We are delighted to confirm that this year’s Postgraduate Paper Prize has been won by Stephanie Allen. She is a final year PhD candidate at the University of Hertfordshire.
Stephanie’s prize-winning paper discussed the social and cultural fears of women’s bodies in early modern England, c.1540-1750. Her work uses the example of ‘counterfeit virginity’ to illustrate the extent to which men feared female agency. She has found no examples of women committing this type of bodily fraud, arguing that accusations reflected suspicion from men who insisted that women’s bodies were not always to be believed.
The judges described the paper as ‘making a real contribution to historical understandings of gender in Early Modern England’. Professor Pam Cox, chair of the Social History Society, who read Stephanie’s paper, presented the prize.
Stephanie has told us she was ‘ecstatic to have been chosen as there were so many amazing papers delivered by other postgraduates’. She explained,
‘The process of presenting was alone an incredible experience, and I could not recommend it enough to anyone else’.
In fact, the standard of competition in this year’s competition was so high that the judges decided to award two second prizes. These have been awarded to Esben Bøgh Sørensen (Aarhus University) and Joe Chick (Warwick University).
We wish all three winners a heartfelt congratulations and look forward to seeing them present at future conferences. We would also like to thank Bloomsbury Publishing for supporting the prize.
Stephanie Allen (University of Hertfordshire), ‘Recreating Virginity: Fears of Sexual Deviance in Early Modern England, c. 1540-1750’.
Esben Bøgh Sørensen (Aarhus University), ‘A “New Kind of Husbandry”: Work, Household and Farming in Sixteenth Century English Agricultural Manuals’.
Joe Chick (Warwick University), ‘Inclusion, Exclusion, and the Pursuit of Identity: Town-Abbey Relations in Late Medieval Reading’.