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World History PhD student, Steph Mawson, wins 2017 Alexander Prize

last modified Aug 08, 2017 04:07 PM

Steph Mawson picSteph Mawson, PhD student in World History, has won the prestigious Alexander Prize 2017. The Royal Historical Society awards the prize for an essay or article based on original historical research, by a doctoral candidate or those recently awarded their doctorate, published in a journal or an edited collection of essays.

 

The prize was awarded for her article, ‘Convicts or Conquistadores?: Spanish Soldiers in the Seventeenth-Century Pacific,’ Past and Present, Vol. 232, No. 1 (2016), 87-125.

 

Further details on Steph’s research is available here:

http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/directory/stephanie-mawson


The prize citation is as follows:

 

This ambitious and important article examines the ragtag army which colonized the Spanish East Indies during the seventeenth century. Its deep archival research reveals ordinary soldiers to have been quite unlike their stereotypical depiction as conquistadores. They were a motley collection of criminals, vagrants and fugitives, many conscripted and mostly from New Spain, who seldom shared the spoils of conquest with their commanding officers.

The author at once restores agency to these historical figures and displays its narrow limits. Mutiny and desertion were among the few pathways open to the conscripted and the mistreated. Such a small, impoverished and volatile force could not be relied upon to achieve Spain’s imperial ambitions, resulting in the recruitment of increasing numbers of indigenous troops.

The article offers a compelling portrait of the early modern Philippines. Its intertwining of social and military history makes it distinctive among submissions dominated by intellectual history. Its success in ‘[h]umanising and complicating the face of imperialism’ invites historians of empire to take account of the conflicting interests and motives of the colonisers and their correspondingly diverse relationships to the colonised.”

New joint degrees start October 2017

Funding Notices

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships (internal deadline, 21st August 2017)

Full information on this scheme is available on the Faculty website HERE. Although the scheme will not be opened by the British Academy (BA) until c.23rd August, institutions are directed to run internal selection competitions in advance. The relevant page of the BA website is HERE. Funding is available for early career scholars to join an institution of their choice (subject to the host’s agreement) for three years plus research expenses. The BA will award up to 45 Fellowships nationally

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