Announcement of The Barbara D. Palmer Award
The Palmer Award, established in May 2009, is given for the best new essay in early drama archives research based on original research using published or unpublished records.
Palmer Award Established
In May 2009, the Executive Committee of the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society established an annual Barbara D. Palmer Award to honour our friend and colleague Barbara Palmer, then retired Professor of English at the University of Mary Washington, and Scholar-in-Residence, Mary Baldwin College, MLitt/MFA Program. In September 2009, Prof. Palmer passed away, leaving behind a legacy of scholarly exellence and dedication to the field of Early Drama Studies.
Prof. Palmer is the author of The Early Art of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the EDAM series (1990) and was editing the Records of Early English Drama collections for Yorkshire West Riding and Derbyshire at the time of her death. She wrote a series of influential articles on medieval and renaissance drama; one of her most recent, ‘Early Modern Mobility: Players, Payments, and Patrons’, Shakespeare Quarterly 56.3 (2005), 259-305, won MRDS’s Martin Stevens Award for the Best New Essay in Early Drama Studies in 2006. Her research on the unique manuscript of the Towneley plays and their associated documents (‘Recycling “The Wakefield Cycle”: The Records’, Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 61 , 88-130) changed forever the way we view that collection of plays.
Barbara was an outstanding contributor to Early Drama Studies as a scholar, teacher, mentor, and administrator. She brought meticulous standards to her research and astute intelligence and generous commitment to any organization she belonged to. She played a foundational role in the early years of the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society and participated actively and annually in its sponsored sessions at Kalamazoo. At REED she was instrumental in reactivating the Executive Board and served as its Secretary from 2002 to 2009. Previously she selflessly spent weeks of detailed preparation as the applicant for several major NEH grants for REED’s broader purposes and for the collections of other editors. She contributed to and delighted in original practice productions mounted by the American Shakespeare Center at the Blackfriars Theatre, Staunton,VA, and by Poculi Ludique Societas at the University of Toronto.
To honour Prof. Palmer’s deep commitment to archival research and its power to transform interpretation of early modern drama in its historical context, the Executive Committee of the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society has established a prize for the best new essay in Early Drama Studies based on original research using published or unpublished records: The Barbara D. Palmer Award for the Best New Essay in Early Drama Archives Research.
Palmer Award Pledge Form Available
If you would like to honour Prof. Palmer by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Barbara D. Palmer Award Fund, please download the pledge/donation form by clicking on the link below. On the downloadable form you will find postal instructions for contributors from the US, the UK, and Canada.
Questions about the award fund may be directed to Prof. Alexandra Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information on Other MRDS Awards
Along with the newly established Palmer Award, MRDS gives three other annual prizes for scholarly publication and presentations. Information on these awards and past winners may be found elsewhere on our website: