Publication Prizes: The Medieval Academy of America, deadline 15 October 2020

Every year the Medieval Academy of America invites applications for a number of Publication Prizes. Here are the ones for 2020. The deadline for all the prizes is 15 October 2020.

Karen Gould Prize in Art History

Books published in 2018 are eligible for the 2021 Gould Prize

Due to COVID-related warehouse closures and delays, e-galleys of nominated books may be submitted instead of hardcopies this year. Please email e-galleys along with the required PDF reviews to Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis <LFD@TheMedievalAcademy.org>

The Karen Gould Prize, established by an endowed gift from Lewis Gould in 2016, is awarded annually for a book or monograph (conference proceedings and collected essays are not eligible) in medieval art history judged by the selection committee to be of outstanding quality. To be eligible, the author must be a member in good standing of the Medieval Academy of America.

Karen Gould (1946 – 2012) was an art historian specializing in manuscript illumination and was the author of The Psalter and Hours of Yolande of Soissons (Speculum Anniversary Monographs) (Medieval Academy of America, 1978). The prize established in her name consists of a certificate and a monetary award of $1,000. It is announced at the annual meeting of the academy each spring. The first Prize will be given in 2018.

Current Winner of the Karen Gould Prize

Click here for submission instructions.

PAST WINNERS:

2020 – Benjamin Anderson, Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017)

2019 – Ivan Drpić, Epigram, Art, and Devotion in Later Byzantium (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

2018 – Elina Gertsman, Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna (Penn State University Press, 2015)

2018 – Christina Maranci, Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia (Brepols, 2015)

Find out more information here.


Haskins Medal Prize

Books published between 2015-2019 are eligible for the 2021 Haskins Medal

Due to COVID-related warehouse closures and delays, e-galleys of nominated books may be submitted instead of hardcopies this year. Please email e-galleys along with the required PDF reviews to Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis <LFD@TheMedievalAcademy.org>

The Haskins Medal is awarded annually by the Medieval Academy of America for a distinguished book in the field of medieval studies. It is the Academy’s most prestigious award and is usually granted to a relatively senior scholar for a work of their maturity. Seniority is not an absolute requirement, but the award seems especially worthy if it recognizes both a distinguished book and a fruitful career.

First presented in 1940, the award honors Charles Homer Haskins, the noted medieval historian, who was a founder of the Medieval Academy and its second President. The award is announced at the annual meeting of the Academy each spring. The medal was designed in 1939 by Graham Carey, and the name of the recipient and the year of the award are engraved on the edge.

Submission Instructions

Winner of the Haskins Medal

List of Recipients


John Nicholas Brown Prize

Books published in 2017 are eligible for the 2021 Brown Prize.

Due to COVID-related warehouse closures and delays, e-galleys of nominated books may be submitted instead of hardcopies this year. Please email e-galleys along with the required PDF reviews to Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis <LFD@TheMedievalAcademy.org>

The John Nicholas Brown Prize, established by the Medieval Academy of America in 1978, is awarded annually for a first book or monograph on a medieval subject judged by the selection committee to be of outstanding quality.

John Nicholas Brown was one of the founders of the Medieval Academy and for fifty years served as its Treasurer. The prize established in his name consists of a certificate and a monetary award of $1,000. It is announced at the annual meeting of the academy each spring.

Submission Instructions

Current winner of John Nicholas Brown Prize

Recent Recipients


Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize

Articles published in 2019 are eligible for the 2021 Elliott prize.

The Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize, established by the Medieval Academy of America in 1971, is awarded annually for a first article in the field of medieval studies, published in a scholarly journal, judged by the selection committee to be of outstanding quality.

Van Courtlandt Elliott was Executive Secretary of the Academy and Editor of Speculum from 1965 to 1970. The prize that bears his name consists of a certificate and a monetary award of $500. It is announced at the annual meeting of the academy each spring.

Recent Recipients

Submission Instructions:

The eligibility of the article is determined by the publication year that appears in the journal or book where the article was published. Articles shall be submitted in the year following the publication year. For example, articles bearing a publication date of 2005 were submitted in 2006 for the prize given in 2007.

Articles, published in a scholarly journal, must be at least five pages in length and by a single author whose residence is in North America. A PDF of the article should be sent by email to the Executive Director at LFD@TheMedievalAcademy.org, together with a statement by the author that it is his or her first article in the medieval field.

Submissions must reach the Academy’s office no later than 15 October.

Find out more here.

Current Winner: 2020 Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize
The Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize recognizes a first article of outstanding quality in the field of medieval studies. This year, out of many excellent submissions, the committee has selected Randall Todd Pippenger’s gripping article, “Lives on Hold: The Dampierre Family, Captivity and the Crusades in Thirteenth-Century Champagne,” Journal of Medieval History 44 (2018), 507-28.

Many of our surviving sources speak of crusading as a glorious activity. The reality was surely far different, but it remains difficult to imagine what going on crusade might have meant for most participants. In “Lives on Hold,” Pippenger explores what he calls “the worst possible outcome for a crusader and his family”: being captured and imprisoned while on crusade. Pippenger observes that more than one third of crusaders between 1095 and 1270 never returned from the Holy Land. Of these, most died on crusade, some settled in the Crusader States, and some were captured, imprisoned, or enslaved.  A new order was dedicated to ransoming captives, the Trinitarians, but of the captives’ fate, and the impact of their captivity on their families, we know very little.

Into this dark corner of crusading history, Pippenger opens a shaft of light. He examines the case of Renard II of Dampierre, a Champenois baron who spent nearly half his life imprisoned in the Holy Land.  When he departed on crusade in 1202, Renard was thirty years old, had three children, and his wife was already deceased. His oldest son was no more than eleven years old, so the lordship was placed in his brother’s hands. Through a masterful analysis of archival, administrative, and legal documents, Pippenger reveals the difficulties faced by the Dampierre family in Renard’s decades-long absence.  He demonstrates how Renard’s captivity crippled this powerful family, putting them into a legal limbo that, over time, badly eroded the Dampierre lordship.  From the perspective of the family’s interests, Renard’s death would have been preferable to his captivity.

In 1231, after thirty years of legal paralysis and administrative chaos, Renard returned home. Pippenger’s account of this return reads like the catastrophe of a Greek drama: Renard’s brother had been dead for almost twenty years, his eldest son had died the previous year, and his son’s widow had already remarried. And then, just after his return, his eldest grandson and heir, Renard IV, died still a child. Renard had to comprehend thirty years of losses to his lordship.

One of the qualities that makes makes this article stand out is Pippenger’s sensitivity to the human tragedy told by the kind of documents that often resist our efforts to humanize them. Pippenger’s is a different kind of Crusading history, one that focuses not on the fervor of the cross, the clash of cultures, or a geopolitical landscape tilting one way or another, but on a single family, powerless to shape its fortunes in the absence of its head.

Respectfully submitted,
Irina Dumitrescu
Rachel Koopmans
Daniel Hobbins, Chair


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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