Anna Roberts awarded the 2021 Butler Prize

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Anna receives the Butler Prize for her essay ” ‘The Cravings of a Sensual Nose’: Snuff, Gender, and Sexuality in Britain, 1660-1820.”

Roberts’ study of snuff, gender, and sexuality in Britain, 1660-1820 is deft, revelatory of her exceptionally interesting and agile ability to engage with a variety of primary sources both printed and material. Roberts sinks her teeth into her visual, material, literary, and poetic sources with verve and dexterity, in order to foreground the bodily and affective workings of various genres of representation and consumption. The piece holds together nicely as an article quite ready for journal review. Yet it also full of rich, surprising content and pathways leading in interesting directions in areas such as sexuality, global consumer culture, and hidden transcripts, promising grounds for a compelling dissertation topic. The committee was impressed that, although so much has been written about the intersections between gender/sexuality & material culture, Roberts comes up with compelling and original things to say. She does so in beautiful prose.

The Butler Prize is awarded annually to the best paper written by a first-year student. Each year the chair of the department appoints a faculty committee to select the winner. Papers are normally nominated by faculty sponsors. The prize was established in 1957 by Dr. Alexander Butler, a graduate of the department.