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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, 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]
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.
Urbana, IL 61801
[email protected]


NACBS Dissertation Fellowship 2018 

Jessica Price (Cornell University), “Demons of Empire: Demonology and Ethnicity in English Restoration Thought”

Price’s dissertation will interrogate East India Company records from the late seventeenth century in a new and exciting way: to investigate how English merchants working for the Company in South Asia encountered and understood ideas of witchcraft and demonology.  When prosecuting locals for “witchcraft,” what resources and ideas did English merchants draw from and construct, and how did this in turn contribute to the generation of “demonological knowledge” during the so-called early Enlightenment?  This promises to be an important contribution to the intellectual history of English demonology from a time period and source base not usually associated with such ideas while at the same time exploring the East India Company as more than just a commercial or diplomatic entity.

NACBS Dissertation Travel Grants 2018

Catherine Hinchliff (Johns Hopkins University), “Women, Gender, and Speech in the English Revolution”

Hinchliff’s dissertation proposes to examine and recover poorer women’s voices and agency during the tumultuous era of the English Civil War and its aftermath using sources that historians have generally not used for this purpose, including petitions, personal correspondence, and most significantly, parish poor relief records.  Hinchliff hopes to demonstrate the complex ways that poorer women confronted and negotiated with the new republican regime and its idealized notions of gender roles and expectations.  These records reveal that women regularly clashed with authorities about their supposed prescribed roles in English society, demonstrating an active involvement with local issues of governance and social control.


Katya Maslakowski (Northwestern University), “Men of Violence: Counterinsurgency and British Colonial Violence at the End of Empire” 

Maslakowski’s dissertation investigates the origins of the use and widespread acceptance of torture as a technique among British intelligence officials during the second half of the twentieth century.  In the first instance, it focuses on the British soldiers and police officers who served during the Anglo-Irish War of 1920-21 who utilized and justified such techniques, who later served in unstable places such as Palestine, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland.  The dissertation explores how and why torture and violence became acceptable ways to gather intelligence during the era of decolonization and so-called liberal democracy.