Two Brown Prizes are being awarded in 2016, to Marisa Galvez (Stanford University) for Songbook: How Lyrics became Poetry in Medieval Europe(University of Chicago Press, 2012) and to Nicholas Paul (Fordham University) for To Follow in their Footsteps: The Crusades and Family Memory in the High Middle Ages (Cornell University Press, 2012).
Committee members: Barbara Shailor (Yale Univ.) (Chair), Meredith Lillich (Univ. of Syracuse), and David Nirenberg (Univ. of Chicago).
Marisa Galvez has offered a fresh and ambitious interpretation of the medieval songbook in her volume Songbook: How Lyrics became Poetry in Medieval Europe. Drawing upon a wide range of primary manuscript materials in Latin, German, Old French, Occitan, and Castilian, Galvez explores the concept of authorship in an emerging literary genre across more than 200 years of medieval culture. As noted in the Times Literary Supplement: the book “asks a big enduring question, is comparative, interested in materiality and theoretically informed.”
Nicholas Paul's book To Follow in their Footsteps: The Crusades and Family Memory in the High Middle Ages offers an original investigation into collective memory in the first crusading century. Paul draws upon widely-ranging sources (texts and material objects) in family history, anthropology, literary theory and sociology to illuminate the historical context and dynastic narratives of the Crusades. His conclusion about the failure of Henry II of England and Alfonso II of Aragon “to take the cross” brings the study to a well-defined and compelling conclusion.