We have a number of exciting announcements regarding our annual prizes and awards. Read on for project details for our Field Development Grant, Colby Book Prize, and inaugural Sally Mitchell Dissertation Prize. Congratulations to all our winners and many thanks to all who submitted projects for consideration!
Congrats to Our Field Development Grant Winner
This year’s recipients of the RSVP Field Development Grant are Dino Felluga, Adrian Wisnicki, and Kenneth Crowell, for their project, “Recovering BIPOC Voices from the Victorian Periodical Press.”
The decision committee deemed this project “a master class in decolonial recovery work that could offer a powerful intervention in the current state of the field’s methodological representation.”
Inaugural Sally Mitchel Dissertation Prize Winner
This year’s recipient of our first-ever Sally Mitchell Dissertation Prize is Ann Hale, for her project, “Business Matters: Legal Structures, Roles, People, and Places in the Nineteenth-Century Press—A Case Study of George Newnes Limited.”
The decision committee offered the following comments on Hale’s project:
“In her comprehensive and compelling study of George Newnes Limited, Ann Hale’s [dissertation] uncovers and assesses the vital role of business and legal frameworks in the periodical press. Her project enables readers to better appreciate the consequences of sole proprietorship, partnerships, and companies and the mutability of these legal and business structures. Drawing on an impressive array of documents, visualizations, maps, and other data as part of a Scalar Digital Supplement, she constructs a carefully scaffolded study that draws well on existing periodicals scholarship and literary theory, including the idea of the chronotope, Guillory’s ideas of remediation, and Linda Hughes’ ‘sideways theory,’ along the way bringing numerous hidden players in the publishing work to light and convincing her readers why, as her title tells us, ‘Business Matters.’”
Two other outstanding dissertations received honourable mentions from the decision committee: Victoria Clarke’s “Reading and Writing the Northern Star, 1837-1847” and Stephan Pigeon’s “The Labour, Law, and Practice of Circulating Journalisms in the British News and Periodical Press, 1842-1911.”
2021 Robert and Vineta Colby Book Prizes Announced
This year, two awardees were selected: The Periodical Press in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, by Elizabeth Tilley, and The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press: Volume 2, Expansion and Evolution, 1800-1900, edited by David Finkelstein. Both awardees have been invited to give a keynote lecture at this year’s RSVP conference.
The committee offered the following comments on the two texts:
Elizabeth Tilley, The Periodical Press in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Palgrave, 2020)
In her monograph, Elizabeth Tilley focuses on monthly and weekly periodicals, selecting representative journals to give an overview of Irish periodical literature throughout the century, a subject that certainly deserves this type of focused attention. Her research (funded by a Curran Award in 2015) is impeccable, and her analysis is nuanced and detailed. Tilley often chooses to address little-known periodicals (domestic, trade, popular press, etc.), demonstrating their contributions to the Irish periodical field and their interactions with regional and national politics and economics, as well as showcasing their relevance to British periodical culture.
As part of this study, Tilley has included a lengthy appendix with excerpts from a series of articles by Christopher Clinton Hoey that were originally published in The Irish Builder in 1877-78. These excerpts give an overview of the Irish press during the period and provide an excellent resource for both scholarly research and teaching. In this way, Tilley’s volume is both monograph and scholarly edition, a notable and important resource for the field of nineteenth-century periodical studies.
David Finkelstein, ed., The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press: Volume 2, Expansion and Evolution, 1800-1900 (Edinburgh UP, 2020)
As part of a three-volume series from Edinburgh University press, David Finkelstein’s compendious collection includes contributions from forty-eight authors who address the development of British and Irish periodical culture throughout the nineteenth century. It is a remarkable resource that both draws from previous scholarship and contributes new knowledge to the field, with a wide range of topics and perspectives, and with welcome attention to diversity and transnational connections. The combination of overview essays accompanied by narrow and pointed case studies give the volume an impressive breadth and depth. It will be valuable for a wide range of readers, from those who are orienting and contextualizing as they first come to periodical studies, to those who are already specialists in the field.
David Finkelstein’s fine work editing and introducing the volume surely reflects a herculean effort, supported by original and engaging work by the forty-seven authors, who include both established and upcoming scholars. We are pleased to honor the work of all the writers as well as the editor, who together have made a contribution to nineteenth-century periodical studies that will remain a standard for many years to come.
Peterson Prize Winner TBD
Please note that the 2021 Linda H. Peterson Fellowship recipient will be announced shortly. We will share the announcement as it is available from the committee.