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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.


North American Conference on British Studies M.A. Essay Prize Contest 2018

The NACBS awards a prize of $500 annually for the best piece of original research produced by a student in a “stand-alone” M.A. program at a university or college in the U.S. or Canada.

Essays may be from any department—History, English, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, etc.—but must relate to a topic in British Studies. Essays nominated for this prize may deal with subjects related to the British Isles or with some aspect of the British Imperial/Post-Colonial experience, broadly construed. Entries must not exceed fifty pages in length, inclusive of notes and/or illustrations.

The following conditions apply:

  • Nominees must be students (or recent graduates) of a “stand-alone” M.A. program. “Stand alone” refers here to an M.A. degree earned at an institution that offers a master’s degree that is separate from a Ph.D. program and not simply a degree earned, as a matter of course, along the way to ABD status. This means that potential nominees might come from either a program with just an M.A. or programs where the M.A. and Ph.D. are awarded as separate degrees and candidates are admitted through separate application processes.
  • Nominees may be currently enrolled in an M.A. program, recent graduates of an M.A. program (within one year of degree completion), or Ph.D. students (again within one year of having completed a degree in a terminal, “stand-alone” M.A. program).
  • Submitted papers should be no more than 50 pages in length (inclusive of notes and/or illustrations). A longer (more than 50-page) M.A. thesis may be edited down to fit the word limit. Alternatively, stand-along chapters from a longer thesis will also be considered.
  • The prize will be decided by a committee of three faculty members from institutions with “stand-alone” M.A. programs. Whenever possible, there will be broad disciplinary representation on this committee.

Procedures for Nomination:

Nominating faculty must be current members of the NACBS. Submissions must be accompanied by a nominating letter from the professor, who should have taught the course for which the essay was written or supervised M.A. thesis work. Submissions should include the permanent mailing address and email contact information for the student nominated.

An electronic copy of the essay and the letter of nomination (sent as two separate documents—either WORD or PDF) should be sent to EACH of the following three members of the prize committee by 11:59 p.m. on June 30th, 2018, via e-mail. The essay file should be named (NOMINEE’S NAME_Essay). The letter of nomination file should be named (NOMINEE’S NAME_Letter). Contact details, including e-mail addresses, for each committee member appear below:

Chair: Professor Susan Grayzel
Arch Dalrymple III Department of History
P.O. Box 1848
The University of Mississippi
310 Bishop Hall
University, MS 38677-1848  USA
Professor Kennetta Hammond Perry
Department of History
East Carolina University
East Fifth Street
A-316 Brewster Building
Greenville, NC 27858-4353  USA
Professor Richard Connors
Department of History
University of Ottawa
9th Floor, Desmarais Building
55 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, ON  K1N 6N5   CANADA


NACBS M.A. Essay Prize 2017— Megan Groninger (University of West Georgia), “Deserving and Undeserving: Representations of the Moralization of Poverty in the British Press during the Passing of the New Poor Law”

Megan Groninger’s essay on the moralization of poverty in press debates over the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act offers a model for the clarity of its prose, argument, and methodology.  Her innovative engagement with the varying public perspectives on individual agency and social mores sheds new light on this pivotal legislation and its surrounding political and intellectual context.


Essay Prize Honorable Mention 2017—Kelly Daughtridge (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), “Women’s Funerary Monuments Commissioned by Men in Early Modern England”

The committee admired the extensive research and especially sensitive interrogation of material sources used in Daughtridge’s interesting and informative paper.