Celebrating our History Prize Winners

As we approach our graduation ceremonies, it is time to congratulate our prize winners for 2021 and for 2020 (as graduation could not take place last year due to the pandemic). Every year our students are presented with awards for their dissertations, for their overall performance and for studies in local histories. The following students all showed great academic ability as well as enthusiasm for the study of history, and they all made the History staff at the University very proud. Congratulations to all of you!

The Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (BGAS) prize for a strong performance in History

Rachel Lane, winner in 2021

‘Rachel studied on the BA History course at the University of Gloucestershire from 2018. Over that period, she demonstrated a range of qualities that made her a strong student, and she progressed consistently from her first year. This is the result of enthusiasm for the subject combined with perseverance and her ability to learn, think critically, and work diligently. Rachel was very hard-working and conscientious who frequently brought her own ideas and findings to classroom discussions. With her dissertation project (which focussed on classical imagery during the Renaissance) Rachel demonstrated the dedication and stamina to complete a major research project, as well as her genuinely dedication to her scholarly and intellectual development.’ Dr Erin Peters

Rhiannon Carter, winner in 2020

‘Rhiannon was an excellent student who demonstrated real enthusiasm for the subject, a commitment to the course and the University. She was able to develop her academic ability through hard-work, perseverance and full engagement with her studies, while also being a Course and Subject Representative. While obtaining a first-class honors degree, Rhiannon also submitted an excellent dissertation entitled ‘Bletchley’s Secret Heroines: an Investigation of the Women Working at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.’ Overall, not only was she a great student, but she became an ambassador for the course and the University.’ Dr Christian O’Connell

Rhiannon celebrating the submission of her dissertation in 2020.

The Historical Association (Gloucestershire Branch) prize for the best dissertation in History

Marcie Jones, winner in 2021

‘Marcie’s final year dissertation on the ‘Betrayal of Bosnia’ presented a detailed study of the impact of the military conflict in Srebrenica during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. Marcie made a detailed examination of the evidence to support and contest the claim of the Serb-led attack on Bosnian Muslims as an act of genocide. The research required her to examine a broad range of historical materials. Amongst other sources, the dissertation referenced legal documentation, contemporary media reporting and oral testimonies. Marcie argued for the use of visual materials as a source of transitional justice. It is a pleasure to be able to award Marcie this prize.’ Professor Melanie Ilic

Marcie’s poster on her dissertation project.

Owen Adams, winner in 2020

Owen’s dissertation was entitled ‘Conflicts over the 1612 establishment of the King’s Ironworks in the Forest of Dean.’ This was an excellent study in which Owen sought to ‘contest a common perception of the Forest as an isolated economic backwater’ and instead argues that ‘in the 17th century the Forest of Dean was the beating heart of a circulatory system that helped to forge Great Britain and the proto-British Empire.’ Dr Erin Peters: ‘This is a very impressive research project. Its originality in terms of research, its contribution to knowledge, and the writing and presentation style is of publishable quality.’

An image from Owen’s dissertation. The Arms of the Company of Mineral and Battery Works, from
1568, left, which features a woman with divining rods as Science and a man
with a hammer as Labour. The arms above the helmet hold calamine (zinc-bearing rock). There has been debate over the date of the Miners’ Brass,
right, one of the most well-known symbols of the Forest of Dean, which is an
embossment smaller than an A4 piece of paper on a stone tomb belonging
to two generations of the Lords of Dean and Abenhall – the latest was
Christopher Baynham, died 1557. Note the stylistic similarity of the helmet
and mantling to the 1568 arms.

The Gloucestershire branch on the Historical Association publish the winning dissertation on their website, which can be accessed here.

The Clare Southern Memorial Prize 2021 award for the student in the School of Education and Humanities who has demonstrated the most effective engagement with interdisciplinarity in their dissertation.

James Woodcock, 2021 winner

‘Throughout the three years of his Undergraduate degree at the University of Gloucestershire, James showed a wide-ranging curiosity in the past which moved beyond History to take in Philosophy and Literature. As his studies progressed, James’ skill for moving across disciplines and drawing insights from a variety of primary sources culminated in his dissertation project. James’ thesis confidently examined late nineteenth century novels which dealt with the ‘New Woman’ question. Situating the prose writing of, for example, Sarah Grand, against the burgeoning movement for women’s rights, James’ thesis was skilful and accomplished. It is our please to give James this award.’ Dr Vicky Randall

The Conrad Tipping Memorial Prize for the best study/dissertation of local history

Richard Grace, 2021 winner

‘Richard chose a local dissertation topic with a clearly stated and defined central thread in its attempts to examine the role of the siege of Gloucester in the eventual outcome of the English Civil War. The dissertation offers an exploration of the strategic and economic importance of the city, the defensive stance taken by Gloucester supporters of the parliamentarian cause, and the wavering strategic decision-making of the Royalist forces that eventually resulted in defeat. He made good use of a range of primary source materials, including evaluative critique offered in the reading and interpretation of the contemporary eye-witness accounts, as well as of the later use of these sources by historians of the Civil Wars.’ Dr Erin Peters 

Rachel Lane and Sam Webber, joint winners in 2020

Rachel and Sam were awarded the prize for the local history project on the Life of Edward Wilson, the famous Cheltonian arctic explorer. The project was part of the History department’s Cotswold Centre for History & Heritage, and was exhibited virtually as part of the Gloucester History in September 2020. The project can be seen on the website here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.