In June I heard the great news that my monograph, The Virgin Mary's Book at the Annunciation: Reading, Interpretation and Devotion in Medieval England (D.S. Brewer, 2020) won the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship 2022 First Book Prize. This is a great honor - there are many excellent books on medieval women and gender out there so I'm sure the competition was fierce. My thanks to the prize committee for their careful reading of all the entries. A few of their comments:
The first in-depth exploration of the Annunciation in textual, religious, iconographic, and material culture. The author takes on both canonical and less-explored sources with impressive attention to particular historical circumstances, and shows how the Annunciation served as a powerful model for other women readers. I am ranking this piece the highest due to its expressly feminist methodology.
An exciting book that really opened my eyes to something that now seems omnipresent and obvious thanks to Miles, but that I had not considered before (and it’s an argument I haven’t encountered elsewhere).
It also means that I've somehow managed a 'hat trick' of winning all three of the SMFS prizes over the last decade or so: the graduate student article prize in 2011 with subsequent publication “Looking in the Past for a Discourse of Motherhood: Birgitta of Sweden and Julia Kristeva,” Medieval Feminist Forum, Volume 47.1 (2011): 52-76; the article prize in 2014-2015 with “The Origins and Development of Mary’s Book at the Annunciation,” Speculum 89 (2014): 1-38; and now the book prize. I'm so delighted to be furthering the important cause of feminist criticism in medieval studies and hope to continue over the coming decades.
The prize will be celebrated with panels focused on the book at the Kalamazoo International Medieval Congress in May 2023, as well as the Leeds International Medieval Congress in July 2023.
image: British Library Harley MS 612, f. 82v
Other publication news:
Page proofs reviewed and now forthcoming December 2022: a book chapter co-authored with Samantha Katz Seal, “Gender/Queer” in Routledge Companion to Medieval English Literature in a Trans-European Context: 1100-1500, ed. Raluca Radulescu and Sif Rikhardsdottir (Routledge).
Page proofs expected soon: the chapter “Syon Abbey and the Birgittines” in Women and Medieval Literary Culture from the Early Middle Ages to the Fifteenth Century, ed. Corinne Saunders and Diane Watt (Cambridge University Press), publication in 2023
Page proofs expected soon: “Redeeming Across Time: Philip K. Dick, Julian of Norwich, and the Art of Lifelong Revision”, festschrift volume for Barbara Newman (Brepols), publication in 2023
Just submitted for review: "Birgittine Borrowings in the Middle English Devotional Compilation Meditaciones domini nostri," in Birgitta of Sweden Symposium Conference Proceedings: People and Saints (Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, Stockholm)
In October I will be giving the lecture "How a Swedish Visionary Became Medieval England’s Favourite Female Author" for two audiences of English literature scholars and students in Spain: first at the Universidad de Alicante (7 Oct) and then at the Universidad de Extremadura (14 Oct).
Other scholarly news:
UiB's participation in the Arqus Alliance has come to an end. For the last two years I have been academic leader for Action Line 6: Researcher Support and Early Career Development; this means my last activity was to attend and present at the Board Meeting in Granada, Spain, 12-13 September 2022. It was a pleasure meeting the other AL6 leaders from around Europe in person for the first time, and I hope to connect with them again in some future opportunities outside Arqus.
Stay tuned for a surprise announcement involving the British Library!