NAVSA awards two competitive prizes each year: the Donald Gray prize, for best essay on a Victorian topic, and the graduate paper prize, for the best paper read by a graduate student at the annual conference. (NAVSA also makes available travel grants, based on financial need.) See below for the new nominations deadline and instructions for the Donald Gray Prize.
The Donald Gray Prize
Congratulations to the winners of the annual Donald Gray prize!
- Co-winner: Kriegel, Lara. "Culture and the Copy: Calico, Capitalism, and Design Copyright in Early Victorian Britain." Journal of British Studies 43 (April 2004): 233-65.
Lara Kriegel's "Culture of the Copy" is a lively and engaging analysis of productive culture and cultural production in the first half of the nineteenth century. It is an extraordinarily well-written piece and develops a complex and compelling argument about the ways (contra Benjamin) in which the industrial (re)production of designs increased rather than decreased the value of the "original." The argument has broad implications and is articulated with confidence and verve.
- Co-winner: Kucich, John. "Sadomasochism and the Magical Group: Kipling's Middle-Class Imperialism." Victorian Studies 46.1 (2003): 33-68.
John Kucich's "Sadomasochism and the Magical Group" is a provocative re-reading of Kipling through the lens of relational psychoanalysis, arguing that sadomasochistic "magical thinking" explains Kipling's ambivalence about empire and his class politics. Kucich uses theorizations of sadomasochism to provide an extraordinary degree of insight not only into Kipling but also into the entire psychological framework of late-Victorian imperialism.
- Honorable Mention: Ketabgian, Tamara. "'Melancholy Mad Elephants': Affect and the Animal Machine in Hard Times." Victorian Studies 45.4 (2003): 649-76.
Tamara Ketabgian's "'Melancholy Mad Elephants'" is a wonderfully creative and thoughtful piece, which sets the imagery of machines ("melancholy mad elephants") in Dicken's Hard Times against the context of early Victorian physiology and psychiatry. Ketabgian's analysis of the "animal machine" as a potential site for the critique of the Victorian social and industrial order is innovative and refreshing.
NAVSA is delighted to announce the winners of the Donald Gray Prize for the Best Essay published in the field of Victorian studies in the previous year. Named after Donald J. Gray, Culbertson Professor Emeritus in the English Department of Indiana University, the Donald Gray Prize is awarded to the best essay that appeared in print in journals from the previous calendar year on any topic related to the study of Victorian Britain. It carries with it an award of $1000. Essays are self-nominated and are also submitted by journal editors and members of the NAVSA Advisory Board.
2006 Gray Prize
The North American Victorian Studies Association is now seeking nominations
for the annual Donald Gray Prize for best essay published in the field of
Victorian Studies. The prize carries with it an award of $1000 and will be
awarded to essays that appeared in print in journals from the previous
calendar year, on any topic related to the study of Victorian Britain. (The
prize is limited to journal essays; those published in essay collections are
not eligible.) Anyone, regardless of NAVSA membership status, is free to
nominate an essay that appeared in print between 1 January 2005 and 31
December 2005. Self-nominated essays are welcome; nominations will also be
solicited from the Advisory Board of NAVSA and the prize committee judges.
Authors may be from any country and of any institutional standing.
To nominate an essay, please submit by Friday, 7 April 2006:
- a brief
cover sheet with complete address and email information for both the
essay's nominator and its author, and
- four hard copies of the essay to
the Executive Secretary of NAVSA at the following address:
Melissa V. Gregory
Department of English
Mail Stop 925
University of Toledo
Toledo, Ohio 43606
Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Further
information about the prize may be found at