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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, 2019 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, 2018.  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 2017
 Ruby Ray Daily (Northwestern University), “Sex and Violence in Modern Britain”

Ruby Daily’s dissertation explores the theoretically rich intersection between sex, the erotic, and violence in 19th and 20th century Britain.  It focuses on how violent sex was pushed out of the cultural mainstream during the Victorian era and into subcultures such as BDSM in post-WWII Britain, thus questioning the artificial distinctions scholars have maintained between Victorian and “modern” sexuality.  Her research explores some of the imperial implications of these cultural shifts as well, by investigating how and why “Britishness” seemed to become (in certain contexts) a kind of code for interest in “kink” sexual subcultures during the 20th century.

NACBS Dissertation Travel Grants 2017

1.) Agnes Burt (Boston University), “Reforming the Married State: Women and Property after the Married Women’s Property Acts, 1870-1922”

Agnes Burt’s dissertation investigates how women understood the economic changes that resulted from the passage of the Married Women’s Property Acts of the late Victorian era.  The acts granted married women control of property brought into a marriage and a new level of legal independence within marriage.  Her research looks beyond economic data to uncover how women viewed their new rights, protections, and responsibilities.  Utilizing personal papers, court records, government documents, and financial records from a variety of archives, Burt’s dissertation will show us how the Acts altered cultural perceptions about women and their role in marriage across different classes.

 2.) Lynneth Miller (Baylor University), “Satan Danced in the Person of the Damsel: Dance, Sacrilege, and Gender in England, 1280-1640”

Lynneth Miller’s dissertation focuses on constructions of gender and sin in late medieval England, particularly in the form of dance.  As religious ideologies shifted profoundly during this time, so did understandings of sacrilege as religious authorities attempted to protect sacred spaces from sin and sinful acts.  The laity, and particularly women, were perceived as being susceptible to sin and therefore needed to be kept away from sacred spaces.  Over time, this had the effect of associating sinful transgressions such as dance with women and feminine behavior.  Miller will trace these changes by reading a number of contemporary sermons housed in archives around the U.K.