For undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in art history
Dissertation Prize 2016 - Winners announced
We are delighted to announce the winners of, and those shortlisted, for the 2016 Dissertation Prize.
Amy Moore (studying History and History of Art at University of York), 'The Physician’s Folding Almanac: A Misnomer of the Medievalist?'
Alice Cawley (studying French and History of Art at University of Leeds), 'Oh Bondage, up yours!': Tracey Emin and the punks'
Nathan Stazicker (studying History of Art at University of Oxford), 'Space and Style in Inter-war British Cinema: The Granada Tooting'.
James Ward, (studying History of Art at University of York), 'Assertions of Ecclesiastical Importance and Righteous Leadership through Imperial Authority: To what extent, and for what reasons, did Ravenna appropriate the iconography of Roman imperial
power in its bid for status as the center of the Christian world?'
Gaja Golija (studying History of Art on Global Conceptualism at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London), 'Mending Walls on Shifting Grounds: Negotiating History and Identity Construction in the Works of Marjetica Potrc?'.
Anna Jamieson (studying History of Art at Birkbeck), 'Dark Tourists at Bedlam: Madness and Spectacle in eighteenth century London'
Kirsten MacQuarrie (studying MLITT Art History: History of Collecting and Collections at University of Glasgow), ‘Fearfully, Wonderfully and Weirdly “New”: Margaret Macdonald, Frances Macdonald and Japonisme in Fin-de-siècle Art'
Molly Eckel (studying History of Art on Victorian and Edwardian Interiors at Courtauld Institute of Art), 'Exploration, Exchange, and Empire in Julia Margaret Cameron’s Herschel Album'
The 2016 prize is for dissertations written during the 2015-16 academic year.
Dissertation Prize 2017
If you would like to apply or you would like to nominate a student, here are the details for this year's application periods.
Undergraduate submissions: 1 August 2017, 5pm
Postgraduate submissions: 1 December 2017, 5pm
The AAH Dissertation Prize is awarded each year. There are two awards: one for undergraduate dissertations and one for postgraduate (Master’s-level) dissertations.
The 2017 prize is for dissertations written during the 2016-17 academic year.
Online submission forms will appear in due course.
The Dissertation Prizes
The winning entry for undergraduate and postgraduate submissions will receive:
- A £200 cash prize
- Book tokens to the value of £150
- Free AAH membership for one year
- Publication of a 300-word abstract of the winning entry in the AAH Bulletin
- Free admission to the AAH Annual Conference and Bookfair*, where the Prize will be formally awarded.
* The prizewinners will be entitled to free admission to the Annual Conference but they must pay for their own travel and accommodation.
Who can apply
- Entries are invited from students enrolled in (or recently graduated from) courses in the history of art and visual culture or courses in fine arts at UK institutions. The history of art and visual culture is to be understood in its broadest sense; for example, past winning entries have included studies of trade union imagery, tomb sculpture and media coverage of the first Gulf War.
- Dissertations must have been submitted in fulfilment of coursework requirements (long essay/dissertation) within the past academic year (2015-2016).
- Dissertations entered for the Undergraduate Dissertation Prize must have been submitted as part of the entrant’s first undergraduate degree in the arts and humanities.
- Dissertations must not have been previously published.
- Entries must be endorsed by an academic nominator (the student’s supervisor or another representative from their university/college) via the nomination form (see ‘Submissions’ section below).
- Essays can be submitted by either the academic nominator or the student entrant. All documentation – dissertation, abstract, entry form and nomination form (see ‘Submission’ section below) – must be attached to the same email.
- The dissertation and abstract documents must be entirely anonymous. There must be absolutely no trace of your name, institution, or any other identifying information. This includes, but is not limited to, omitting any supervisor names and any other named acknowledgements. The file name of the dissertation document must be the title only (e.g. a dissertation entitled ‘Picasso and Modernism’ must be submitted as ‘PicassoandModernism.pdf’ and its abstract as ‘PicassoandModernismAbstract’); do not include your name, or any other information. Also, any identifying information in the files’ metadata should be removed where possible. Any dissertations or abstracts arriving with any identifying information in them will automatically be declared invalid.
- Dissertations which are not submitted according to these regulations will not be accepted.
Submitting your dissertation for this prize
To enter the prize the following must be submitted by either the student or their academic nominator, as separate documents attached to the same email:
- A complete electronic copy of the dissertation in PDF or Microsoft Word format
- A 300-word abstract in PDF or Microsoft Word format.
- A completed entry form in PDF or Word format.
- A scanned image or PDF of the completed nomination form, signed by the applicant’s academic nominator.
The total size of attachments must not exceed 6MB. You may need to down-res any images used in order to meet this limit.
Please also refer to the Regulations listed above (especially with regards to anonymity) when preparing your submission.
Submissions should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are submissions assessed
The dissertations will be be double-marked by the AAH Student Members Committee after which the winner will be selected from a short-list by AAH Trustees. The decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into with regard to the judging.
Dissertations will be assessed on the following criteria:
1. Originality: The dissertation should demonstrate a mature and original approach to issues and themes of current concern to the discipline in its broadest interpretation.
2. Research & Method: The dissertation should demonstrate evidence of broad and thorough research, combining primary and secondary sources as appropriate. It should show a clear awareness of appropriate methodological approaches.
3. Content & Form: The dissertation should be clearly structured and adhere to correct spelling and grammar conventions. All source material should be soundly evaluated and referenced, the argument or line of enquiry should be balanced and the conclusion well grounded.
The decision of the AAH is final. By submitting the application you agree to the conditions of this prize. The AAH reserves the right to periodically revise the conditions of this prize and to publish the name of the prizewinners.
The judging process for both of these prizes takes several months but we expect to announce the winners of both prizes by the end of February 2017 at the latest.
Please ensure that you have the following submission forms
2014 - 2015
Postgraduate winner: Amy Parrish, (Courtauld Institute of Art), ‘Changing Tastes: The Paintings of Guido Reni’
Undergraduate winner: Saarthak Singh, (University of St Andrews), ‘Paradigms of Protection: The 'hidden' head in Vishnu Sculptures from Kashmir'
Undergraduate winner: Amy Partridge (University of Leeds), Destruction Or Integration? The Implications of Christianity For Anglo-Saxon Culture and Art
Postgraduate winner: Dina Akhmadeeva (University of Oxford), Looking outwards, staying put: shipwrecked sailors, painted representations of Russia and exposure to the outside world in Edo-period Japan
Undergraduate: Lucy Farrar (University of Glasgow), Sir Alfred Gilbert's 'Kippen Bronzes': A Reassessment and Aurella Yussuf (University of Brighton), All the women are white, all the blacks are men, but some of us are... American? A comparative analysis of the visibility of black women artists in London and New York, 2009-2013
Postgraduate: Anya Burgon (University of Cambridge), Untrue Colours: Overcoming Dissimilarity in the Aesthetics of St Bernard of Clairvaux and David Zagoury (University of Oxford), 'If the Doors of Perception were Cleansed': The Dreamachine and the Invention of Hallucinogenic Art
Undergraduate winner: Tim Davies (University College London), Parts and Labour: Fabricating Donald Judd and Carl Andre in a Changing Industrial Context.
Postgraduate winner: Emily Doucet (University College London), Anticipating Machines Heavier than Air: Nadar, Photography and the Objects of Technology.
Undergraduate: Benjamin Joyce (University of Leeds), Madame XXX: The Inversion of Gendered Roles and the Apprehension of the Unattainable in Sargent’s Madame X and Georgia Pink (University of Glasgow), In Transition from Ancient Citadel to Modern Metropolis: Mapping a Sense of Place Through Edinburgh’s Liminal Landscape in Nasmyth’s City Views of the 1820s.
Postgraduate: Rebecca Whiteley (UCL), Modes of Knowing: Visualising Pregnancy in Eighteenth-Century England.
Undergraduate winner: Jack Shepherdson (University of East Anglia), Dichotomies.
Postgraduate winner: Dennis Prior (University of Oxford), Architecture/Not Architecture.Towards a Reconsideration of Architectural Aesthetics and the Function-Reflex: Rethinking the work of Richard Serra and Peter Zumthor'.
Postgraduate: Lucy Kent (Courtauld Institute of Art), Spirituality and British Modernism: Christian Science influence in the work of Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth.
Postgraduate winner: Connor Kissane (UCL) The Violence of Representation: Imaging the Martyred Body in Santi Nereo de Achilleo
Undergraduate winner: Rachel Dedman (Oxford), The Importance of Being Ernst: A Reassessment of E.H Gombrich's Relationship with Psychoanalysis
Undergraduate: Daphna Starr (University of Leeds), Clare Winsten: Whitechapel Girl and Francois Vandame (University of Bristol), Reading Graffiti: The Aesthetics of Illegal Art.
Postgraduate: Rachel Graves (University of Nottingham), Breaking With Tradition? The ‘Expanded Field’ in Contemporary Photographic Practice and Darren Clark (University of Glasgow), An Analysis of the Primary Aesthetic Dimensions of Glasgow’s Riverside Museum.
2009-10 (Full abstracts PDF)
Undergraduate winner: Ness Wood (University of Brighton), It’s So New Fashioned: Hille from Tradition to Modernity
Postgraduate Winner: Alison Goudie (University of Oxford), The wax portrait bust as trompe-l’oeil? A case study of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples
Undergraduate: Elizabeth Jordan (University of Edinburgh), The Edinburgh Mirror and Imogen Wiltshire (University of Birmingham), John Bratby’s Courtyard with Washing (1956).
Postgraduate: Amy Knight (University of Sussex), The Apparitional Girl of the Fin de Siècle Philip Wilson Steer's female figures and the sexuality that haunts the vacant body and Tim Satterthwaite (University of Sussex), VU magazine and the patterns of utopian modernism.
Undergraduate winner: Matt Fountain (Christies Education)
Postgraduate winner: Stephanie Straine (University of Glasgow)