The R.W. Southern Prize is awarded annually to an excellent paper by a graduate student or young scholar (having completed the Ph.D. within the last three years). Due to a generous donation from an anonymous benefactor, this prize of $250 bears the name of the great medieval historian, who was an early supporter of the Colloquium and its mission.
In the early 1970s, as Professor Edward King was exploring the possibility that the University of the South might host an annual conference in medieval studies, several Sewanee alumni were living and doing graduate work in Oxford, including at St. John's College, of which the distinguished medievalist R.W. Southern had recently become President. On hearing of Dr. King's project, Dr. Southern expressed immediate and keen interest. He was especially supportive of a central concept of Dr. King's: opportunities for young, upcoming scholars to present their work within a relatively informal, encouraging, collaborative context. In his own influential, indeed transformative, work on St Anselm, Dr. Southern had emphasized just that aspect of Anselm's life and thought: "master" with "student" in mutuality of friendship and colloquy. By the time the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium had established itself, and Sir Richard was fêted at its tenth anniversary session, he expressed sheer delight in its Anselmian spirit. It seems therefore particularly fitting that an R.W. Southern Prize should be awarded annually in Sir Richard's memory to a graduate or young scholar.
Read more about Sir Richard Southern.
2016: Samuel Barry, University of Manchester
2015: Lindy Brady, University of Mississippi