Awards and Prizes

The Hagiography Society Book Prize

The Sherry L. Reames Graduate Student Travel Award for Hagiographical Studies


The Hagiography Society Book Prize


This prize will be awarded to a scholarly first book written on any disciplinary subject that makes an outstanding contribution to the study and understanding of saints, holy men and women, virtue traditions, and the concept of sanctity in ideational, literary, artistic, and sociohistorical dimensions in the pre-modern period. Books concerning all geographies and religious systems are eligible. The monetary value of the prize is $500. The author of the book presented to the competition must be a member of the Hagiography Society by the time of the book’s submission. Each year, the prize committee will consist of three scholars called upon by the Society to fulfill the task of awarding the prize. The submission deadline for the prize each year is 30 May and the recipient of the prize will be announced at the latest by mid fall.  All books published between April 2017-May 2018 are eligible for the prize. Those interested in submitting their book for consideration, need to send three copies to Catherine Mooney at:

Catherine Mooney
10 John A Andrew St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-2823


Winner of the Book Prize

Hagiography Society is delighted to announce the winner of the 2018 Book Prize. This year the prize has been awarded to Catherine Mooney (Boston College) for her monograph Clare of Assisi and the Thirteenth-Century Church (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). We congratulate Prof. Mooney warmly for her achievement. We also thank all scholars who sent their books for consideration. This year’s award committee consisted of Janine Peterson (Marist College), Sara Ritchey (University of Tennessee-Knoxville) and Karen A. Winstead (The Ohio State University). We thank the members of the committee very much for taking on this service to scholarship. Here is the committee’s comment on the prize-winning book:

“Catherine Mooney’s Clare of Assisi and the Thirteenth-Century Church stakes a powerful intervention into the historiography of women religious in the thirteenth century. By piercing through the sanctity of Clare, Mooney succeeds in exposing the circumstances that religiously-inclined women like Clare navigated as they strove to carve out communities and livelihoods, to maintain networks of mutual support, while facing near-constant adversaries who sought to impose on them the reigns of ecclesiastical conformity. Through extremely careful attention to philological, contextual, and documentary detail, Mooney is able to pull back the layers of hagiographic ideal that were imposed onto Clare’s official image and often served to erase the actual conditions in which Clare and other women like her lived. Clare of Assisi and the Thirteenth-Century Church, then, is a work of recovery, of restoring forms of women’s religious life in late medieval Italy; it is a model for how scholars of the premodern might seek out marginalized or suppressed presences in our canonical texts.”

Past Winners

2017-2018- Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent, Missionary Stories and the Formation of the Syriac Churches, Transformation of the Classical Heritage 55 (Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015).

The Sherry L. Reames Graduate Student Travel Award for Hagiographical Studies

Deadline: 1 November 2019

The Hagiography Society is pleased to invite applications for the Sherry L. Reames Graduate Student Travel Award for Hagiographical Studies. Named in honor of the beloved founder and long-time leader of the Society, the award now provides $500 to be used toward travel to present at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, held annually at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. The winners will be granted a free two-year membership in Hagiography Society.


Students who are Hagiography Society members and enrolled in a graduate program (anywhere in the world) are eligible to apply if their paper, on a topic involving hagiography, has been accepted for inclusion on a regular panel (not a round table or other format) in the program of the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI, at the time of application.  They are also expected to attend the annual Hagiography Society Business Meeting held at the International Congress on Medieval Studies


Please submit the following documents, combined in a single .PDF file, by 1 November to the Secretary / Treasurer of the Hagiography Society:

  • a current curriculum vitæ
  • the abstract for the accepted paper, identifying the panel on which it will be presented
  • a cover letter, addressing the following questions:
    • How does this paper fit into your scholarly trajectory?
    • Have you presented at a scholarly conference before?
    • Have you received other funding for travel (this paper or others)?

Successful applicants will be informed of the results by December 15.

We welcome contributions in any amount to the Sherry L. Reames Graduate Student Travel Award for Hagiographical Studies:

Past Winners for the Sherry L. Reames Travel Award

Niamh Kehoe, English, University College Cork, Ireland, “Fools and Sinners: Pedagogy in Two Anonymous Anglo-Saxon Saints’ Lives” (2018-2019)

Kortney Stern, English, Indiana, “Future Perfect” (2018-2019)

Dorottya Uhrin, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, “The Earliest Cult of Saint Margaret of Antioch in Hungary” (2017-2018)

Lydia Walker, UT-Knoxville, “The Formulation of Female Holiness and Masculine Integrity: An Examination of Lutgard of Aywières and Jacques de Vitry” (2017-2018)

John Fry, UT-Austin, “Hagiography and Dorigen’s Discontent in the ‘Franklin’s Tale’” (2016-2017)

Mary Anne Gonzales, Guelph University, “Imitation and Feeling: Sorrow and Compassion in the Stigmata of Elizabeth of Spalbeek” (2016-2017)

Christopher Paolella, U. Missouri-Columbia, “Servi et Servi Dei: Slaves and Saints in Early-Medieval Hagiography” (2016-2017)

David A. Heayn, City University of New York, “Byzantine Monasticism in Two Anatolian Provinces, ca. 500-700” (2015-2016)

Véronique Olivier, Université de Montréal and Université Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, “Saint Lambert in Vence: Plurisecular Fortune of a Local Cult” (2015-2016)

Britton Brooks, Oxford University, “The Vernacular Fenland: the literal landscape of the anonymous Old English prose Life of Saint Guthlac” (2014-2015)

Amy Devenney, University of Leeds, “‘You take the high road and I’ll take the low road’: exploring the experience of pilgrimage to monastic and civic shrines in twelfth century Apulia” (2014-2015)

Ashley Laverock, Emory University, “Dynamic Hagiography: Image and Inscription in the Thirteenth-Century Stained-Glass Window of St. Margaret of Antioch at Ardagger Abbey” (2014-2015)

Murrielle Michaud, Wilfrid Laurier University, “The Middle English Vita of Christina the Astonishing: Secular Hagiography, Patience Literature, and Biography” (2013-2014)

Jenny Bledsoe, Emory University, “Intercession and Devotion: Guthlac and Bartholomew in the Old English Prose Guthlac and Vercelli Homily XXIII” (2013-2014)

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