Posted on 27 December 2018
"Both the evidence under analysis and the ways in which it is contextualized are extremely interesting and important. The argument makes extremely effective use of ideas about gender and sexuality to illuminate its argument. There is some other scholarship upon which the author could draw to help contextualize and substantiate the central argument about the function of these badges, e.g. Shannon McSheffrey’s important work on late medieval English masculinity, especially Marriage, Sex and Civic Culture in Late Medieval London (Philadelphia, 2006), which has much to say about the significance of sexual activity to masculine identity at different stages of the lifecycle. Rachel Moss’ recent article on homosociality in late-medieval Calais would also be of comparative relevance (History Workshop Journal, 86/1 (2018), 1-21). The innovative approach to the badges is convincingly justified (the emphasis on drawing meanings from their emic context rather than modern etic contexts). The essay draws on existing historiography which has explored masculine urban culture, but also further enhances this by including the dimension of material objects which have not (as far as I’m aware) previously been considered in relation to this topic. I was impressed by this essay."
The Gender and Medieval Studies essay prize is a postgraduate student essay prize awarded in January each year at the GMS annual conference. The prize gives free conference fee registration to the GMS conference (held every January at a different UK institution) for two years, a £100 book token for Castle Hill Bookshop and a contribution towards UK travel costs to the conference. The winning essay is also considered for publication in the academic journal Medieval Feminist Forum, run by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS).
The CMS would like to extend our congratulations to Sarah for her success.
You can find out more about Gender and Medieval Studies here.