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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 WALTER D. LOVE PRIZE in History is a $150 award given annually by the North American Conference on British Studies for the best article or paper of similar length or scope by a North American scholar in the field of British history.  The 2017 prize will be awarded to an article published during the calendar year 2016. The prize journal article or paper, which may be published anywhere in the world, should exhibit a humane and compassionate understanding of the subject, imagination, literary grace, and scrupulous scholarship.  It should also make a significant contribution to its field of study.  Chapters from longer works are not eligible, but papers appearing in edited collections of essays are eligible. 

All scholars who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or Canada and living in either country at the time of the award are eligible to compete. An electronic copy (sent as a PDF) of the nominated article or paper should be sent via e-mail by 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2017 to each member of the Prize Committee. The article file should be named as follows: (NOMINEE NAME_LoveArticle). Contact details for each committee member, including e-mail addresses, appear below: 

Chair: Professor Julia Rudolph
Department of History
North Carolina State University
350 Withers Hall
Campus Box 8108
Raleigh, NC 27695-8108  USA
Professor Tillman Nechtman
Department of History
Skidmore College
Tisch Learning Center
Room 316
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866  USA
Professor Daniel Ussishkin
Department of History
University of Wisconsin, Madison
5112 Mosse Humanities Building
455 N. Park Street
Madison, WI 53706  USA 


Walter D. Love Prize 2016—Awarded to Guy Ortolano (New York University) for “The Typicalities of the English? Walt Rostow, the Stages of Economic Growth, and Modern British History,” Modern Intellectual History, 12, 3 (November 2015)

In this elegantly written and nuanced essay, Guy Ortolano does a close reading of Rostow’s well-known text on modernization theory and situates its arguments in the context of post-war British history and intellectual debates.  Contrary to the received idea that Britain was a paradigm for national economic development, Ortolano shows how Stages of Economic Growth developed through various iterations of Rostow’s thinking.  While the nation-state was an important unit, and Britain served as an important case study to illuminate his arguments about national economies, Rostow understood that national units were dependent on global economic developments. When Rostow compared Britain to other nations, he found that Britain was not a model, but rather “precocious,” and “exceptional,” rendering it problematic as a paradigm. This argument became central to Rostow’s critique of Marx’s arguments in the Communist Manifesto, and also the growing sense in mid-century that Britain was a national economy in decline, something that proponents of modernization theory hoped to avoid.  By reading the different components of Stages and specifying the ways that Britain’s history did not represent a normative idea of universal history, but rather a “various and peculiar one,” Ortolano’s smart essay will influence how we think of twentieth-century British history and its contributions to world and global history. 

Walter D. Love Prize Honorable Mention—Awarded to Maria Zytaruk (University of Calgary) for “Artifacts of Elegy: The Foundling Hospital Tokens,” Journal of British Studies 54, 2 (April 2015)

This essay brings together the history of the family, material culture, and the uses of elegy and remembrance in the London Foundling Hospital from the eighteenth century to its exhibition as a museum collection in the 19th and 20th centuries.  Drawing from over two decades of tokens, objects, notes and letters that parents left with their infants and small children when they deposited them at the hospital from the 1740s to the 1760s, Zytaruk analyzes how these tokens symbolized parental loss and displacement, as they conveyed to hospital authorities that the child should be taken in, hopefully temporarily until the parent could reclaim the child by identifying the token that had been left.  In her analysis of the different objects – from coral teething beads to tokens addressed to their fathers in Jamaica and uniform buttons – Zytaruk showed how meaning was made of small everyday items that were left behind.  Many of the tokens were separated from the children, indeed, few children were reclaimed, and the tokens eventually formed an exhibition that was intended to draw more charity to the Foundling Hospital.  This is a conceptually rich and well-researched essay that made a powerful impact.