Postgraduate Prize Winners 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 and cancellation of our conference forced an alteration to our prizes in 2020. To help maintain our community of scholarship, we introduced a Postgraduate Exchange prize in place of our usual Postgraduate Poster and Paper prizes.

We invited blog submissions that related to any of our three Exchanges. These were judged by the Executive Committee (Professor Naomi Tadmor, Dr Georgina Brewis, Dr Jennifer Evans and Dr Henry Irving).


The winner of the 2020 Social History Society Postgraduate Prize is:

Kate Brooks (Bath Spa) for the blog ‘Making a stand with Mary: Precarious Employment in Pandemic Times’

The judges described this blog as ‘funny, engaging, and very cleverly constructed’. They were impressed by the links it drew between research, personal circumstances and the changes wrought by Covid-19. The blog explores personal connections to research and raises important questions about what the future may hold.

Kate said:

It’s a great thing to get at a time like this, when it feels very strange to be stuck in our studies or the corners of our kitchens. It’s really nice to get recognition for writing!”

You can watch our prize giving conversation here.


The runner up is:

Ellen Smith (Leicester University) for the blog ‘Unopened Letters, and the Secrets Within’

This blog considered the Ellen’s thoughts on opening an archival letter sealed in its original envelope. The judges described it as ‘a great reflection on process of research and writing history, posing important questions about the ethics of intimate sources’.

Ellen told us:

I am delighted to have been awarded second place in this prize. It was a fantastic surprise to have my research recognises in this way by such a prestigious historical society and it’s inspired me to keep exploring the field. Thank you so much, Social History Society.”

The Society also gave commendations to the following entrants:

Kremena Dimitrova, Edda Nicolson, Joseph Saunders, and Weiao Xing.