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British Association for American Studies

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Awards

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THE 2023 BAAS AWARDS ARE NOW OPEN FOR SUBMISSION

Each year, BAAS offers a growing list of awards, prizes, teaching assistantships, and research assistance awards.

In recent years, we have added a new essays award for students of colour at school, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and, in light of the climate crisis and our commitment to promote low-carbon research practices, we transformed the travel assistance awards into research assistance awards, offering the possibility of hiring research assistants to pursue archival research remotely.

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and will be attentive to issues of equality and diversity when judging all applications.

Submission Information

Before sending your submission, make sure to check our Submission Guidelines. If you are applying for a Research Assistance Award, do read the Research Assistance Award FAQ. For more specific questions and enquiries about the awards, contact awards@baas.ac.uk.

Please note some of the deadlines for our 2023 awards have recently been extended:

  • BAAS Book Prize – new submission deadline of 13th February.

Below you will find guidance and submission information for each award. Click the title of each to expand the section and access the content.

Research Assistance Awards

Research Assistance Awards

These awards offer research assistance to postgraduate students, early career academics, and established academics based in the UK. The funds can be used for short-term visits to the United States or for hiring research assistance to consult archives remotely.

Brief description of the awards:

In line with BAAS’s commitment to do its part in combating climate catastrophe, the awards support low-carbon and more inclusive research practices. Practically speaking, this means that the awards can be used to hire a research assistant to consult archives remotely or purchase an individual subscription to an online resource database. In addition to reducing our carbon emissions related to transport, we hope that by offering solutions for remote research we will encourage a more inclusive research culture that takes into account scholars with disabilities and/or caring responsibilities. If remote research is not possible, scholars can also apply to travel to the US for research purposes, but they will have to include a brief statement explaining why travel is necessary.  

It is intended that the grants be awarded for the study of subjects where the principal aim is the study of American history, politics, society, literature, art, culture, etc., and not subjects with other aims, the data for which happen to be located in the USA. Conversely, and considering the transnational nature of American studies, scholars can apply to consult archives located in Europe (or elsewhere) as long as the project pertains to the study of the US. 

The maximum of each grant will be £1500. Although there is no specific time limit for the duration of the awards, and it is recognised that awards under the scheme may need to be supplemented, it is not intended that they should be used to supplement or extend much longer-term awards. 

Who can apply?

Applications are invited from persons normally resident in the UK, and from academics currently working or studying at UK universities and institutions of higher education. 

Membership of BAAS is mandatory in order to be eligible to receive one of these awards.

Required documents:

  • Application form (a different form depending on whether one applies for travel or research assistance)
  • Reference letter

To submit your application for a BAAS research assistance award, please login to your account and navigate to the BAAS Awards section of the membership dashboards. Here you will find information and guidance, as well as the forms you need to submit.

Additional information:

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and thus encourages scholars who have historically been underrepresented in academia (scholars of color, women and non-binary scholars, LGBTQIA+ scholars and disabled scholars in particular) to apply. 

Award winners are invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony in June, and are encouraged to invite friends and family along to help celebrate. They are also required to provide a brief report of their research trip or of the research material acquired thanks to the award. These reports can be published as a brief post on USSO (US Studies online) or form the basis of an interview on the USSO podcast. Successful candidates are also requested to acknowledge the assistance of BAAS in any other publication that results from research carried out during the tenure of the award. 

For enquiries about the awards, contact awards@baas.ac.uk

The programme depends for its funds entirely on public contributions, and can only have a long term impact if BAAS members and other interested persons continue to be generous with donations. The Treasurer of BAAS welcomes contributions small and large, and invites anyone wishing to support BAAS in maintaining its work in this area to make a donation to the association here.

BAAS is a registered charity (No. 1002816)

Deadline: 17 February 2023

School Essay Award

2023 – BAAS School Essay Award

We are looking for essays that explore any aspect of the American experience, from the perspective of history, literature, film, politics or any other related or inter-related discipline. If you feel more comfortable to do so, you are welcome to respond to a specific question of your own choosing. No preference will be given, whether you choose to write on a topic of your own choice, or if you respond to a specific question.

Submissions that engage with some aspect of social justice, such as (but not limited to) voting rights, environmental justice, Indigenous rights, racial justice, healthcare, gender justice, immigration, or equality, are of particular interest to the awarding panel. 

Essays may be adapted from coursework or ongoing research projects that students are engaged in, but they must conform to the length of 1,500 words. You are encouraged to include references and a bibliography, but this is not essential and will have no bearing on the award. However, any materials used should be listed and the award panel will not tolerate any form of plagiarism. The 1,500 word count only refers to the body of the essay, and not any details of sources used.

In addition, we request that each entry for the School Essay prize should be accompanied by a signed letter from the student’s teacher, certifying the applicant’s status. This must include a contact email address for that teacher.

The award for the winning author will be £150, with two runner-up prizes of £50 each.

All essays should be anonymous. No names or institutional affiliation must appear on the essay itself, only on the covering letter attached with the essay (both must be submitted by e-mail to awards@baas.ac.uk by 23 February 2023; please indicate the name of the Award for which you are applying in the subject line).

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and thus particularly encourages students from minoritised backgrounds to apply for our awards.

In addition to the financial prize, award winners will also be given their choice of two BAAS paperbacks.

Award winners are invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony in June, and are encouraged to invite friends and family along to help celebrate. Winners also have the opportunity to write a short piece for US Studies Online and/or participate in the USSO podcast if they wish to disseminate their work further. This will also be a valuable opportunity to include on the winner’s CV.

Previous winners include:

2022: Nadia Bishop-Broadhurst (Xaverian Sixth Form College), ‘Were the Golden Years Really Golden?

2022 Honourable Mention: Caitlin Bowler (Xaverian Sixth Form College), ‘Has America Always Considered Itself Exceptional?

2021: Unfortunately no prize was awarded for this year.

2020: Sam Menzies (Kingston Grammar School) “Which political dynasty is the most influential in US politics and history?”

For enquiries about the awards, contact awards@baas.ac.uk.

Some tips to bear in mind when writing your essay:

  • Historical context is important when thinking about American literature and culture. But only include pertinent historical detail in your essays! You do not need to include lots of specific dates or events or author biographies. You do not need to give a comprehensive history of a specific period or process. Only include information that is absolutely necessary.
  • Your essay should have a coherent and compelling argument. An essay is a piece of persuasive writing…you need to convince your reader that your major claims have merit.  
  • You need to come up with a thesis (hypothesis): this is a succinct claim that you will then substantiate using credible evidence (close readings of primary texts, interaction with secondary source material). A thesis is a definable, arguable claim (something that can be sufficiently backed up by the evidence). It is a provocation, a judgment, a way to engage critically with your primary text. It is NOT a yes or no answer, a topic, an opinion, a question, or a list. Your thesis should be focused and specific. You only have 1,500 words so the argument should not be too ambitious or vague. 
  • Back up all your claims with evidence (for example a quotation from a play, historical figure, or from a secondary source), and then analyse this further (the evidence itself, or how this backs up your claim).
  • Do not think about an essay as simply an opportunity to put down everything you know about a subject: an effective essay should be an attempt to convince your reader of your position. As such, think about how the reader will experience your writing: will they understand the process of your thinking? Remember that you will not be there to explain anything they do not understand, so clarity and coherence are key.
  • An essay is a conversation between scholars – of which you are one! Show your reader how your argument resonates with, converges, or diverges from the arguments of others, but remember your voice and perspective are key – if we simply wanted to know the thoughts of others we would be reading their work instead of your essay!

Your essay will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Is there a clear and compelling argument?
  • Are claims accompanied by evidence and analysis?
  • Does the essay include some close reading of a primary text (or texts)?
  • Does the essay engage with secondary sources, thereby understanding what other scholars have argued?

BIPOC School Essay Award

In order to tackle the significant obstacles in higher education that are caused by systemic racism, and to make clear not only the commitment of BAAS to making the study of America in the UK more inclusive, but also to demonstrate the fundamentally important place scholars of colour have, BAAS is eager to support scholars of colour through this essay prize which is open exclusively to Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, Arab, and any other students of colour/Global Majority students.

We are looking for essays that explore any aspect of the American experience, from the perspective of history, literature, film, politics or any other related or inter-related discipline. If you feel more comfortable to do so, you are welcome to respond to a specific question of your own choosing. No preference will be given, whether you choose to write on a topic of your own choice, or if you respond to a specific question.

Submissions that engage with some aspect of social justice, such as (but not limited to) voting rights, environmental justice, Indigenous rights, racial justice, healthcare, gender justice, immigration, or equality, are of particular interest to the awarding panel. 

Essays may be adapted from coursework or ongoing research projects that students are engaged in, but they must not exceed the length of 1,500 words. You are encouraged to include references and a bibliography, but this is not essential and will have no bearing on the award. However, any materials used should be listed and the award panel will not tolerate any form of plagiarism. The 1,500 word count only refers to the body of the essay, and not any details of sources used.

In addition, we request that each entry for the School Essay prize should be accompanied by a signed letter from the student’s teacher, certifying the applicant’s status. This must include a contact email address for that teacher.

The award for the winning author will be £150, with two runner-up prizes of £50 each.

Students of Colour are encouraged to submit work for this award and the School Essay Prize, but these submissions cannot be duplicated: different essays have to be submitted to each award category.

All essays should be anonymous. No names or institutional affiliation must appear on the essay itself, only on the covering letter attached with the essay (both must be submitted by e-mail to awards@baas.ac.uk by 23 February 2023; please indicate the name of the Award for which you are applying in the subject line).

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and thus particularly encourages students from minoritised backgrounds to apply for our awards.

In addition to the financial prize, award winners will also be given their choice of two BAAS paperbacks.

Award winners are invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony in June, and are encouraged to invite friends and family along to help celebrate. Winners also have the opportunity to write a short piece for US Studies Online and/or participate in the USSO podcast if they wish to disseminate their work further. This will also be a valuable opportunity to include on the winner’s CV.

This is the second year that this award is running;  the previous winner was:

2022: Prabjot Beghal (Queen Mary’s Grammar School), ‘To What Extent Has the US Used Power and Fear to Discriminate and Limit the Rights of Chinese and Japanese Minorities from the Late 19th Century to the Modern Day?’

For enquiries about the awards, contact awards@baas.ac.uk.

Some tips to bear in mind when writing your essay:

  • Historical context is important when thinking about American literature and culture. But…only include pertinent historical detail in your essays! You do not need to include lots of specific dates or events or author biographies. You do not need to give a comprehensive history of a specific period or process. Only include information that is absolutely necessary.
  • Your essay should have a coherent and compelling argument. An essay is a piece of persuasive writing…you need to convince your reader that your major claims have merit.  
  • You need to come up with a thesis (hypothesis): this is a succinct claim that you will then substantiate using credible evidence (close readings of primary texts, interaction with secondary source material). A thesis is a definable, arguable claim (something that can be sufficiently backed up by the evidence). It is a provocation, a judgment, a way to engage critically with your primary text. It is NOT a yes or no answer, a topic, an opinion, a question, or a list. Your thesis should be focused and specific. You only have 1500 words so the argument should not be too ambitious or vague. 
  • Make sure that when you make claims, that you also back these up with evidence (for example a quote from a play, historical figure, or from a secondary source), and then analyse this further (the evidence itself, or how this backs up your claim).
  • Do not think about an essay as simply an opportunity to put down everything you know about a subject: an effective essay should be an attempt to convince your reader of your position. As such, think about how the reader will experience your writing: will they understand the process of your thinking? Remember that you will not be there to explain anything they do not understand, so clarity and coherence are key.
  • An essay is a conversation between scholars – of which you are one! Show your reader how your argument resonates with, converges, or diverges from the arguments of others, but remember your voice and perspective are key – if we simply wanted to know the thoughts of others we would be reading their work instead of your essay!

Your essay will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Is there a clear and compelling argument?
  • Are claims accompanied by evidence and analysis?
  • Does the essay include some close reading of a primary text (or texts)?
  • Does the essay engage with secondary sources, thereby understanding what other scholars have argued?

Undergraduate Essay Award

We are looking for essays that explore any aspect of the American experience, from the perspective of history, literature, film, politics or any other related or inter-related discipline. Submissions that engage with some aspect of social justice, such as (but not limited to ) voting rights, environmental justice, Indigenous rights, racial justice, healthcare, gender justice, immigration, or equality, are of particular interest to the awarding panel.

Essays may be adapted from coursework or ongoing research projects that students are engaged in, but they must conform to word length and the appropriate presentation style required by the judging panel for each award.

For the undergraduate essay prize, we request that no more than six essays per undergraduate department or programme should be submitted, each with a signed note by the Head of Department or tutor certifying the applicant’s registered status.

The prize for the winning author will be £500.

The essay must not exceed 2,500 words in length (excluding footnotes and bibliography).

Authors should use an appropriate bibliographic referencing system.

All essays should be anonymous. No names or institutional affiliation must appear on the essay itself, only on the covering letter attached with the essay (both must be submitted by e-mail to awards@baas.ac.uk by 23 February 2023; please indicate the name of the Award for which you are applying in the subject line).

Along with your submission by email, please complete the EDI form which can be found on this link.

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and thus particularly encourages students from minoritised backgrounds to apply for our awards.

In addition to the financial prize, award winners will also have the opportunity to participate in one-to-one workshops with the editors of the Journal of American Studies, and the editors of the European Journal of American Culture.

Award winners are invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony in June, and are encouraged to invite friends and family along to help celebrate. Winners also have the opportunity to write a short piece for US Studies Online and/or participate in the USSO podcast if they wish to disseminate their work further. This will also be a valuable opportunity to include on the winner’s CV.

Previous winners include:

2022

Co-Winner: Samantha Barker (University of Manchester), ‘Was the Gentrification of Harlem after 1980 Led by External Forces? And did it Lead by the Early 2000s to a “Take-Over” of the Neighbourhood by Middle-Class Whites?’ 

Co-Winner: Giacomo Guerrini (King’s College London), ‘“The most necessary part of learning is to unlearn our errors”: From Political to Cultural Independence in the Early Noah Webster’

2021

Emilie Canning (UCL), “To what extent does #Black Lives Matter represent a new departure in African American protest?”

Honourable mentions were given to Kate Marshall (Sussex) and Maritsa Tsioupra-Lewis (Sussex)

2020

Siobhan Owen, University of Exeter

Honourable mention given to Mark Parker, University of Bristol

2019

Adam Lawrence, University of Sussex

2018

Jac Lewis, University of Exeter

Honourable mention given to Robyn Wilson, University of Leicester

For enquiries about the awards, contact awards@baas.ac.uk.

Some tips to bear in mind when writing your essay:

  • Historical context is important when thinking about American literature and culture. But…only include pertinent historical detail in your essays! You do not need to include lots of specific dates or events or author biographies. You do not need to give a comprehensive history of a specific period or process. Only include information that is absolutely necessary.
  • Your essay should have a coherent and compelling argument. An essay is a piece of persuasive writing…you need to convince your reader that your major claims have merit.  
  • You need to come up with a thesis (hypothesis), a succinct claim that you will then substantiate using credible evidence (close readings of primary texts, interaction with secondary source material). A thesis is a definable, arguable claim (something that can be sufficiently backed up by the evidence). It is a provocation, a judgment, a way to engage critically with your primary text. It is NOT a yes or no answer, a topic, an opinion, a question, or a list. Your thesis should be focused and specific. You only have 2500 words so the argument should not be too ambitious or vague. 
  • Make sure that when you make claims, that you also back these up with evidence (for example a quote from a play, historical figure, or from a secondary source), and then analyse this further (the evidence itself, or how this backs up your claim).
  • Do not think about an essay as simply an opportunity to put down everything you know about a subject: an effective essay should be an attempt to convince your reader of your position. As such, think about how the reader will experience your writing: will they understand the process of your thinking? Remember that you will not be there to explain anything they do not understand, so clarity and coherence are key.
  • An essay is a conversation between scholars – of which you are one! Show your reader how your argument resonates with, converges, or diverges from the arguments of others, but remember your voice and perspective are key – if we simply wanted to know the thoughts of others we would be reading their work instead of your essay!

Your essay will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Is there a clear and compelling argument?
  • Are claims accompanied by evidence and analysis?
  • Does the essay include some close reading of a primary text (or texts)?
  • Does the essay critically engage with secondary sources, thereby understanding what other scholars have argued?

BIPOC Undergraduate Essay Award

In order to tackle the significant obstacles in higher education that are caused by systemic racism, and to make clear not only the commitment of BAAS to making the study of America in the UK more inclusive, but also to demonstrate the fundamentally important place scholars of colour have, BAAS is eager to support scholars of colour through this essay prize which is open exclusively to Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, Arab, and any other students of colour/Global Majority students.

We are looking for essays that explore any aspect of the American experience, from the perspective of history, literature, film, politics or any other related or inter-related discipline. Submissions that engage with some aspect of social justice, such as (but not limited to ) voting rights, environmental justice, Indigenous rights, racial justice, healthcare, gender justice, immigration, or equality, are of particular interest to the awarding panel.

Essays may be adapted from coursework or ongoing research projects that students are engaged in, but they must conform to word length and the appropriate presentation style required by the judging panel for each award.

For the undergraduate essay prize, we request that no more than six essays per undergraduate department or programme should be submitted, each with a signed note by the Head of Department or tutor certifying the applicant’s registered status.

Undergraduate Scholars of Colour are encouraged to submit work for this award and the Undergraduate Essay Prize, but these submissions cannot be duplicated: different essays have to be submitted to each award category.

The prize for the winning author will be £500.

The essay must not exceed 2,500 words in length (excluding footnotes and bibliography).

Authors should use an appropriate bibliographic referencing system.

All essays should be anonymous. No names or institutional affiliation must appear on the essay itself, only on the covering letter attached with the essay (both must be submitted by e-mail to awards@baas.ac.uk by 23 February 2023; please indicate the name of the Award for which you are applying in the subject line).

Along with your submission by email, please complete the EDI form which can be found on this link.

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and thus particularly encourages students from minoritised backgrounds to apply for our awards.

In addition to the financial prize, award winners will also have the opportunity to participate in one-to-one workshops with the editors of the Journal of American Studies, and the editors of the European Journal of American Culture. Award winners will also be invited to join the BAAS BIPOC network.

Award winners are invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony in June, and are encouraged to invite friends and family along to help celebrate. Winners also have the opportunity to write a short piece for US Studies Online and/or participate in the USSO podcast if they wish to disseminate their work further. This will also be a valuable opportunity to include on the winner’s CV.

This award was launched in 2021; previous winners are:

2022: Saniya Mehmood (KCL), ‘In What Ways Did Enslaved Women Resist Their Bondage in the US South?’

Honourable mention was awarded to Chelsea Mamutse (University of Liverpool)

2021: Gabriel Starkey (Bristol), “Jazz Freedom = Black Freedom!! Free JAzz, Civil Rights and the Cold War.”

Honourable mention was awarded to Serena Shah (Warwick).

For enquiries about the awards, contact awards@baas.ac.uk.

Some tips to bear in mind when writing your essay:

  • Historical context is important when thinking about American literature and culture. But…only include pertinent historical detail in your essays! You do not need to include lots of specific dates or events or author biographies. You do not need to give a comprehensive history of a specific period or process. Only include information that is absolutely necessary.
  • Your essay should have a coherent and compelling argument. An essay is a piece of persuasive writing…you need to convince your reader that your major claims have merit.  
  • You need to come up with a thesis (hypothesis), a succinct claim that you will then substantiate using credible evidence (close readings of primary texts, interaction with secondary source material). A thesis is a definable, arguable claim (something that can be sufficiently backed up by the evidence). It is a provocation, a judgment, a way to engage critically with your primary text. It is NOT a yes or no answer, a topic, an opinion, a question, or a list. Your thesis should be focused and specific. You only have 2500 words so the argument should not be too ambitious or vague. 
  • Make sure that when you make claims, that you also back these up with evidence (for example a quote from a play, historical figure, or from a secondary source), and then analyse this further (the evidence itself, or how this backs up your claim).
  • Do not think about an essay as simply an opportunity to put down everything you know about a subject: an effective essay should be an attempt to convince your reader of your position. As such, think about how the reader will experience your writing: will they understand the process of your thinking? Remember that you will not be there to explain anything they do not understand, so clarity and coherence are key.
  • An essay is a conversation between scholars – of which you are one! Show your reader how your argument resonates with, converges, or diverges from the arguments of others, but remember your voice and perspective are key – if we simply wanted to know the thoughts of others we would be reading their work instead of your essay!

Your essay will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Is there a clear and compelling argument?
  • Are claims accompanied by evidence and analysis?
  • Does the essay include some close reading of a primary text (or texts)?
  • Does the essay critically engage with secondary sources, thereby understanding what other scholars have argued?

Postgraduate Essay Award

The prize is awarded for the best essay-length piece of work on an American Studies topic written by a student currently registered for a postgraduate degree at a university or equivalent institution in Britain. Submissions that engage with some aspect of social justice, such as (but not limited to) voting rights, environmental justice, Indigenous rights, racial justice, healthcare, gender justice, immigration, or equality, are of particular interest to the awarding panel. 

The value of the prize will normally be £500.

The essay should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words in length, and should be accompanied by a letter from an institutional representative, tutor or supervisor, as attestation that the candidate is registered for a postgraduate degree course, or has been accepted for a course.

Care should be taken to ensure that the name of the author does not appear on the essay itself, but only in the cover letter which should be submitted by e-mail along with the essay. All essays will be assessed anonymously by a panel drawn from the BAAS Executive Committee.

The essay should form a self-contained piece of writing, suitable for publication as an article in a professional journal. Care should accordingly be taken with matters of presentation and documentation.

All essays should be anonymous. No names or institutional affiliation must appear on the essay itself, only on the covering letter attached with the essay (both must be submitted by e-mail to awards@baas.ac.uk by 23 February 2023; please indicate the name of the Award for which you are applying in the subject line).

Along with your submission by email, please complete the EDI form which can be found on this link.

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and thus particularly encourages students from minoritised backgrounds to apply for our awards.

In addition to the financial prize, award winners will also have the opportunity to participate in one-to-one workshops with the editors of the Journal of American Studies, and the editors of the European Journal of American Culture and discuss the publication potential of their piece.

Award winners are invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony in June, and are encouraged to invite friends and family along to help celebrate. Winners are also expected to help publicize the awards by writing a short piece for US Studies Online and/or participating in the USSO podcast. This will also be a valuable opportunity to include on the winner’s CV.

Previous winners include:

2022:

Lisa Loginova (KCL), ‘The Black Slave Returns: Jade E. Davis and the Present/Absent Role of the Racial in Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto

For enquiries about the awards, contact awards@baas.ac.uk.

Your essay will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Is there a clear and compelling argument?
  • Are claims accompanied by evidence and analysis?
  • Does the essay demonstrate impressive close reading of a primary text (or texts)?
  • Does the essay demonstrate knowledge of, and critical engagement with, the field of scholarship?
  • Does the essay demonstrate originality of thinking?
  • Does the essay represent impact within its field?

BIPOC Postgraduate Essay Award

In order to tackle the significant obstacles in higher education that are caused by systemic racism, and to make clear not only the commitment of BAAS to making the study of America in the UK more inclusive, but also to demonstrate the fundamentally important place scholars of colour have, BAAS is eager to support scholars of colour through this essay prize which is open exclusively to Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, Arab, and any other students of colour/Global Majority students.

The prize is offered annually by the British Association for American Studies. 

It is awarded for the best essay-length piece of work on an American Studies topic written by a student currently registered for a postgraduate degree at a university or equivalent institution in Britain. Submissions that engage with some aspect of social justice, such as (but not limited to) voting rights, environmental justice, Indigenous rights, racial justice, healthcare, gender justice, immigration, or equality, are of particular interest to the awarding panel. 

The value of the prize will normally be £500.

Postgraduate Scholars of Colour are encouraged to submit work for this award and the Postgraduate Essay Prize, but these submissions cannot be duplicated: different essays have to be submitted to each award category.

The essay should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words in length, and should be accompanied by a letter from an institutional representative, tutor or supervisor, as attestation that the candidate is registered for a postgraduate degree course, or has been accepted for a course.

Care should be taken to ensure that the name of the author does not appear on the essay itself, but only in the cover letter which should be submitted by e-mail along with the essay. All essays will be assessed anonymously by a panel drawn from the BAAS Executive Committee.

The essay should form a self-contained piece of writing, suitable for publication as an article in a professional journal. Care should accordingly be taken with matters of presentation and documentation.

All essays should be anonymous. No names or institutional affiliation must appear on the essay itself, only on the covering letter attached with the essay (both must be submitted by e-mail to awards@baas.ac.uk by 23 February 2023; please indicate the name of the Award for which you are applying in the subject line).

Along with your submission by email, please complete the EDI form which can be found on this link.

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and will be attentive to issues of equality and diversity when judging applications.

In addition to the financial prize, award winners will also have the opportunity to participate in one-to-one workshops with the editors of the Journal of American Studies, and the editors of the European Journal of American Culture and discuss the publication potential of their piece. Award winners will also be invited to join the BAAS BIPOC network.

Award winners are invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony in June, and are encouraged to invite friends and family along to help celebrate. Winners are also expected to help publicize the awards by writing a short piece for US Studies Online and/or participating in the USSO podcast. This will also be a valuable opportunity to include on the winner’s CV.

This award was launched in 2022, and the previous winner was:

Riziki Millanzi (University of Sussex), ‘“I’m always ready for someone to try to take a bite out of me”: Examining Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic’

For enquiries about the awards, contact awards@baas.ac.uk.

Your essay will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Is there a clear and compelling argument?
  • Are claims accompanied by evidence and analysis?
  • Does the essay demonstrate impressive close reading of a primary text (or texts)?
  • Does the essay demonstrate knowledge of, and critical engagement with, the field of scholarship?
  • Does the essay demonstrate originality of thinking?
  • Does the essay represent impact within its field?

2023 Barringer/Monticello Teacher Award to Attend the Monticello Teacher Institute (Charlottesville, Virginia)

The British Association for American Studies (BAAS), in conjunction with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF) and the International Center for Jefferson Studies (ICJS), is delighted to announce the 2023 Barringer/Monticello Teacher Award. This award gives the opportunity for teachers based in the UK to attend the Monticello Summer Institute, a week-long immersive, professional development programme that provides educators the opportunity to research and learn at Monticello in Charlottesville, VA. The award comes with full funding, including return travel from the UK, accommodation and food (see below for more details about financial award). 

THE MONTICELLO TEACHER INSTITUTE

During one week (either 9-14 July or 23-28 July, 2023), a small group of highly-motivated teachers from across the US and the world go on special tours, have discussions with leading Jefferson scholars and collaborate with fellow educators on topics related to Jefferson and the legacies of slavery in America. Teachers walk out of Monticello with new classroom materials, lesson plans and related materials, as well as a network of similar-minded teachers, inspirational discussions about pedagogies, and first-hand experience visiting historically significant places.  

VIDEO inserted below

https://www.monticello.org/research-education/for-educators/monticello-teacher-institute/

Some testimonies by teacher-participants:

“The advantage of being here on site is that I can go back and give my students a first-hand account of the material we are studying”

“The collaboration and community with teachers I got to meet and work with and discuss our issues with have shown me a bunch of different things I can take to my classroom” 

“Monticello allows educators to reframe and rethink what it is that we give to students in our classrooms”

For more information about the Institute see: www.monticello.org/barringer

WHO IS IT FOR and WHO IS ELIGIBLE? 

The programme will be of interest to educators who teach the history of the US in the 18th and 19th centuries and/or the workings of American constitutional government. In general, this one-week institute is ideal for teachers interested in the lives and work of the Founding Fathers, the history of the American Revolution and early Republic and/or the place of slavery in the early republic and the Atlantic world.

To be eligible to apply for these awards, applicants should have at least two years teaching experience, and teach A Level or Advanced Higher materials relevant to the Fellowships. It is expected that these awards will be of particular interest to teachers covering the following A-level modules: AQA Birth of the USA, 1760-1801; AQA America: A Nation Divided, c1845-77; OCR The American Revolution, 1740-96; Cambridge International paper, The History of the US, 1820-1941.

THE AWARD

The successful applicant will be offered: 

  • Accommodation and meals once at Monticello; the Monticello Teacher Institute is all-inclusive, providing stipends for participation and meals. Lodging and transportation to all sessions are provided during the fellowship.
  • In addition, BAAS will provide a travel award of up to £1,200 to pay for international travel from the UK to Charlottesville (Virginia, USA).

The successful applicant will be chosen by BAAS and then confirmed by the ICJS.  Their application must demonstrate that the Fellowship will relate to and directly benefit their A Level or Advanced Higher Teaching. They will be contacted by the Monticello staff before the appointment to provide additional information and to select their date preference for the Monticello Teachers Institute (this year, the Institute will run 9-14 July and 23-28 July, 2023).

The successful applicant will be required to share their experiences and relevant teaching materials on the BAAS website for school teachers. 

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and will be attentive to issues of equality and diversity when judging applications.

APPLICATION MATERIAL

Applicants should send the following material to awards@baas.ac.uk before 20 March, 2023:

  • A CV
  • A brief, one-page cover letter explaining why you are interested in the Monticello Summer Institute 
  • The name of two references who will only be contacted if you are selected for the award

Previous winners include:

2018

Claire Hollis, Reigate Grammar School

2017

William O’Brien-Blake, Forest School, London

Peter Boyle MA Graduate Assistantship (University of Wyoming)

Applications are invited for the BAAS Graduate Assistantship in American Studies at the University of Wyoming, starting in August 2023 for two years. Candidates will normally be final-year undergraduates in American Studies and related fields and disciplines at a British university, but applications will also be accepted from recent graduates.

A BAAS Graduate Assistantship is awarded for two years of graduate study, assuming satisfactory progress toward the MA degree and adequate performance of GA duties.  During the two years the GA could expect to assist in the teaching of two courses (leading discussions, marking essay exams, etc.), conduct research in support of a faculty member’s project, and participate in grant-supported activities that would lead outside the university.  The GA could demand between 15-18 hours of work per week.  The Assistantship provides an income sufficient to cover living expenses, plus remission of tuition fees while the recipient of the award pursues graduate study for an MA.

Applicants will be received by a BAAS panel, which will draw up a shortlist for an interview in December-January.

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and will be attentive to issues of equality and diversity when judging applications.

The recommendation of the panel needs to be ratified by the University of Wyoming through their internal application process. This will be simplified for the BAAS awardee (with only a statement of purpose and a writing sample needed), but it does involve a $50 fee to the University. The successful candidates would begin their studies at the University of Wyoming in August 2023 for the two years, 2023-25.

Applicants should send the following by Monday 6 February 2023 to: awards@baas.ac.uk. Applications should include the following:

(1) a curriculum vitae;

(2) transcript of undergraduate work;

(3) a statement of purpose (300-500 words)

(4) Please also arrange for two letters of recommendation to be forwarded to the same address (awards@baas.ac.uk) by the deadline of 6 February, 2023. Applications without references will not be considered.

BAAS members are asked to encourage applications for the BAAS Graduate Assistantships from suitably qualified students.

For additional information about American studies programme at the University of Wyoming click here. And click here to read about Glenn Houlihan’s experiences after winning the 2019 award.

Deadline: 6 February 2023

BAAS Book Prize 2023

The £500 prize will be awarded for the best published book in American Studies this year. 

The prize celebrates books that contribute to the development of American Studies as an interdisciplinary field. Books that are solely focused in one subject area–literature, history, etc–will not be disadvantaged, but the panel will be looking for books that do American Studies work across disciplinary boundaries. 

The judges will consider the book’s interdisciplinarity, its originality, its significance to the field, its intellectual rigour, its innovations in American Studies, and the quality of the writing. In short, we will be looking for books that not only contribute to American Studies as it stands, but also help to push the field in new and innovative directions.

To be eligible for the 2023 BAAS Book Prize, books must have been published in English between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022 and authors must be members of BAAS.

Please note that the Arthur Miller First Book Prize is also available for submissions. If you are considering submitting your first monograph, we would strongly recommend you submit it to the AM prize instead of the BAAS Book Prize. You cannot submit to both.

Authors or publishers may submit books, FOUR physical copies of which should be sent to arrive no later than 13th Feb 2023 to:

Dr Christopher Lloyd

R336 De Havilland Campus

University of Hertfordshire

Hatfield, AL10 9AB

United Kingdom

Authors or publishers sending books should confirm their intention to submit items for this award by e-mailing awards@baas.ac.uk. You may also submit e-book copies alongside the physical ones, should you have it available. 

Please note that books received after the deadline will not be eligible for consideration. Authors and publishers submitting books for consideration should ensure they are sent in time to arrive before the deadline.

However, if you are able to provide confirmation of postage of your book before the deadline to the email above, this will be accepted as confirmation for any arrivals after the deadline. If your book is due to be published close to the deadline then please contact us at awards@baas.ac.uk.

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and will be attentive to issues of equality and diversity when judging applications. For enquiries about the awards, contact awards@baas.ac.uk.

The Arthur Miller Institute Prizes

Submissions for the 2023 awards will be accepted from 15 November 2022 onwards.

The Arthur Miller Institute Prize for Best Journal Length Article

The Arthur Miller Institute Prize of £500 is awarded for the best journal length article on any American Studies topic by a United Kingdom citizen based at home or abroad or by a non-UK citizen who publishes their essay in a United Kingdom journal, providing that the entrant is a member of the British Association of American Studies in the year of submission.

To be eligible, articles must be published online or in hard copy between 1 January and 31 December 2022.

Submissions, including the article and publications details, should be e-mailed to Emma Long at emma.long@uea.ac.uk or, if preferred, three hard copies should be mailed to the address below.

Deadline: Friday 6 January 2023

The Arthur Miller Institute First Book Prize

The Arthur Miller Institute First Book Prize of £500 is awarded for the best first book on any American Studies topic in the preceding calendar year by a United Kingdom citizen based at home or abroad or by a non-UK citizen who publishes a book, providing that the entrant is a member of the British Association of American Studies in the year of submission.

The prize celebrates books that contribute to the development of American Studies as an interdisciplinary field. Books that are solely focused in one subject area–literature, history, etc–will not be disadvantaged, but the panel will be looking for books that do American Studies work across disciplinary boundaries. 

The judges will consider the book’s originality, significance to the field, and its intellectual rigour. We will be looking for books that not only contribute to American Studies as it stands, but also help to push the field in new and innovative directions.

To be eligible for the 2022 Arthur Miller Institute Book Prize, books must have been published in English between 1 January and 31 December 2022 and authors must be members of BAAS.

Please note that the BAAS Book Prize is also available for submissions. If you are considering submitting your first monograph, we would strongly recommend you submit it to the Arthur Miller prize instead of the BAAS Book Prize. You cannot submit to both.

Those interested in entering a book for consideration should submit four copies, including publication details, to:

Dr Emma Long

The Arthur Miller Institute Prize Committee

c/o School of Art, Media, and American Studies

Arts and Humanities Building, Room 2.08

University of East Anglia

Norwich

NR4 7TJ

UK

Please note that books should arrive no later than 6 January 2023 .  Books received after this date will not be considered.  Authors are responsible for ensuring that publishers send books to arrive before the deadline.  Those submitting the books, whether authors or publishers, should confirm their intention to submit for the award by e-mailing Dr Emma Long at Emma.Long@uea.ac.uk thus hopefully mitigating against any postal delays.

For more details about these awards, please contact Dr Emma Long at emma.long@uea.ac.uk. The Awarding Committee includes a representative from the American Studies Sector at UEA and a BAAS committee member. The Awarding Committee is unable to notify unsuccessful applicants or to return copies of books and articles submitted for consideration.

BAAS is committed to promoting best practice in matters of equality and diversity, and will be attentive to issues of equality and diversity when judging applications.

Previous winners include:

2022:

Arthur Miller Centre Book Prize

Gordon Fraser, University of Manchester for Star Territory: Printing the Universe in Nineteenth-Century America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021)

(Honourable mentions: Hannah Murray, University of Livervool for Liminal Whiteness in Early US Fiction and Xine Yao, UCL for Disaffected: The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling in Nineteenth Century America)

Arthur Miller Centre Essay Prize

Rachel Winchcombe, University of Manchester: “Reprinting the Colonial Past: Compilation, Inter-Visuality, and Argumentative Strategy in John Smith’s Generall Historie of VirginiaRenaissance Studies (March 2021). The article is open access and can be read here.

2021:

Arthur Miller Centre Book Prize

Gavan Lennon, Coventry University: Living Jim Crow: The Segregated Town in Mid-Century Southern Fiction

Arthur Miller Centre Essay Prize

Elizabeth Evens, UCL Institute of the Americas: “Plainclothes Policewomen on the Trail: NYPD Undercover Investigations of Abortionists and Queer Women, 1913-1926″

2020:

Arthur Miller Centre Book Prize

Dr Charlie Laderman, King’s College London: Sharing the Burden: Armenia, Humanitarian Intervention and the Search for an Anglo-American Alliance, 1895-1923

Arthur Miller Centre Essay Prize

Professor Clive Webb, University of Sussex: “The Nazi persecution of Jews and the African American freedom struggle”

(Honourable mention to Dr Kaetan Mistry, University of East Anglia: “A Transnational Protest against the National Security State: Whistle-Blowing, Philip Agee, and Networks of Dissent”)

2019:

Arthur Miller Centre Book Prize

Dr Tim Jelfs, University of Groningen: The Argument About Things in the 1980s: Goods and Garbage in the Age of Neoliberalism (West Virginia University Press, 2018)

Arthur Miller Centre Essay Prize

Professor Bridget Bennett, University of Leeds: The Silence Surrounding the Hut”: Architecture and Absence in Wieland”, Early American Literature, 53:2 (2018)

(Honourable mention to Professor Simon Newman, University of Glasgow: “Disney’s American Revolution”, Journal of American Studies, 52:3 (August 2018)

2018:

Arthur Miller Centre Book Prize

Sam Reese, University of Northampton

The Short Story in Midcentury America: Bowles, McCarthy, Welty, and Williams (Louisiana State University Press, 2017)

Nicholas Grant, University of East Anglia

Winning Our Freedoms Together: African-Americans and Apartheid, 1945-1960 (University of North Carolina Press, 2017)

Arthur Miller Centre Essay Prize

Rebecca Gould, University of Birmingham

Punishing Violent Thoughts: Islamic Dissent and Thoreauvian Disobedience in Post-9/11 America

Arthur Miller Centre Essay Prize – Honourable Mention

Christopher Phelps, University of Nottingham

The Sexuality of Malcolm X

2017:

Arthur Miller Centre Book Prize

Dr J. Michelle Coghlan, University of Manchester

Sensational Internationalism: The Paris Commune and the Remapping of American Memory in the Long Nineteenth Century (Edinburgh University Press, 2016)

Arthur Miller Centre Essay Prize

Professor Maria Lauret, University of Sussex

‘Americanization Now and Then: The “Nation of Immigrants” in the Early Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries’

Arthur Miller Centre Essay Prize – Honourable Mention

Dr Nicholas Grant, University of East Anglia

‘The National Council of Negro Women and South Africa: Black Internationalism, Motherhood, and the Cold War’