2021 IJBS Early Career Essay Prize

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The International John Bunyan Society is pleased to announce that its 2021 Early Career Essay Prize has been awarded to Michelle Pfeffer (@michpfeffer) for the essay: ‘Mortalism and the Social Consequences of Religious Heterodoxy in Yorkshire at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century’. The winner’s certificate and cash prize of £300 has been sent to Michelle by Professor David Walker, IJBS President. The selection panel was chaired by David Walker, and its members were Rachel Adcock, David Parry and Robert W. Daniel.

Michelle Pfeffer is a Fellow by Examination (Junior Research Fellow) at Magdalen College, Oxford and a historian of early modern religion, science, and culture. The research project that this essay derives from is her PhD dissertation, entitled ‘Mortalism and the Making of Heterodoxy in Seventeenth Century England’. The dissertation seeks to understand why a series of lay writers brazenly denied the doctrine of the soul’s immortality in seventeenth century England. Through analysis of newly discovered manuscripts, the thesis uncovers a culture of lay scholarship and religious radicalism, revealing that religiously motivated historical-critical scholarship, not science, was shaping the agenda of these ostensibly ‘modern’ debates. Although mortalist books were written in the vernacular by laymen, they must be studied alongside the high-level, pan-European scholarship they drew on and the creative ways in which they engaged with it. This thesis therefore illuminates the intellectual and scholarly lives of non-specialists, reconstructing their working methods and bookish communities. 

The annual IJBS Early Career Essay Prize is open to all international PhD students and to post-doctoral researchers within the first two years after their viva. Applicants must be members of IJBS. The prize is for outstanding scholarly work in the field of early modern religion and Dissent, including its literature, history and reception.

2021 IJBS Early Career Essay Prize

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SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN

Deadline: 1 March 2021

The annual International John Bunyan Society (IJBS) Early Career Essay Prize recognises the cutting-edge research of junior scholars in the field of early modern religion and dissent.

Criteria:

  • The competition is open to PhD students and post-doctoral researchers up to two years after their viva.
  • To be eligible, applicants MUST be members of the IJBS. Membership enquiries/ subscriptions can be made via the Society’s UK Treasurer: r.c.adcock@keele.ac.uk.
  • Applicants can submit an essay of up to 8,000 words (e.g. part of a chapter or a draft of an article or a written version of a conference paper) by 1 March 2021 (as an email attachment). The word count includes footnotes, but excludes title, bibliography and any appendixes (which, however, should not be longer than the text of the essay).
  • The name of the author, their affiliation and their role (e.g. final-year PhD student) as well as the word count should be indicated on the title page.
  • A brief biography outlining the applicant’s current research project (150 words) is to be included.

This year the IJBS particularly welcomes contributions discussing the pastoral care, medical practices, and welfare of religious Dissenters during the Long Reformation (global perspectives are especially welcome). All submissions will be judged by members of the Society’s Executive Committee who may ask other experts to join them. Candidates will be informed of the outcome by email within a month of the submission date. The winner will be officially announced at the next Regional IJBS Conference in April 2021 (TBC) and will receive a certificate, a financial award of £300, one year’s free membership to IJBS and a year’s subscription to the Society’s peer-reviewed journal: Bunyan Studies.

Please send all submissions by 1 March 2021 to the Society’s General Secretary, Robert W. Daniel, via IJBSSecretary@outlook.com.

2020 IJBS Early Career Essay Prize

The International John Bunyan Society is pleased to announce that the 2020 Early Career Essay Prize has been awarded to Eleanor Hedger, for her essay entitled ‘Singing in the Face of Death: Making Martyrs on the Scaffold during the English Reformation’. The prize was intended to have been announced at the Regional IJBS Conference planned for 16 April 2020, but this event had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the winner’s certificate and prize has been sent to Eleanor by David Walker, IJBS President. The selection panel was chaired by Bob Owens, and the members were Rachel Adcock, Isabel Rivers, and David Walker. hedger-eleanor-Cropped-230x230

Eleanor Hedger is a third-year PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham, funded by the Midlands4Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership. A musicologist by training, she completed a BMus in 2014, followed by an MA specialising in Early Music. Her PhD thesis is exploring two unusual and extensive questions: what did the unsettled, conflicted, and turbulent world of post-Reformation England sound like? And what did the sounds associated with conflict, violence, and punishment signify to those that made and heard them? To answer these questions she is carrying out research into the sonic and musical characteristics of conflict and punishment from the start of Mary I’s reign in 1553 until the death of Charles I in 1649. This includes examining the ways in which sound functioned during rituals of punishment, such as public executions and charivari, and also how sound reflected and heightened aspects of social and religious conflict in spaces such as the early modern prison and the parish church. Her argument is that consideration of the sonic experience of such rituals and spaces can serve as a conduit for investigating the complex social, political, and religious tensions that surfaced during this period. Her essay, ‘Heinrich Isaac’s Missa Comme femme desconfortée: A Musical Offering to the Virgin Mary’, has been published in Stefan Gasch, Markus Grassl, and August Valentin Rabe (eds.), Henricus Isaac (ca. 1450–1617): Composition – Reception – Interpretation (Vienna: Hollitzer Verlag, 2019), pp. 177–188.

This is the inaugural year of the IJBS Early Career Essay Prize, which is open to PhD Students and to post-doctoral researchers within the first two years after their viva. Applicants must be members of IJBS. The prize is for outstanding scholarly work in the field of early modern religion and Dissent, including its literature, history and reception. Further details about the prize will be posted on the IJBS website.

2016 Richard L. Greaves Prize

The President of the 2016 Richard L. Greaves committee, Neil Keeble, with Cynthia Wall and Ann Hughes, have released the list of the five volumes shortlisted for the 2016 Richard L. Greaves Prize.
The IJBS wishes to congratulate the five nominees for their outstanding contributions to the field of early-modern Protestantism.
The winner will be announced at our next triennial conference in Aix-en-Provence (6-9 July 2016).
– Rachel Adcock, Baptist Women’s Writing in Revolutionary Culture, 1640-1680 (Ashgate, 2015)
– John Coffey, Exodus and Liberation: Deliverance Politics from John Calvin to Martin Luther King Jr (Oxford University Press, 2014)
– David Loewenstein, Treacherous Faith: The Specter of Heresy in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (Oxford University Press, 2013)
– Meredith Marie Neuman, Jeremiah’s Scribes: Creating Sermon Literature in Puritan New England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013)
– Alec Ryrie, Being Protestant in Reformation Britain (Oxford University Press, 2013)

A donation for IJBS

It is with very great pleasure that I announce that an anonymous donor has donated the sum of £10,000 (€12,500/US$16,500) to the International John Bunyan Society.

The donation is primarily intended to establish a number of bursaries for doctoral students, and for young researchers not in full-time employment, who wish to attend and present a paper at the 2016 triennial conference in Aix-en-Provence, with the remainder to be targeted towards key strategic areas identified by the Executive Committee for the development of the Society.

Thanks to the bursaries, young scholars will be given a unique opportunity to present their work and projects at the conference. More information about the application and selection process will be posted in due course on the website, but may I encourage all supervisors to start publicising the bursaries as widely as possible in their institutions and among their students.

I know all members will all join me in expressing our deepest thanks to our donor whose generosity will ensure that the IJBS carries on promoting the study of Bunyan and the history and culture of Dissent, through a renewed attention to its young and talented scholars.

Anne Page, Aix-Marseille Université

Richard L. Greaves Prize: 2016 Committee

The Executive Committee of the IJBS is delighted to announce that the selection Committee of the 2016 Richard L. Greaves Prize has been appointed (see corresponding page on this website). The jury will examine works published between 2013 and 2015 and present the Prize at the 2016 8th Triennial conference in Aix-en-Provence (France).

You can download the Prize’s regulations and procedures here.

Chairman

N. H. Keeble is Professor of English Studies at the University of Stirling. His research interests lie in English cultural history of the period 1500-1700, in particular: (i) the Puritan tradition (Baxter, Bunyan, Cromwell, Fox, Marvell, Milton); (ii) prose (fictional and non-fictional); (iii) the Civil War and English Revolution; (iv) constructions of woman and writing by women; (v) the Restoration; (v) early modern print culture. His publications include Richard Baxter: Puritan Man of Letters (1982), The Literary Culture of Nonconformity in later seventeenth-century England (1987), The Restoration: England in the 1660s (2002). He has edited John Bunyan, Conventicle and Parnassus (1988) and John Bunyan: Reading Dissenting Writing (2003), as well as The Pilgrim’s Progress in the Oxford World’s Classics (1998). He is currently leading a team preparing a scholarly edition of Reliquiae Baxterianae for Oxford University Press. More about Neil Keeble on his institutional website, http://rms.stir.ac.uk/converis-stirling/person/11778.

Judges

Ann Hughes is from February 2014 Senior Research Fellow and Professor Emerita at Keele University, where she was Professor of Early Modern History between 1995 and 2014. She specialises in the history of early modern England with particular interests in the culture, religion and politics of the English civil war or English Revolution. In recent years she has worked on religious debate and polemic, print culture, gender and radicalism. Her publications include Gangraena and the Struggle for the English Revolution (2004), Gender and the English Revolution (2011) and, edited with Thomas Corns and David Loewenstein, The Complete Works of Gerrard Winstanley (2009). Her work has benefited from the influence of literary scholars and she is committed to inter-disciplinary approaches. Current projects include a book on preaching during the Revolution, and work on financial accounts and memorialisation during the civil war.More about Ann Hugues on her institutional website,      http://www.keele.ac.uk/hss/facultycontacts/annhughes/.

Cynthia Wall is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Virginia and a specialist of Restoration and eighteenth-century literature. She is the author of The Literary and Cultural Spaces of Restoration London (1998) and The Prose of Things (2006) and we owe her the Norton Edition of The Pilgrim’s Progress (2008). She has edited The Concise Companion to the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century (Blackwell, 2005) and Eighteenth-Century Genre and Culture: Serious Reflections on Occasional Forms (2001, with Dennis Todd), as well as the Penguin Edition of A Journal of the Plague Year (2003). Her Norton Critical Edition of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Drama is forthcoming in 2014. More about Cynthia Wall on her institutional website, http://www.engl.virginia.edu/people/cw5p.

2013 Richard L. Greaves Award to Kathleen Lynch

On 15 August 2013, Kathleen Lynch (Folger Institute) received the Award from David Gay, chairman of the  selection committee (2010-2013), for her monograph, Protestant Autobiography in the Seventeenth-Century Anglophone Worldpublished in 2012 by Oxford University Press.

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Kathleen Lynch and David Gay

LynchThe Richard L. Greaves Award is presented triennially by the International John Bunyan Society for an outstanding book on the history, literature, thought, practices, and legacy of English Protestantism to 1700. An Honourable Mention went to Tim Cooper for his John Owen, Richard Baxter and the Formation of Nonconformity (Ashgate, 2011).