Best First Article Prize in Iberian History 2014

Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies


The committee for the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies’s Best First Article Prize in Iberian History invites submissions for this year’s competition. Articles on Iberian history published in 2012, 2013 or 2014 and in any of the three languages of the Association (English, Portuguese, and Castilian) are eligible for the prize, which carries an honorarium of $250. Each submission must be its author’s first published article to be considered for the prize, and authors must be active members of the ASPHS to be eligible for consideration. This year’s award will be announced at the 2015 annual meeting of the ASPHS in Baltimore, Maryland.
A copy of the published article, the table of contents of the journal or volume in which the article was published, and the author’s c.v., including current contact information, must accompany each submission. Please email complete materials in pdf form to each of the three members of the prize committee. Please direct queries to the chair of the prize committee. The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2014, but early submissions are strongly encouraged.
Ruth MacKay, Best First Article Prize Committee Chair
Lisa Surwillo
Adam Beaver
On a three-year rotation, the Association offers a prize for the best dissertation award, the best first article award, and best first book award.
Schedule of upcoming awards:
2012-2013: book
2013-2014: dissertation
2014-2015: article
2015-2016: book
2016-2017: dissertation
2017-2018: article
The ASPHS “Best” Committee is pleased to announce the winner of the 2013-14 award for the best dissertation.  Fernando Vicente Albarrán’s Los barrios negros: El Ensanche Sur en la formación del moderno Madrid (1860-1931) (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2011) demonstrates an excellent command of the field and literature. The argument of this work of social and economic history focused on modern Madrid is beautifully presented. Vicente Albarrán’s depth of sophisticated historical analysis and usage of a wide array of primary sources is impressive. His work opens up a new vein of scholarship into immigration, social segregation, and delinquency. Additionally, his work balances a wide array of local and global issues. His sophisticated prose is lively and insightful.

Honorable Mention is Sarah Hamilton for Lake Effects: Transnational History and the Making of a Valencian Landscape (University of Michigan, 2013). This work is a wonderfully written, environmental who-done-it about the past and future of the Albufera, the iconic lagoon that is the symbol of Valencian identity. The fact that Hamilton has a good story to tell does not obscure the sophistication of her analysis in a field that barely exists in Spain. As her title indicates, Hamilton’s view is wide—one cannot understand the local without looking at how national and European Union environmental policies have shaped, largely for the worse, the fate of this region and those who live in it. It is a sobering and eye-opening work of history.

Second Honorable mention is Laura Fernández-Gonzalez for her two-volume dissertation Philip II of Spain & Monarchia Universalis: Architecture, Urbanism, & Imperial Display in Habsburg Iberia, 1561-1598 (University of Edinburgh, 2012). This dissertation is an innovative and important contribution to early modern scholarship. Fernández-Gonzalez brings to bear methodologies and literatures from several subfields to provide an insightful and sophisticated treatment of the relationships between space and power. Her work invites us to think much more thoughtfully about the physical spaces of the archives and their historical meanings.

The 2012-13 Best First Book award went to James Matthews, Reluctant Warriors:  Republican Popular Army and Nationalist Army Conscripts in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 (Oxford University Press, 2012).”
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