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York student wins Oxford Dictionary bursary

Posted on 30 June 2015

A postgraduate student from the University of York has won a research bursary from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB).

Emily Hansen

Emily Hansen, a PhD student in the Department of History, won the award based on her research proposal looking into the teaching profession and teaching practice in early modern England.

Running from September 2015 – September 2016, Emily was chosen from 40 international applicants to work on her research with the Dictionary’s editors with an aim to publish and present her findings to a seminar at Oxford University’s History Faculty in 2016.

A Prosopographical Study of English Schoolmasters, 1500-1650, will analyse the biographies of more than 100 notable early modern schoolmasters in the ODNB. Building up a picture of the teaching profession in this period, the research will reveal the social origins of teachers, their education, family circumstances, and how ideas passed down through the generations.

Emily Hansen said: “I'm very much looking forward to beginning this study of early modern English schoolmasters, a subject that has received little recent attention from historians. This project combines my long-standing interests in both the history of education and prosopography, and will allow me to further develop an important element of my thesis into something for publication.”

Philip Carter, an Academic Editor at the ODNB, said: “We were very impressed by Emily’s project for its interest both in the character of the teaching profession as well as in the transition of ideas between the generations at an important time in the development of the humanist curriculum.”

“The aim of our research bursary is to encourage students to develop research projects based around questions and topics that the ODNB’s biographies can help to answer. We hope the winning proposal will show other students how they too can use the Dictionary for research in undergraduate or graduate dissertations.”

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the world’s largest collaborative research project in the humanities, providing a national record of 60,000 men and women who have shaped British history. Written by over 14,000 authors worldwide, the ODNB also includes 11,338 portraits curated in association with the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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