue research in the British Isles. The major advisor, in endorsing the candidate, is also confirming the ABD status of the candidate and the financial information requested above.

Send an electronic copy (via e-mail) of the application package (as a single document—either WORD or PDF) to each member of the Dissertation Awards Committee listed below. Letters of reference should be sent to the committee members separately by the referees. Electronic copies should be sent by 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2017.  The application file should be named (APPLICANT’S LAST NAME_Application) and letters of recommendation files should be named (APPLICANT’S LAST NAME_Letter). The details for each committee member, including a current email address, are included below: 

Chair: Dr. Abigail Swingen
Department of History
Texas Tech University
Box 41013
Lubbock, TX 79409-1013  USA
Dr. Julia Laite
Department of History, Classics, and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
26 Russell Square
London  WC1B 5DQ  UK
Dr. Guy Ortolano
Department of History
New York University
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012


NACBS Dissertation Fellowship 2016—Awarded to Parissa Djangi (Stony Brook University) for “Colonial Wives: Gender, Work, and Transcolonial Connections in the British Empire, 1780-1830” 

This accomplished proposal focuses on the role of colonial wives throughout the British empire in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Sophisticated and extremely well-conceived, Djangi’s project explores the ways in which gender was employed as a tool of empire. Djangi’s dissertation will demonstrate the imperial agency of “wifely work”, adding much to our understandings of the empire’s technologies of femininity, and the centrality of this imperial femininity to the colonial state. The project draws on a very rich but still underutilized source—the correspondence, artwork and journals of colonial wives themselves, and Djangi has identified a very promising set of case studies on which to focus attention. The Dissertation Fellowship will enable her to carry out sustained work on the sources related to these figures, held in the British Library and the National Records of Scotland, as well as a range of local archives.


NACBS Dissertation Travel Grant 2016—Awarded to Sarah Mass (University of Michigan) for “At the Heart of the City: The Battle for the British Marketplace, c. 1925-1979”

Sarah Mass is working on the history of British marketplaces between the 1920s and 1970s. This is an important subject, though one that has been neglected by scholars. Looking outside London, Mass will recover a rich regional history of the British marketplace, and by so doing add much to our understanding of twentieth-century cultures of consumption, entrepreneurialism and community. Based on carefully-chosen case studies, Mass will track various changes over time, not least the rise of the “private market” as an alternative to the municipal model, and the ideological contests associated with this development. Theoretically and conceptually acute and very well developed, the project is also grounded on a wide range of local archival sources, and Mass’s travel grant will allow her to consult more of these—in Wales and Scotland as well as in England. 

NACBS Dissertation Travel Grant 2016—Awarded to Sonia Tycko (Harvard University) for “Spirited Beyond the Sea: Persuasion and Consent in the Early English Empire”

The early British empire created considerable demand for labor to work in the American colonies. Many English people emigrated to work the plantations there, more or less in conditions of servitude. Why? To what extent did they freely “consent” to their fate? What techniques of “persuasion” were employed by those who sought to “spirit” them away, and what does this tell us about the ways in which ideas about freedom of contract related to the early imperial project? Tycko’s nuanced and creative project explores these and other questions, and promises to shed much light on the complex imbrication of labor and imperial discourses. Her travel grant will allow her to examine a range of quarter session records in London, Bristol and other places, where complaints of “spiriting” were often heard, as well as other material in the British and Bodleian Libraries.