Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize for Medieval Studies

The Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize is awarded to a deserving doctoral thesis in any field of medieval studies produced by a Canadian or someone resident in Canada. Entries are adjudicated by the Dissertation Prize Committee, a subcommittee of the Canadian Society of Medievalists, and the prize is presented at the annual meeting of the Society. 

Our annual dissertation prize honours the memory of Fr. Leonard E. Boyle (1923-1999). Fr. Boyle, an Irish Dominican friar, commenced work for a B. Litt. degree at Oxford, but the quality of his project allowed him to transfer to the D.Phil., which he completed in 1956. His particular research expertise was in Latin paleography and in the history of canon law, philosophy, theology, clerical education, and pastoral care. Fr. Boyle taught graduate students at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto from 1961 to 1984. His courses prepared scholars to read and investigate medieval manuscript books and documents. As Prefect of the Vatican Library from 1984 to 1997, he helped to modernize the library and to make it more accessible to researchers. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987. He is buried in Rome’s Basilica of San Clemente.

The 2020 Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize

The competition for the 2020 Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize for Medieval Studies is currently open. This prize will be awarded to an outstanding dissertation in any field of medieval studies. The dissertation must be written by a Canadian or by someone resident in Canada. Entries are adjudicated by the Dissertation Prize Committee, a subcommittee of the Canadian Society of Medievalists (CSM). The prize consists of a cash award as well as membership in the CSM for three years. Members automatically receive copies of the journal Florilegium and the CSM's newsletter Scrinium.

For the current competition, new PhD holders who defended their dissertations in 2019 are invited to submit their work. For consideration in the competition, an applicant should submit the following documents by 15 January 2020 to the Chair of the Committee: (a) one paper copy of the dissertation, (b) one electronic copy of the dissertation, (c) a letter or report from the supervisor, and (d) either (i) an external report or (ii) a letter from an additional member of the dissertation committee. Canadians who completed their dissertations at foreign institutions must also provide proof of citizenship, such as a photocopy or digital scan of their passport.

Please address inquiries and applications to this year's Chair of the Committee:

Allison Fizzard

Associate Professor of History

Campion College at the University of Regina

3737 Wascana Parkway

Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2


Past Winners of the Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize

2020 - Atri Hatef Naiemi, "A Dialogue between Friends and Foes: Transcultural Interactions in Ilkhanid Capital Cities (1256-1335 AD)" (University of Victoria, 2019).

2019 - Ronald Lvovski. “Building Context: the Church of San Julián de los Prados and Medieval Architecture in the Kingdom of Asturias (718-910).” (Toronto: Art History and Visual Culture, York University, 2018)

2018 - Kenneth F. Duggan, "“Communal Justice in Thirteenth-Century England”  (Kings College London, 2017)

2017 - Amanda McVitty, “Treason, Manhood, and the English State: Shaping Constitutional Ideas and Political Subjects through the Laws of Treason, 1397-1424” (Massey University, New Zealand, 2016)

2016 - Rowan Dorin, “Banishing Usury: The Expulsion of Foreign Moneylenders in Medieval Europe, 1200-1450” (Harvard, 2015)

2015 - Magda Hayton, "Inflections of Prophetic Vision: The Reshaping of Hildegard of Bingen's Apocalypticism as Represented by Abridgments of the Pentachronon" (University of Toronto, 2014)

2014 - Lucie Laumonier, "Vivre seul à Montpellier à la fin du Moyen Âge" (Université de Sherbrooke and Université Montpellier, 2013)

2013 - Ariella Elema, "Trial by Battle in France and England" (University of Toronto, 2012)

2012 - Giselle Gos, "Constructing the Female Subject in Anglo-Norman, Middle English, and Medieval Irish Romance" (University of Toronto, 2011)

2011 - Martin Gravel, "Distances, recontres, communications: Les defis de la concorde dans l'Empire carolingien" (Université de Montréal and the Université de Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne 2010)

2010 - Richard Matthew Pollard, "Literary Culture in Ninth-Century Northern Italy" (University of Cambridge, 2009)

2009 - Laura Marchiori, “Art and Reform in Eleventh-Century Rome: The Paintings of S. Maria in Pallara” (Queen’s University at Kingston, 2008)

2008 - No Prize Awarded

2007 - Marica C. Cassis, “Mensa, Thusiasterion, and Madebha: The Evolution of the Permanent Altar in the Early Christian Church” (University of Toronto, 2006)

2006 - Caroline Boucher, “La mise en scène de la vulgarisation. Les traductions d’autorités en langue vulgaire aux XIIIe et XIVe siècles” (Université de Paris, CNRS, 2005)

2005 - Robin Vose, “Converting the Faithful: Dominican Mission in the Medieval Crown of Aragon” (Notre Dame University, 2004)

2004 - Harriet Sonne de Torrens, "De Fontibus Salvatoris: A Liturgical and Ecclesiological Reading of the Representation of the Childhood of Christ on the Medieval Fonts from Scandinavia" (Copenhagen University, 2003)

2003 - Oren Falk, “The Cultural Construction of Violence in Medieval Western Scandinavia” (University of Toronto, 2002)

2002 - Maidi Hilmo, “Images, Icons, and Texts: Illustrated English Literature from the Ruthwell Cross to Ellesmere Chaucer” (University of Victoria, 2001)

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