The Medieval Academy of America is proud to announce the recipients of its 2016 publication prizes:
The Haskins Medal
The 2016 Haskins Medal is awarded to Francis Oakley (Williams College) for his trilogy, The Emergence of Western Political Thought in the Latin Middle Ages (Yale University Press, 2010-2015). Of this three-volume work, the Haskins Medal Committee writes: “The culmination of a stellar academic career, the trilogy dazzlingly substantiates a simple thesis: the secular nature of modern political thought emerged not from ancient Greece and Rome but from the Latin Middle Ages….Deeply learned, engagingly written, encyclopedic, and wise, The Emergence of Western Political Thought is already regarded as a monument in the history of ideas, a masterful explication of the interplay among religion, politics, and education in the West. It richly deserves this honor.” The complete citation is available here.
The Haskins Medal is awarded annually by the Medieval Academy of America for a distinguished book in the field of medieval studies. 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 selection committee consisted of Robert E. Bjork (Arizona State Univ.) (Chair), Annemarie Weyl Carr (Emerita, Southern Methodist University), and Richard Kaeuper (Univ. of Rochester).
The John Nicholas Brown Prize
Two Brown Prizes are being awarded in 2016, to Marisa Galvez (Stanford University) for Songbook: How Lyrics became Poetry in Medieval Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2012) and to Nicholas L. Paul (Fordham University) for To Follow in their Footsteps: The Crusades and Family Memory in the High Middle Ages (Cornell University Press, 2012).
According to the Brown Committee, “Marisa Galvez has offered a fresh and ambitious interpretation of the medieval songbook…Drawing upon a wide range of primary manuscript materials in Latin, German, Old French, Occitan, and Castilian, Galvez explores the concept of authorship in an emerging literary genre across more than 200 years of medieval culture.” In commending Nicholas Paul, the Committee writes that he “… offers an original investigation into collective memory in the first crusading century….His conclusion about the failure of Henry II of England and Alfonso II of Aragon ‘to take the cross’ brings the study to a well-defined and compelling conclusion.” The complete citations are available here.
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 selection committee consisted of Barbara Shailor (Yale Univ.) (Chair), Meredith Lillich (Univ. of Syracuse), and David Nirenberg (Univ. of Chicago).
The Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize
The 2016 Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize is awarded to David Shyovitz (Northwestern University) for his article, “Christian and Jews in the Twelfth-Century Werewolf Renaissance,” Journal of the History of Ideas 75/4 (2014), 521-43.
Of this article, the Elliott Prize Committee writes that “the essay, at its broadest level, echoes many cultural and intellectual historians in its emphasis on medieval alterity…For the elegance of its prose, its synthesis of a range of primary and secondary sources, and the significant breadth of its claims, David Shyovitz’s essay is an outstanding model of how much can be accomplished in a scholar’s first medieval article.” The complete citation is available here.
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 selection committee consisted of Tim William Machan (Univ. of Notre Dame) (Chair), David Hult (UC Berkeley), and Caroline Walker Bynum (Institute for Advanced Study).
The 2016 publication prizes will be presented at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America in Boston. The presentation of prizes and the reading of citations will take place preceding the Presidential Address on Saturday, 27 February, at 10:45 AM in the Grand Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Boston.