We are delighted to announce three winners of the Modern British Studies and Contemporary British History Prize for postgraduate research papers at British Studies in Broken World.
Our three winners are Hira Amin, Hilary Buxton and Laura Cofield.
Here is what the editors thought about each of these papers:
‘Hira Amin‘s paper focuses on the history of Islam among Britain’s postwar ‘pioneering generation’ and the shifting emphasis from ethnic/national identities towards the influence of a global Islamic movement. This paper challenges contemporary British historians to engage with the ‘translational’ beyond merely seeing British subjects acting outside of Britain. Through this paper, we see that we cannot understand transformations in British muslim identities detached from movements in South Asia and the Middle East. In this sense, this paper truly takes up Susan Pederson’s call in her MBS Plenary to see British history as the product of (rather than merely an agent in) global transformations.’
‘Hilary Buxton‘s paper tells an important and little-known story of the experience of disabled Indian WWI soldiers and, particularly, the imperial government’s uneven provision of prosthetic limbs to them in the interwar years. Indian veterans ‘experienced sharp disparities in the level of care they received’ and were routinely provided with old-fashioned and uncomfortable shaped wooden legs rather than new duralumin limbs, unlike their British counterparts. This exceptionally well-written paper masterfully draws together the history of medicine, veteran’s care, empire and racism.’
‘Using teen magazine advice columns, Laura Cofield reveals the historical significance of regimes of body hair removal at a moment of uncertainty and contestation in gender roles in the 1970s and 1980s. As she explains, ‘body management presented a means for girls to navigate a sense of selfhood which oscillated between an expanding sense of freedom and independence on the one hand and the sustained importance given to conformity to traditional gender roles on the other.’ We especially appreciated Cofield’s innovative use of archival materials and real intervention in the field of ‘everyday’ uses of feminism.’
We want to thank everyone who submitted papers, they were of impressive quality and made for fascinating and invigorating reading.