American Historical Association award for University of Glasgow professor

Published: 4 October 2016

Alexandra Shepard, Professor of Gender History at the University of Glasgow, has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Leo Gershoy Award.

Alexandra Shepard, Professor of Gender History at the University of Glasgow, has been selected as the winner of the 2016 Leo Gershoy Award for her book Accounting for Oneself: Worth, Status, and the Social Order in Early Modern England (Oxford Univ. Press, 2015). The Gershoy Award is awarded annually by the  (AHA) to honor the best book in the fields of 17th- and 18th-century western European history. The prize will be awarded during a ceremony at the Association’s 131st Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado between January 5-8, 2017.Alex Shepard

Shepard’s book was selected by a prize review committee of AHA members including Magda Teter, Fordham University (chair); Jack R. Censer, George Mason University; James V. H. Melton, Emory University; Kathryn Norberg, University of California, Los Angeles; and Gabriel Paquette, Johns Hopkins University.

“Based on vast evidence—nearly fourteen thousand witness depositions, Alexandra Shepard’s Accounting for Oneself unpacks how ordinary people valued themselves and defined self-esteem,” commented the Gershoy committee. “By attending to the language and the circumstances of these witnesses, among them the poor and women who left little official record, Shepard reveals how, in contrast to middling classes, social order was understood from below. This methodologically innovative book is poised to have a broader impact on early modern European historiography.”

Professor Shepard said: "I am honoured and delighted that Accounting for Oneself has received this prestigious award from the American Historical Association. The book marks the culmination of a decade’s work, and I am very grateful for all the support I’ve received along the way that has enabled its research, writing and production."

Professor Lynn Abrams, head of the School of Humanities, added: "The School of Humanities is delighted at this news. Alex Shepard is a leading scholar of early modern societies and the Director of the Centre for Gender History. The American Historical Association's recognition of her book is testament to its pathbreaking agenda and the outstanding quality of the research."

In 1975 Mrs. Ida Gershoy made a gift to the Association in order to establish a prize in memory of her husband, Leo Gershoy. Professor Gershoy was a specialist in European history associated with the faculty of New York University for more than 35 years.

The American Historical Association is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1884 and incorporated by Congress in 1889 for the promotion of historical studies. The AHA provides leadership for the discipline, protects academic freedom, develops professional standards, aids in the pursuit and publication of scholarship, and supplies various services to sustain and enhance the work of its members. As the largest organization of historians in the United States, the AHA is comprised of approximately 13,000 members and serves historians representing every historical period and geographical area.

First published: 4 October 2016

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