Although I am currently writing on an 18th-century subject, and although I'm a life member of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (when my new copy of the journal Eighteenth-Century Studies arrives, I usually jump around the house with glee), I didn't know so much about possible publishing prizes in my field. This week when I asked scholars from anthropology, history, English, Spanish & Portuguese, and more if they knew about prizes in their fields, most said no. But guess what? Knowing about prizes is crucial. Often you can even self-nominate.
Here is just one of the prizes listed on the website for ASECS. I became so interested in James L. Clifford (a scholar whose name I recognized from Johnson studies) that I looked up his New York Times obituary. He died at age 77 in 1978 after a remarkable career. He had an engineering degree from MIT, and he might have stayed in that field had he not read Boswell's Life of Johnson in 1929 during a course at Columbia. He joined Columbia's faculty in 1946 after the second World War, and he stayed there until his retirement. What a guy. And what an honor it would be to win the prize named for him.
The James L. Clifford Prize goes to the author of an article on an outstanding study of some aspect of eighteenth-century culture, interesting to any eighteenth-century specialist, regardless of discipline. It carries an award of $500.
· The article should be no longer than 15,000 words.
· The article must have appeared in print in a journal, festschrift, or other serial publication between July 2008 and June 2009.
· The article may be nominated by a member of the society, by its author, or by an editor of the publishing journal. Self-nominations are limited to one article per year.
· Nominations must be accompanied by nine (9) copies of the article and must be received in the ASECS office no later than 1 January 2010.
· The author must be a member of the ASECS at the time of submission.