BrANCH Harriet Tubman essay prize

BrANCH is pleased to announce that submissions are open for the Harriet Tubman essay prize for the best undergraduate essay or research project by black, Asian, or other minority ethnic students based in the UK. The prize is generously co-sponsored by the Royal Historical Society and the Runnymede Trust.

Named for the formerly enslaved woman, abolitionist and activist, the prize has been initiated to encourage more BAME students to consider postgraduate work in 19th century American history (not necessarily into slavery and abolition, however).

BrANCH is pleased to invite submissions for its Harriet Tubman Essay Prize.

Three prizes of up to £200 each will be awarded for the best undergraduate essays or research projects by Black, Asian, or other minority ethnic students based in the UK.

The recent survey of our discipline undertaken by BrANCH, BAAS and HOTCUS, supported by reports published by the British Association of American Studies and the Royal Historical Society, has identified major obstacles to racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion in UK university History. One such obstacle is the progression of BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) students from undergraduate to postgraduate level.  As an organisation BrANCH is seeking to initiate positive and ongoing action in response to these obstacles. Named for the fugitive enslaved woman, abolitionist, and activist, the prize has been initiated to encourage more BAME students to consider postgraduate work in 19th century history (not necessarily into slavery and abolition, however).

We therefore invite submissions of undergraduate coursework written on any area of American history in the long nineteenth century by students identifying as BAME and in their second or third year of undergraduate study (third or fourth year in Scottish HEIs).  Work should be 2500-3500 words in length, to include notes but exclude bibliography.  While we expect the thematic content to be broad, judges will look for level of knowledge, writing style, degree of original thinking and overall quality of the piece.

Submissions should be sent by EITHER academic staff OR the student to BrANCH EDI Officer Liz Barnes at e.barnes@reading.ac.uk, including a letter from any lecturer in the department confirming author’s registration on an undergraduate course.  Please include a permanent mailing address and email address for the student.

We encourage staff members to send this call for entries to their classes and to encourage students who self-identify as BAME to submit their own work for consideration.

Deadline for submissions: Friday June 24th, 2022

The winning entry will be announced after this deadline, with the prize money sent directly to the successful student.

All entrants to the Tubman prize will also receive free membership to BrANCH for the calendar year.

List of Harriet Tubman Prize Winners

To read past Tubman prize winning essays, please visit this page.

2021

Winner:

Saanika Dhillon (UCL)

Worthy of Commendation:

Rebecca Barrow (UEA)

Kush Thakrar (UCL)

2020

Winner:

Tayyiba Nasir (Queen Mary, University of London), Why Nat Turner’s Life Mattered: The Origins of Black Protest in the US

Worthy of Commendation:

Caine Tayo Lewin-Turner (Bristol University), Masculine Memories: Gender and Slaveholding in the Black Power Movement’s Memory of US Slavery