Category Archives: prizes

Street Ballads in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Ireland and North America is runner up in the Katharine Briggs Award 2015

We’re delighted to hear that David Atkinson and Steve Roud’s edited volume: Street Ballads in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Ireland and North America is the runner up in this year’s Katharine Briggs Award.

The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award is an annual book prize established by the Folklore Society to encourage the study of folklore, to help improve the standard of folklore publications in Britain and Ireland, to establish The Folklore Society as an arbiter of excellence, and to commemorate the life and work of the distinguished scholar Katharine Mary Briggs (1898-1980; Society president 1969-1972).

Here are the judges’ comments about the book:

“A wide-ranging, masterly study of the complex interface between street literature, in the form of printed broadsides, and folk song as performed in nineteenth century Britain, North America and Ireland. An important contribution to debate on the relationship between printed and oral popular culture.”

Street balladsIn recent years, the assumption that traditional songs originated from a primarily oral tradition has been challenged by research into ‘street literature’ – that is, the cheap printed broadsides and chapbooks that poured from the presses of jobbing printers from the late sixteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. Not only are some traditional singers known to have learned songs from printed sources, but most of the songs were composed by professional writers and reached the populace in printed form. Street Ballads in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and North America engages with the long-running debate over the origin of traditional songs by examining street literature’s interaction with, and influence on, oral traditions.

Contents:  Introduction, Steve Roud; Was there really a ‘mass extinction of old ballads’ in the romantic period?, David Atkinson; Birmingham broadsides and oral tradition, Roy Palmer; The Newcastle song chapbooks, Peter Wood; Forgotten broadsides and the song tradition of Scots travellers, Chris Wright; Welsh balladry and literacy, Ffion Mair Jones; Ballads and ballad singers: Samuel Lover’s tour of Dublin in 1830, John Moulden; Henry J. Wehman and cheap print in late 19th-century America, Norm Cohen; ‘I’d have you to buy it and learn it’: Sabine Baring-Gould, his fellow collectors, and street literature, Martin Graebe; The popular ballad and the book trade: ‘Bateman’s Tragedy’ versus ‘The Demon Lover’, David Atkinson; Mediating Maria Marten: comparative and contextual studies of the Red Barn ballads, Tom Pettitt; ‘Old Brown’s Daughter’: re-contextualizing a ‘locally’ composed Newfoundland folk song, Anna Kearney Guigné; Select bibliography; Index.

About the Editors: David Atkinson is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, UK. Steve Roud is an independent scholar in the UK.


‘Here is a very important book for anyone who is interested in the origins and evolution of folk song. …essential if you have any interest in this subject.’   English Dance and Song Magazine

‘This is a well-balanced collection, exhibiting throughout the results of careful research, drawing considered conclusions. Ballad studies are thriving, and it is a welcome addition to the field.’   Folk Music Journal

‘The essays are detailed and informative – I learned a lot from them … Street Ballads takes a large step beyond the pieties of authenticity that have often constrained scholarship on ballads, and it provides a model for future investigations into the complex histories of a tantalising cultural form.’   SHARP News

Erika Gaffney Honored at the Attending to Early Modern Women Conference

Erika Gaffney award Early Modern WomenWe are exceedingly pleased and proud to share the news that Ashgate’s Publishing Manager for Literary & Visual Studies, Erika Gaffney, was honored at this year’s Attending to Early Modern Women conference. The Society feted her not only with an impressive cake but also with a most beautiful gift: an etching after Rembrandt by Master Engraver Amand Durand presented by Merry Wiesner-Hanks, editor of the Sixteenth-Century Journal and the Journal of World History.

Professor Wiesner-Hanks writes,

“The Attending to Early Modern Women conference and the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women were pleased to present a small token of our thanks to Erika Gaffney for her inspirational and tireless work at Ashgate Press at a book launch of Mapping Gendered Routes and Spaces in the Early Modern World at the ATW conference in Milwaukee in June. Her sponsorship of the series Women and Gender in the Early Modern World, and other books on topics dear to our hearts, has allowed exciting multidisciplinary scholarship to flourish and scores of able young scholars to advance in their careers. When members of the audience at the launch were asked to stand if they had been published by Ashgate, nearly half did, and when asked to stand if they WISHED to be published by Ashgate, all did. To a woman (and a few men), they told stories about how wonderful it has been to work with Erika, and the way she has helped the field to remain dynamic and growing at a time when other publishers are slashing their lists. We truly could not have come as far as we have without her.”

We congratulate Erika on receiving this well-deserved acknowledgment of her outstanding service to the profession.

Two Ashgate Law authors win prestigious prizes in the same week!

Posted by Sarah Stilwell, Senior Marketing Executive

Ashgate is proud to be the publisher of award-winning books by authors Richard Weisman and Nicholas Lord, both of whom received news of their awards this month.

Showing remorseRichard Weisman has won the 2015 Canadian Law and Society Association Book prize for his book Showing Remorse: Law and the Social Control of Emotion.

In this carefully argued and researched volume, Richard Weisman provides an original examination of the concept of remorse. The work constitutes a valuable addition to the literature on this complex issue and will be of great interest to socio-legal scholars and legal practitioners alike.’   Julian V. Roberts, University of Oxford, UK

‘While contemporary criminal justice is officially secular and fact-driven, offenders are nevertheless expected to show remorse, and lack of visible remorse can have a marked negative impact in parole and probation contexts as well as in sentencing. In this innovative work Richard Weisman explores the complex emotional, psychological and legal issues raised by the criminal justice’s system unwritten expectations about offending and remorse. The book will be of interest to criminologists, socio-legal scholars, forensic psychologists, defence lawyers, and judges, but it is also accessible to the general public.’   Mariana Valverde, University of Toronto, Canada

This is the second award for Showing Remorse, which also won Honorable Mention for the 2014 Distinguished Book Award of the Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association.

Showing Remorse is published as part of the Law, Justice and Power series

Richard Weisman is Professor Emeritus, Department of Social Science, Law and Society Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, and Department of Sociology, Glendon College, York University, in Toronto, Canada.

Author Nicholas Lord has also been announced as an award winner: he is joint winner of the Criminology Book Prize 2015, awarded by the British Society of Criminology, for his book Regulating Corporate Bribery in International Business: Anti-corruption in the UK and Germany.

Regulating corporate bribery in international business‘This excellent book is that rare thing – a readable and detailed examination of the dilemmas that contemporary societies – especially the UK and Germany – face in dealing with corporations operating transnationally in international commerce that use bribery to win or maintain contracts in overseas jurisdictions, often poor countries that most NGO campaigns focus on. Nick Lord persuasively argues that historical traditions have left a contemporary legacy that complicates international co-operation in prosecuting transnational and complexly organised corporate crimes. With well researched case studies, he shows that these historical traditions help us understand the limitations of criminal sanctioning by sovereign actors as an enforcement mechanism for controlling illicit corporate behaviour. He thoughtfully broadens out these case studies to discuss the overlap of regulatory and criminal justice in a context ignored in most recent work on preventive justice.’   Michael Levi, Cardiff University, UK

In addition, Nicholas Lord is also the winner of the 2014 Young Career Award of the White-Collar Crime Research Consortium / National White-Collar Crime Center, USA.

Regulating Corporate Bribery in International Business is published as part of the Law, Crime and Culture series

Nicholas Lord is a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Law at the University of Manchester. He has research expertise in the area of white-collar and corporate crimes of a financial and economic nature such as fraud, corruption and bribery along with interests in regulation theory and corporate governance. He completed his PhD in criminology and an MSc in Social Science Research Methods in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University and his BA in Criminology and German at Lancaster University.

Things Verbal and Things Herbal: Leah Knight’s Reading Green in Early Modern England receives the 2014 BSLS Book Prize

Posted by Beth Whalley, Marketing Executive

Reading GreenCongratulations to Leah Knight, whose book Reading Green in Early Modern England has been announced as the winner of the 2014 British Society for Literature and Science book prize.

Ranging across contexts from early modern optics and olfaction to horticulture and herbal health care, Knight’s study explores a host of human encounters with the green world: both the impressions we make upon it and those it leaves with us. Reading Green explores the physical and figurative potentials of ‘green’ as they were understood in Renaissance England, including some that foreshadow our paradoxical dependence on and sacrifice of the green world.

The BSLS prize panel was highly impressed by the style, method, adventure and innovation of the study. Knight, whose first monograph (Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England) won the prize in 2009, said:

I am of course delighted that Reading Green won the BSLS book prize. The support of my colleagues working at the nexus of literature and science means a great deal.

As to my motivation for Reading GreenAfter Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England, I had the nagging feeling of unfinished business in my exploration of the interrelations of plants and books. New angles and new evidence for their historical interplay just kept cropping up, even when I wasn’t looking.

Then again, some of my motivation in returning to the topic might be owing to my unsettled sense about the relations between the intellectual to the natural world. There’s something utopian about the paired settings of the library and the garden, but the predatory dependence of books on plants seems to stand for an insidious conflict. The chapters in Reading Green let me work through some of these complexities as they played out in early modern England, a time and place when the material and mental cultures of things verbal and things herbal were in tremendous flux. 

The Islamic Villa in Early Medieval Iberia wins the 2015 Eleanor Tufts Award – Congratulations Glaire D. Anderson!

Posted by Luana Life, Marketing Coordinator

The Islamic Villa in Early Medieval IberiaEvery year the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies recognizes an outstanding publication in the area of Spanish or Portuguese art history. This year the committee has honored Glaire D. Anderson’s book, The Islamic Villa in Early Medieval Iberia with the award and remarked:

‘This publication met and surpassed the stipulated award criteria of “originality of conception, thoroughness of research, rigor of argument, brilliance of insight, significance of findings, and clarity of expression.” Although the book will engage and satisfy specialists in Islamic art and architecture, Anderson’s clear prose makes it accessible and valuable to anyone with an interest in a host of related fields.’ The 2015 Eleanor Tufts Book Award Committee

Previous reviews have also applauded the book:

‘Architects, historians, and art historians, as well as scholars and students of medieval culture, will undoubtedly enjoy Anderson’s book.’   Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review

‘…full of intellectual insights…’   Speculum

‘…an innovative study and an enjoyable read…’   Mariam Rosser-Owen, Victoria and Albert Museum

‘…meticulous study…’   Marcus Milwright, University of Victoria

About the Author: Glaire D. Anderson is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Learn more about The Islamic Villa in Early Medieval Iberia.

‘Loading the Silence’ is joint winner of the Rebecca Coyle Prize

Posted by Maxine Cook, Marketing Assistant

Loading the silenceMany congratulations to Linda Ioanna Kouvaras, whose title, Loading the Silence: Australian Sound Art in the Post-Digital Age, has been awarded joint winner of the 2014 Rebecca Coyle Prize. This year the judges decided there were two titles worthy of the prize, resulting in a second 2014 publication prize being awarded to Loading the Silence. The panel described Loading the Silence as “a highly accomplished piece of scholarship – extensive, rich, complex, well written, and thorough.”

The prize is awarded annually, by the IASPM ANZ, to the best paper on popular music in Australasia. The prize is named in honour of long time IASPM ANZ member, Rebecca Coyle, to commemorate her work advancing popular music studies and mentoring emerging academic talent.

The book has previously received high praise in reviews:

“… Kouvaras has created a reference of vital importance, a book of international significance that is likely to be considered a seminal work in the study of sound art.”   Music Forum

“In Loading the Silence Linda Kouvaras does a real favour for those seeking to learn about and from the political sonicities of the avant garde of the 1970s and since. That she does so in the context of Australian musical practices makes the stories she tells all the more fascinating for those of us regrettably less familiar with that continent’s (sometimes “un-Australian”) experimentality. Refreshingly, Kouvaras’s critical curiosity embraces musical practices and places: the leaky sounds and voicings of women’s bodies, the hospital, the unwatery landscape itself… A convincing critical compendium is the result.”   George McKay, University of Salford, UK

Dr Linda Kouvaras is a Senior Lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Choice Outstanding Academic Title awards for 2014

Posted by Emily Ferro, Marketing Coordinator

Ashgate is thrilled to announce that Choice has honored three Ashgate books by naming them Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014. The recognized titles are Decolonizing Social Work; Ageing, Ritual and Social Change: Comparing the secular and religious in Eastern and Western Europe; and The Ashgate Research Companion to the Thirty Years’ War. Books recognized by Choice display ‘excellence in presentation and scholarship’ and provide content of significance in their field of study. Out of the thousands of titles reviewed by Choice in 2014, only 10% were celebrated as Outstanding Academic Titles.

Decolonizing social workDecolonizing Social Work by Mel Gray, John Coates, Michael Yellow Bird, and Tiani Hetherington features articles written by Indigenous and non-Indigenous social work scholars examining local cultures, beliefs, values, and practices as central to decolonization. Choice notes that the volume is “a sturdy reminder of the vast social justice work still to do in the world.” Through careful amalgamation of the work of the essayists, Gray, Coates, Yellow Bird, and Hetherington interrogate trends, issues, and debates in Indigenous social work theory, practice methods, and education models. Choice compliments the book’s readability and its glossary, and highly recommends it to all academics, libraries, and practitioners.

Ageing ritual and social changeAgeing, Ritual and Social Change by Peter Coleman, Daniela Koleva, and Joanna Bornat explores European changes in religious and secular beliefs and practices related to life passages. “The editors and contributors deserve appreciation for undertaking this challenging comparative project,” writes Choice, calling the collection “A significant multidisciplinary contribution to the literature on aging, religion/ritual, comparative oral history, and social change.” Drawing on fascinating oral histories of older people’s memories in both Eastern and Western Europe, this book presents illuminating views on peoples’ quests for existential meaning in later life. Choice highly recommends Ageing, Ritual and Social Change for upper-division undergraduates and up.

Ashgate research companion to the thirty years warThe final book named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2014 is The Ashgate Research Companion to the Thirty Years’ War by Olaf Asbach and Peter Schröder. A comprehensive and authoritative overview of research on one of the most destructive conflicts in European history, Choice notes that this book “will serve for some time as an essential starting point for research on the origins, conduct, and legacies of the wars and the peace.” By combining the work of key international scholars, this research companion explores the complexities of the conflict using an innovative comparative approach. Choice deems this book “Essential,” recommending it to all upper-division undergraduates and up.

Congratulations to all of the honorees.

For a listing of all of our recent prizewinners, visit