1. The Rules for the 2016 Book Awards

2. The Book Awards winners for 2014

3. Archives: the Book Awards winners for 2006, 2008,
2010, and 2012
The Book Awards are part of ESSE's Research and Support Project, which inlcudes:

For books first published in 2014 and 2015

ESSE Book Award (Category A):  A book prize of €1,500 will be awarded by ESSE in 2016, coinciding with the 13th Conference to be held in Galway, Ireland, for books first published in 2014 or 2015 in each of the following fields:
a) English language and linguistics
b) Literatures in the English language
c) Cultural and area studies in English

ESSE Book Award for Junior Scholars (Category B): A further book prize of €1,500 will be awarded by ESSE in 2016 to a junior scholar for a first research book published in English in each of the three fields mentioned above, provided that publication was in 2014 or 2015.

The deadline for submission of books is 1 February 2016. The winners will be announced on the occasion of ESSE-13 in Galway, Ireland.

The requirements are as follows:
(1) Books eligible for prizes will be those published in English; they should have an ISBN. PhD dissertations published in book format, with an ISBN, are accepted. Editions of collected essays will NOT qualify for these prizes. The books must be works of scholarly research in the field of English studies. Undergraduate textbooks will not be considered.
(2) Any number of books may be submitted by the same author (provided that they are published within the admitted period of time), except for category B, since junior scholars are expected to submit their first research book published in English.
(3)  All books will be evaluated strictly on the basis of their academic value, without regard to publisher, country of publication or nationality of the author.
(4) Authors must be members of national associations affiliated to ESSE.
(5) Three copies must be provided of each book submitted for consideration. No book will be considered for an award unless three copies have been received. The copies will not be returned.
(6) Candidates should write an email to the President of ESSE, Prof. Liliane Louvel liliane.louvel@wanadoo.fr, with copy to the Treasurer of ESSE, Prof. Alberto Lázaro alberto.lazaro@uah.es, informing them of their intention to participate, declaring their affiliation to a national association which is a member of ESSE, giving their university address, mentioning the field and the category (A or B) to which their book belongs, and indicating whether the copies of the book will be sent by the author or by the publisher. Candidates for the Category B award should also include a brief CV which must contain at least their date of birth, university affiliation, main field(s) of research and previous publications.
After receiving the President’s approval, the three review copies should be sent to one of the addresses below by 1 FEBRUARY 2016. The deadline must be observed.

Books in English language and linguistics should be sent to the following address:
Prof. Smiljana Komar
Oddelek za anglistiko in amerikanistiko
Filozofska fakulteta
Askerceva 2
1000 Ljubljana

Books in Literatures in the English language should be sent to the following address:
Prof. Alberto Lázaro
Departamento de Filología Moderna
Universidad de Alcalá
C/ Trinidad, 3
28801 Alcalá de Henares, Madrid

Books in Cultural and area studies in English should be sent to the following address:
Prof. Liliane Louvel
2 rue de Bois Frémin
86190 Quincay

The selection committees (three members each) will be appointed by the Board of ESSE in each of the three fields and for the two categories named above. Their composition will not be made public. Board members shall not pass on any information concerning this matter to the members of their associations. The Executive of ESSE will replace any members who are unable to carry out their duties. The Chairs of the selection committees will report progress regularly to the President of ESSE. The members of the committees can be Board members or ESSE members invited by the Board to do the selection job. The members of the committees and the ESSE Board are excluded from submitting their own books.
(7)    Two months before the opening of the conference a shortlist of a maximum of five books in each field and category will be announced on the ESSE Website. Board members are asked to report to the President any misgivings that they may have about the propriety of awarding a prize to any book on the shortlist, with the President passing on such comments to the committees if he deems it appropriate. The committees will recommend the awards to the Board, or they may recommend that no award be made in a particular field.  The committees can also recommend the conferment of “honourable mentions” to any shortlisted books. The President will report to the Board whether the work of the committees has been satisfactorily conducted. The Board may then approve the recommendations of the committees or they may reject a recommendation, in which case no award will be given in that field or category. Winners will be informed immediately in confidence, and the awards will be publicly announced at the General Meeting of ESSE, in Galway, Ireland.



Award in Category A: no Award

Award in Category B:

Lutzky, Ursula. Discourse Markers in Early Modern English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2012.

The book is an extensive corpus-based study that offers a very thorough, systematic and clear analysis of three discourse markers (marry, well, why) in Early Modern English.
Although the topic of discourse markers has received more than ample attention in both pragmatics and historical pragmatics, this study succeeds in providing valuable new insights by analysing three large multi-genre corpora, including the annotated Drama Corpus. The three discourse markers have been analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively, taking into account their frequency, functions, text-type and sociopragmatic distribution in terms of social status and gender.
The literature review offers an excellent, focused overview of the relevant domain, where the author has thoroughly analysed and commented upon the previous research, and clearly set her theoretical, methodological and terminological stance.
Each methodological choice that was made is elaborately justified, and the (quantitative and qualitative) analyses have been carried out meticulously. The sociopragmatic analysis is rare in historical corpus linguistics, but has been approached with apt attention for methodological issues, and may serve as a model for future research. The only drawback to the sociopragmatic analysis is that it considers each of the relevant factors separately without considering potential interrelations, but this limitation has been pointed out by the author herself as well.
Not burdened with overwhelming quantitative data, yet providing sufficient illustrative tables and charts to support the claims, the book excels in well-organized structure and coherent argumentation. Moreover, it is generally well-written, in a clear, precise and readable style.
The Committee has unanimously decided that this is a book that deserves the first prize.

Honourable mentions:

Podhajecka, Miroslawa. Russian Borrowings in English. A Dictionary and Corpus Study. Opole: Uniwersytet Opolski, 2013.

Tizón-Couto, David. Left Dislocation in English. A Functional-Discoursal Approach. Bern: Peter Lang AG, 2012.


Award in Category A: no Award

Award in Category B:

Kirchknopf, Andrea. Rewriting the Victorians: Modes of Literary Engagement with the 19th Century Paperback. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2013.

Rewriting the Victorians, the work by Andrea Kirchnopf, is a very well researched study, which engages with literary theory in a thorough and convincing manner and shows a precise and rigorous handling of key concepts and ideas. It is obvious that "Rewriting the Victorians" is a very solid book, well organised and logically developed, with good critical background and handling of the concepts, with convincing argumentation. Therefore, we recommend that it be offered the 1st prize.

Honourable mention:

De Angelis, Irene. The Japanese Effect in Contemporary Irish Poetry. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.


Award in Category A:

Hurtley, Jacqueline. Walter Starkie: An Odyssey. Dublin: Four Courts, 2013.

In Walter Starkie: An Odyssey, Jacqueline Hurtley carefully traces the life and wanderings of her adventurous subject from his birthplace in Ireland through England, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Germany, Africa, Portugal, Spain and the United States. As a supporter of General Franco and Mussolini, Walter Starkie was a controversial figure, but his major contribution to the knowledge of gypsy lore across Europe, as well as his key role as cultural go-between for Spain and the English-speaking world, make him a profoundly complex and endearing personality. This biography spans three quarters of a century and therefore covers both the fate of English as a language and British cultural and political influence in the West throughout the 20th century. Hurtley’s research for this extensive biography of Walter Starkie was a major project and she travelled through many countries and archives to complete her research. This detailed and meticulous biography will be an invaluable asset for other scholars who wish to study Starkie's life and work.

Honorouble mention:

Huggan, Graham. Nature's Saviours: Celebrity Conservationists in the Television Age. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2013.

Award in Category B:

Marianne O'Doherty. The Indies and the Medieval West: Thought, Report, Imagination. Turnhout: Brepols, 2013.

In The Indies and the Medieval West, Marianne O' Doherty helps us to reimagine "the Indies" from a medieval point of view. Her extensive research provides us with indepth analysis of the different editions and translations of highly influential "travel literature" texts. O' Doherty also analyses medieval cartography with a fascinating attention to detail. Her forte lies in the minute codicological study of her material, with scrupulous and illuminating attention paid to the crucial role of the paratext in the shaping and ordering of meaning. She carefully avoids the pitfall of a teleological, progress-centred narrative of the history of representation, focusing instead on the specific mental worlds created by medieval maps in the context that was properly their own. The intricate European networks of circulation of maps, books, and manuscripts, in which England has a significant part, is brilliantly reconstructed. Her commendable research shows that it is possible to combine medieval studies and cultural studies with great success and to provide good background material for contemporary approaches such as native/postcolonial studies, cultural geography and even space theories and historiography.




Award in Category A:

Hugo Bowles. Storytelling and Drama: Exploring Narrative Episodes in Plays. John Benjamins, 2010.

This book provides a highly successful combination of linguistic and literary approaches to the study of narrative episodes in a wide range of dramatic texts from Aeschylus to Pinter. The basic notions of narrative and dramatic discourse (Ch.1) together with the interactional model (2) provide the foundation for the analysis, which falls into two parts, the first (1-4) dealing with the overall methodology, the second (5-8), focusing on the tellability of the narrative episode. Insights from interactional sociolinguistics, narrative theory, conversation analysis, and discourse analysis are utilized in the discussion of the material. An innovative feature is the use of Conversation Analysis techniques for the local or micro-analytical analysis.
    There is a rich inventory of examples of stories from older and more contemporary drama and some longer case studies. However, the numerous illustrations are occasionally somewhat decontextualized, giving the impression of a series of single-case studies. For linguists it may be somewhat unsatisfactory that the examples of story-telling are not collected systematically.
    The book is written with great elegance in a style which makes it accessible both to an audience already familiar with conversational analysis and discourse analysis and newcomers to the field. It is clearly structured moving from a micro-linguistic to a macro-linguistic or interactional perspective in the analysis.
    The author’s thorough discussion of a variety of theoretical and methodological postulates together with the detailed classification of narrative types and subtypes are particular strengths of the study. The work shows that linguistic techniques can contribute to literary analysis. The findings should therefore also be relevant to literary scholars.

Honourable Mentions:

Alwin Frank Fill. The Language Impact. Evolution-System-Discourse. Equinox, 2010.

Anita Naciscione. Stylistic Use of Phraseological Units in Discourse. John Benjamins, 2010.


Award in Category B:

Carlos Prado-Alonso. Full-Verb Inversion in Written and Spoken English. Peter Lang, 2011.

This book is a corpus-based study of full-verb inversion types of written and spoken discourse. The terminological premises are clearly set out and the previous work on the subject is thoroughly analysed and commented on. The corpus investigation of written and spoken corpora is based on two main groups: non-obligatory and obligatory full inversions.  The results indicate that speech and writing do not differ strongly in the number of full inversions but rather in the different types of full inversion used.
    The study is a truly impressive piece of research. Although the topic in general has attracted a lot of research, the study of full inversion in speech has been neglected. The overview of previous work within different formal and functional theories is excellent and also ‘pedagogical’ for readers who for example are not experts in formal generative theory or cognitive linguistics. The author’s argumentation is convincing and the monograph is a pleasure to read. The corpora are well chosen. The ICE corpus is, for example, excellent for identifying full inversion automatically. The corpus also makes it possible to give detailed information about the frequencies of different types of inversion in speech and writing (or fiction and non-fiction) and test hypotheses in previous work. The author makes excellent use of the Finnish linguist N-E. Enkvist's Principle of Experiential Iconicity to explain variation in the linguistic order of elements. The idea that the full inversion structure can be regarded as a construction with variations from a more salient or prototypical construction is very promising for future research.

Honourable Mentions:

Laura Cano Mora. This Book Will Change Your Life! Hyperbole in Spoken English. PUV Universitat de Valčncia, 2011.

Cristiano Furiassi. False Anglicisms in Italian. Polimetrica, 2010.


Award in Category A:

Faye Hammill. Sophistication: A Literary and Cultural History. Liverpool University Press, 2010.

Faye Hammill’s Sophistication is an innovative, well-written and clearly structured book, well-researched in terms of literary and cultural history. It covers an impressive historical and literary breadth, ranging from canonical texts (e.g., Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The School for Scandal, Henry James’s Daisy Miller, Noël Coward's Private Lives or Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita) to once popular but now obscure texts (e.g. Max Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson or Winifred Watson's Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day). It connects sophistication with recent and contemporary nostalgia for modernism, but also, in wider terms, with "nostalgia for earlier technologies, or even pre-technological eras" and recent "retro" fashions. Its principal contribution is the establishment of productive links between the study of literature, fashion and technology in a wide historical scope, from Sentimentalism to late Modernism. This makes the book a unique contribution to both literary and cultural studies.

Honourable Mentions:

Elizabeth Eger. Bluestockings: Women of Reason from Enlightenment to Romanticism. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Claire Jowitt. The Culture of Piracy, 1580-1630: English Literature and Seaborne Crime. Ashgate, 2010.

Award in Category B:

Michelle J. Smith. Empire in British Girls' Literature and Culture: Imperial Girls, 1880-1915. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

In this stimulating study Michelle Smith, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne, sets out to trace representations of girl characters in British children's texts of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to show how they are shaped by the British Empire. To carry out this challenging and interesting task, the author brings together evidence from a wide variety of sources, that include the popular magazine Girls's Own Paper of the period 1880-1907, a handbook of the Girl Guide organization, as well as a large corpus of novels. The book provides a detailed and engaging discussion about a type of cultural production that has often been neglected, that of girls' literature, and manages to bring to the forefront of modern scholarship little-known novels, such as Angela Brazil’s school stories and Bessie Marchant's adventure fiction. The arguments are presented in a cohesive and logical manner, with full awareness of the theoretical and methodological aspects that currently characterize the study of these literary and cultural products. Written in a clear, precise and readable style, this valuable research work succeeds in showing the diversity and complexity of the ways in which the late Victorian and Edwardian girl was portrayed in print culture as a reflector of the imperial project. It may serve as a reliable source of erudite research for the specialist, but also as a volume of pleasant, intellectual reading for those interested in the history of imperial Britain, seen from a less common perspective.

Honourable Mentions:

William May. Stevie Smith and Authorship. Oxford University Press, 2010.

Ana Raquel Lourenço Fernandes. What About the Rogue? Survival and Metamorphosis in Contemporary British Literature and Culture. P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2011.


Award in Category A:

Martin Willis. Vision, Science and Literature, 1870-1920. Pickering & Chatto, 2011.

This is a highly original work and a landmark study whose impact is likely to be long lasting. Victorian perceptions of visuality and modes of seeing are explored in great and fascinating detail with an eye to (pun intended) delineating this Victorian legacy in the contemporary world.  Even the organization and structure of the book are intricate and reminiscent of 17th  century metaphysical poetry, in that they bring together images and realities which seem to be quite remote from one another, and yet whose connections are demonstrated to be much stronger than one might have suspected (the telescope and H. G. Wells' fiction, for example). The book is a "tour de force", and Willis demonstrates with great skill and precision that there is a complex and fruitful interaction between literature, science, and the imagination.

Honourable Mention:

M. O. Grenby. The Child Reader 1700-1840. Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Award in Category B:

Katherine E. Russo. Practices of Proximity. The Appropriation of English in Australian Indigenous Literature. Cambridge Scholars, 2010.

Through an innovative approach that employs a variety of theoretical approaches knowledgeably and astutely, Russo's book challenges a number of assumptions concerning 'genuine' Indigenous Australian culture and its relationship with English. It also challenges those essentializing anthropological approaches that argue for the authenticity of what they regard as valid oral productions in Indigenous languages, as opposed to more recent artistic forms such as rock or rap. Practices of Proximity treats the term ‘appropriation’ in ways that allow the term to expand fluidly within a constantly shifting English language frame. Ultimately, Russo gives this contested and ambiguous term a new dimension in the process of exploring oral and written text as a site of contact. 'Proximity' suggests a zone of endless possibilities for authors, readers and language users to share and reinvent meaning and agency in the context of the painful colonial encounter. The Indigenous peoples of Australia have adapted and adopted the language of the colonizers to make it their own and to suit it to their own needs of self-expression.  This well-written book makes a valuable intervention in the field of postcolonial studies.  Yet, this intervention has a universal scope. Russo's discussion offers ways of reading and understanding cultural and historical as well as linguistic paradigms that are pertinent to any situations of conflict, colonial domination, neocolonial power systems and questions of minority cultural production.

ESSE BOOK AWARDS - The winners for 2010 (Turin)

1. English Language and Linguistics

Category A:

David Banks, The Development of Scientific Writing. Linguistic Features and Historical Context. 2008. London, Oakville: Equinox.

Category B:

Lucia Loureiro-Porto, The Semantic Predecessors of  Need in the History of English (c 750 – 1710). 2009. Wiley-Blackwell.

2. Literatures in the English Language

Category A:

David Duff Romanticism and the Uses of Genre. 2009. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Category B:

Matthew Rubery, The Novelty of Newspapers: Victorian Fiction after the Invention of the News. 2009. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The ESSE Book Award for Junior Scholars 2010 for a book
in the field of Literatures in the English Language.
The judges have made this Special Award to Palgrave Macmillan for
"the Publisher's willingness to cooperate with Junior Scholars".

3. Cultural Studies in English

Category A:

Laurence Talairach-Vielmas, Wilkie Collins, Medicine and the Gothic. 2009. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

Category B:

Patrick Lonergan Theatre and Globalization. 2009. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

"Honourable Mentions" have also been awarded to:

Jorge Braga Riera, Classical Spanish Drama in Restoration English (1660-1700). 2009. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Teresa Prudente, A Specially Tender Piece of Eternity: Virginia Woolf and the Experience of Time. 2009. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Gustav Ungerer, The Mediterranean Apprenticeship of British Slavery. 2008. Madrid: Editorial Verbum.

ESSE BOOK AWARDS - The winners for 2008 (Aarhus)

a)    Field of English language and linguistics:

No prize was awarded in this field in 2008.

b)    Field of Literatures in the English language:

The prize was awarded to Clare Brant for her book Eighteenth-Century Letters and British Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, 2006: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?PID=271521

The committee issued the following statement concerning the book:
"In her book Eighteenth-Century Letters and British Culture  (Palgrave, Macmillan, 2006), Clare Brant offers an excellent survey of letter-writing as well as a profound, well-researched and documented study of the 18th-century British culture. Studying an impressive amount of letters, she explores varied epistolary techniques and shows what systematic attention to letters can reveal about the messages themselves, their authors, and those to whom they are addressed.
Moreover, through the medium of letter-writing, Brant  has chosen an interesting lens to look at the 18th-century English literature and culture. Her study is not a mere exploration of epistolary forms, but a lively introduction into a fascinating epoch, with its specific manners and life-style. The author’s argument is engaging, bold and forceful, and its scope is really impressive."

The book cover
Prof. Clare Brant with Prof. Fernando Galván
Prof. Clare Brant delivering her acceptance speech

c)    Field of Cultural Studies in English:

No prize was awarded in this field in 2008.

ESSE BOOK AWARDS - The winners for 2006 (London)

English Literature : Derek Attridge (University of York) for his book The Singularity of Literature (London: Routledge), 2004. http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/engl/staff/academic/attridge.htm
(see below the photograph of Professor Attridge receiving the ESSE Book Award for English Literature from Professor Adolphe Haberer, President of ESSE in the Beveridge Hall, Senate House, on 2nd September 2006).

The Linguistics of English : John Holm (University of Coimbra, Portugal) for his book Languages in Contact: The Partial Restructuring of Vernaculars ( Cambridge : CUP), 2004.

Cultural Studies : Stavros Stavrou Karayanni ( European University, Cyprus ) for his book Dancing, Fear and Desire: Race, Sexuality and Imperial Politics in Middle Eastern Dance ( Waterloo , Ontario : Wilfird Laurier UP), 2005.