Accolades for Dissertations in the Social Sciences - IBP 2019

Chairman's Accolade

Ed Pulford, On Northeast Asian Frontiers of History and Friendship. (Cambridge University)
Ed Pulford's On Northeast Asian Frontiers of History and Friendship examines the Chinese, Russian and Korean manifestations of historical forces shaping this region from the Qing period to the present day. It focuses on the encounters and friendships – particularly masculinised friendship – shaping this frontier space in a multi-faceted cross-disciplinary dissertation of considerable interest.

Specialist Accolade

Mekhola Sophia Gomes, Expressions of Power: Representations and Practices of Kingship Beyond the Vindhyas, ca. 3rd century CE – 8th century CE. (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Sophia Gomes’s Expressions of Power is a classical Indology-based study of early medieval copper-plate inscriptions from the Deccan. It demonstrates the connection between inscriptional forms and the articulation of royal power and authority in early India. An original approach, and an authoritative work that should evolve into an important monograph.

Ground-breaking Subject Matter Accolade

Isabella Maria Weber, China’s Escape from the ‘Big Bang’: The 1980s Price Reform Debate in Historical Perspective. (Cambridge University)
Isabella Weber’s China’s Escape from the ‘Big Bang’ analyses intellectual and bureaucratic traditions that prevented China from adopting the ‘big bang’ doctrine of rapid liberalisation, instead implementing a dual track price system. Her comprehensive case study is discussed in comparison with various historical and geographical contexts.

Most Accessible and Captivating Work for the Non-specialist Reader Accolade

Emily Sekine, The Unsteady Earth: Geological Kinships in Post-Fukushima Japan. (The School for Social Research, New York)
Emily Sekine’s The Unsteady Earth is an extremely well-written exploration of dynamic relationships between people’s lives, perceptions, experiences and earth processes. Located in post-Fukushima Japan, her study brings an interesting perspective on these processes seen not only as disastrous and destructive, but also creative and beneficial forces.