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Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize for Medieval Studies

Leonard E. BoyleThe Canadian Society of Medievalist/Société canadienne des médiévistes (CSM/SCM) awards the Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize annually to an outstanding dissertation in any field of medieval studies that was successfully defended in 2023 by a Canadian or by an international student at a Canadian institution. 

For consideration in the competition, an applicant should ensure that the Chair of the Dissertation Prize Committee receives the following documents by 15 January 2024: (a) an electronic copy of the dissertation, (b) a letter or email of recommendation from the supervisor that includes confirmation of the successful defence in 2023, and (c) a letter or email of recommendation from another member of the dissertation committee or the report by an external reader that indicates the dissertation’s outstanding qualities. Canadians who completed their dissertations at foreign institutions must also provide proof of citizenship, such as a copy of their passport. All materials should be submitted in electronic form.

Please submit to the Boyle committee chair:

Prof. Kouky Fianu, Department of History, University of Ottawa,

The Dissertation Prize Committee adjudicates entries, and the Society presents the prize at its annual general meeting in May or June. The prize consists of a cash award as well as membership in the CSM/SCM for three years, including an annual subscription to the Society’s journal, Florilegium. For more information on the Society, please visit our website:

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.

Past Winners of the Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize

2023 - Arnaud MontreuilÉcrire, décrire, saisir l’adoubement chevaleresque : une histoire de l’hippotogenèse dans l’Europe du Nord-Ouest, le Midi de la France et l’Italie centro-septentrionale (v.1175- v.1300), Université d'Ottawa.

2022 - Stephanie Lahey, "Offcut Zone Parchment in Manuscript Codices from Later Medieval England" (University of Victoria, 2021). Honourable mentionHannah Kirby Wood, "Intersections of Voluntary and Involuntary Poverty: The Friars and the Lay Indigent in Late Medieval England, 1221-c. 1430" (University of Toronto, 2021).

2021- Amélie Marineau-Pelletier, "Écrire, traduire et conserver les lettres missives à Metz: enjeux documentaires et domination sociale des paraiges (XIVe-XVIe siècles)" (Université d'Ottawa, 2020)

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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