Dissertation Prize

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.

Undergraduate winner:

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?'

Postgraduate winner:

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:

* 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

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:

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:

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

Previous Winners:

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)