Graduate Student Research Prizes
Atlantic World Research Network
Graduate Student Research Prizes—2013-2014
Title: “An Exploration of Fernand Braudel’s Place Within Atlantic History”
The committee found this to be a compelling and lucid investigation of the influence of historian Fernand Braudel’s seminal writings on the Mediterranean and how they have affected the study of the Atlantic World and of Atlantic history. Drawing on an impressive range of scholarship, McFayden argues persuasively that Braudel’s ocean-based history, though formative in the field, must be analyzed more closely in terms of its historical and institutional context if contemporary scholarship is to move beyond its shortcomings and toward a more complex understanding of the Atlantic world. The committee was very impressed by the clarity, concision, and detail of the essay and found it deserving of the highest award.
Title: “Connections between Linguistic and Musical Sound Systems of British and American Trombonists”
This ambitious study involved determining whether measurable and perceptible differences between American and British trombonists exist and whether any of these measurable differences correlate with established differences between American English and British English speech. Members of the Committee found the topic fascinating and observed her writing to be lucid, persuasive, and well structured. They noted that her project is technically adroit, featuring vowel charts, as well as vowel and timbre inventories. Her secondary research seemed compelling; especially in terms of scholarship that analyzes how language affects music. Though lacking in a full range of statistical data analysis tools, the sheer detail and care with which she presents the results of her study are impressive.