2018 Gunson Prize

21 August 2018

A prize of AUD$1,000 will be awarded at the Cambridge Pacific History Association Conference, for the winner of the Gunson Essay Prize Competition. Postgraduate or senior students from any country are invited to submit an essay in English between 5,000 and 8,000 words on any topic relating to the pasts of the Island Pacific and its peoples to jph@anu.edu.au (by 1 November 2018).

Each entry should consist of two documents: one with the author’s name, contact details, essay title and abstract of 150 words; the other consisting of the essay itself, anonymised, with title, abstract and text. Referencing should be consistent, accurate and complete, but authors do not need to follow any one particular set of conventions for presentation. Please note that an essay submitted for the prize should not have been published or accepted for publication in any outlet by the closing date for entries.

The winning entry will, in the eyes of the judges, make the most valuable contribution to our historical knowledge and draw convincingly from relevant sources to communicate effectively. The judging committee will consist of three members, including a special speaker at the Pacific History Association Conference, a representative of the Pacific History Association and a representative of The Journal of Pacific History. The prize promotes the work of scholars at the early stages of their research. It also pays tribute to Dr Niel Gunson, from the Australian National University, for mentoring so many students and scholars over a lifetime of dedication to Pacific history.

The prize is awarded every two years in conjunction with the Pacific History Association’s biennial conference.

  • The inaugural 2012 prize was won by Nicholas Hoare (then at Victoria University of Wellington), ‘“Harry” Holland and Samoa: the Labour leader’s “Samoa complex”’.

  • In 2014, the winner of the prize was Kristie Patricia Flannery (then at the University of Texas at Austin), for the essay “Battlefield Diplomacy and Empire-building in the Early Modern Pacific World”.

  • The 2016 prize went to Benjamin Sacks (then at the University of Western Australia), “Running Away with Itself”: Missionaries, Islanders and the Reimagining of Recreation in Samoa, 1830–1939’.

The 2018 Niel Gunson Prize winner will be announced at the PHA conference in Cambridge in December. For further details, contact The Journal of Pacific History, jph@anu.edu.au.

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