We are pleased to announce our prize winners for 2022, which will be presented at the Embassy of Ireland on 16th May. We would like to formally acknowledge the support of the Embassy, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Cambridge University Press and the Irish Studies Review. In addition to our 2022 winners, we will also welcome our winners from 2020 and 2021 to celebrate their achievements.
The 2022 BAIS Book Prize winner is Richard Kirkland for his Irish London: A Cultural History 1850–1916 (Bloomsbury). Kirkland is a Professor of Irish Literature at King’s College London, UK. His research is focused on the literature, culture, and politics of Ireland in the modern period of contemporary Northern Ireland, during the Irish Literary Revival of the early twentieth century, and in the context of the Irish in London. He has written four monographs and co-edited two collections of essays grouped around these areas. Of Kirkland’s book, the chair of this year’s judges, Dr Clíona O Gallchoir, said that ‘like the city itself, Irish London is a richly varied book full of unexpected and fascinating people, places and events. Ambitious in his aim to create a cultural history of an often elusive population that cannot be tied to any single narrative of immigrant experience, Kirkland draws on a wide range of primary sources from newspapers to paintings, and deftly synthesises a large body of scholarly research to offer the reader a wonderfully immersive insight into the history of an often overlooked but vital aspect of the story of Ireland and the story of London.’
Anna Charczun’s Irish Lesbian Writing Across Time (Peter Lang) was highly commended. Charczun completed her PhD at Brunel University London in 2019, where she received the Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for doctoral research in the same year. Presently, she is working on representations of lesbian desire in Irish short stories. The jury praised Charczun’s book for its ‘important survey of a neglected subject: Irish lesbian writing. Effectively situating the topic within broader European and international trends, it offers detailed, thoughtful readings of a range of texts. I was also impressed at how the author navigates theoretical contexts, taking alternative readings seriously without letting them distract from her own significant interpretations.’
The British Association for Irish Studies is very pleased to announce that Niamh Coffey of the University of Strathclyde has been awarded the 2022 BAIS Postgraduate Essay Prize for her essay ‘“We called ourselves the Irish Ladies’ Distress Committee”: Irish Republican Women in Britain 1916-1923’. Coffey’s essay explores how Irish Republican women in Britain formed a vital network which provided their counterparts in Ireland with weapons, intelligence, and shelter for when they travelled across the Irish Sea. Far from being auxiliary, Coffey argues that these women were an essential part of republican operations and complicated the boundary between the ‘male’ IRA and the ‘female’ Cumann na mBan. Her study is a timely and relevant intervention that makes a vital contribution to the history of Modern Ireland.
Rory Allen (Northumbria) ‘Diversity and distinction in Northern Irish Protestant, unionist and loyalist writing, 2010-present’
Deirdre Canavan (Kings College London) ‘“How terrifying it was not to be numb.” Claiming trauma, glimpsing optimism: women’s cultural production and understandings of reality in post-conflict Northern Ireland’
Seamus Nevin (Oxford) ‘For King and Country: British Imperial Federalism within the Irish nationalist movement during the Home Rule era (1867-1921)’
Susanna Wyse Jackson (York) ‘A Window onto Medieval Ireland: Interpreting and Contextualising the Chapter House Stained Glass at Blackfriary, Co. Meath’