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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-DISSERTATION FELLOWSHIP 2019 COMPETITION

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, 2020 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, 2019.  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: Guy Ortolano
Department of History
New York University
53 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
[email protected]u.edu
 
Julia Laite
Department of History, Classics, and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
26 Russell Square
London  WC1B 5DQ  UK
[email protected]
 
Dana Rabin
Department of History
University of Illinois
309 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Str.
MC-466
Urbana, IL 61801
[email protected]

RECENT AWARD WINNERS

NACBS Dissertation Fellowship 2019

Louisa Foroughi (Fordham University), “What Makes a Yeoman? Status, Religion, and Material Culture in Later Medieval England.”

Foroughi’s dissertation examines the English yeomanry from the mid-fourteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries. Yeoman, she explains, occupied a middling rank in late-medieval England, above the peasantry but beneath the gentry, and its numbers and significance rose throughout the fifteenth century. Through the examination of court records, wills and testaments, and case studies, Foroughi reveals the role of both material culture and religious belief in the making of this social group previously more familiar to early modernists. Most importantly, Foroughi has developed a series of questions – and ways to go about answering them – that recover the role of women and gender in the yeomanry’s making – something that was not high on the list of historians’ priorities in 1942, the last time the yeomanry figured as the subject of a comparable monograph. Yet the yeomanry’s position, Foroughi shows, was only made possible through the dowries brought by wives and daughters, the values transmitted from mothers to children, and the maintenance of households that partly depended upon women’s labor. To recover these aspects of late medieval and early modern social history, Foroughi’s dissertation ingeniously draws upon literary studies, religious studies, and anthropology, in order to make visible the role of women and of gender in the making of the English yeoman class.  

NACBS Dissertation Travel Grants 2019

Tiraana Bains (Yale University), “Making and Debating Imperial Transitions in South Asia, circa 1756-1799.”

By examining the emergence of imperial governance in India alongside debates about colonial labor regimes, Bains’ innovative study demonstrates why the English East India Company adopted an increasingly centralized, racialized, and exclusionary form of governance during the late-eighteenth century. Rather than treating this development as either the inevitable product of colonial rule, or as the culmination of Mughal systems of governance, Bains draws upon Persian texts in order to transform our understandings of Britain’s governance of India. She shows how Britain’s imperial experience outside South Asia shaped policies ultimately adopted in India, while also revealing the ways that South Asians and their writings played key roles in shaping British India.

Roslyn Dubler (Columbia University), “Sex, Social Policy, and the Welfare State in Britain and West Germany, 1975-1997.”

Dubler’s dissertation examines the making of a social and legal revolution. The introduction of sex discrimination law in 1970s Europe, she argues, decisively “changed the relationship between women and the state,” by rendering illegal longstanding norms that had ordered the public world according to sex. Welfare states that had historically organized access to benefits and employment along male-breadwinner lines suddenly found those practices deemed a form of discrimination. Analyzing this development through a comparison between Britain and West Germany, Dubler asks how and why each state sought to address women’s inequality through a non-discrimination framework. Her project situates this history of gender non-discrimination within the wider history of Britain’s relationship with Europe, while also engaging with the emerging historiography regarding social democracy and neoliberalism in modern Britain.

PREVIOUS AWARD WINNERS