And the Winner is…? Prizes and Awards in Arts and Culture

Registration is now open for this free symposium. Please see full details below.

One day symposium hosted by CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, University of Leicester

Monday 4 June 2018

Keynote Speaker: Dr Anna Auguscik (University of Oldenburg) author of Prizing Debate: The Fourth Decade of the Booker Prize and the Contemporary Novel in the UK. (Bielefeld: transcript, 2017).

‘The custom of awarding prizes, medals, or trophies to artists […] is both an utterly familiar and unexceptional practice and a profoundly strange and alienating one.’ - James F English, Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards and the Circulation of Cultural Value (2005), p.1

What is a cultural prize? Who receives them, and why? This one day symposium seeks to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to discuss cultures of prize-giving, and the diverse range of cultural prizes and awards now circulating within the cultural industries, arts and wider creative economy. Cultural awards can be defined as prizes and honours gifted to cultural products, or their creators/producers, as signification of the product’s high quality or prestige. Yet the status of such prizes and the ways in which they are imagined, created and allocated can tell us much about the politics of value and participation in the arts and cultural industries. The symposium provides the opportunity to discuss and compare research, approaches and methodologies with peers from other disciplinary fields in order to help develop a greater, and more comprehensive, understanding of cultural awards today.




9.00 – 9.30   


9.30 – 9.40  


Stevie Marsden

9.40 – 10.30 


Anna Auguscik (University of Oldenburg) What is an award? Methods, Media, and the Man Booker Prize

10.30 – 10.50

                        Coffee Break  

10.50 – 12.35

Panel 1

“Did I really earn this?”: Consecrating Value & Bestowing Prestige  

Thomas Thurnell-Read (Loughborough University) ‘No, you won't see anyone promoting a bronze’: Awards and Ambivalence Amongst Craft Gin Producers

 Emma-Jayne Reekie (University of Liverpool) “The Times They Are A-Changin’”: Politicians, Musicians and the Political Award

Will Smith (University of Stirling) ‘The little-known Constable Trophy’: valuing a northern prize for writers in the north

Lisa McCormick (University of Edinburgh) Scandalous Choices: Toward a Sociology of Competition Controversies

12.35 – 1.25   


1.25 – 3.10 

Panel 2

“This door tonight has been opened”: Neglected voices & awards’ diversity problems

Monica Sandler  (UCLA) Your Oscar Vote Matters: Cultural Production and the Impact of Voter Policy, Rules, and Politics in Academy Awards History

Helen Gørrill (University of Edinburgh) Gender Parity and Arts Prizes: ‘Only Men are Capable of Aesthetic Greatness’

Bret Johnson (Loughborough University) Literary Networks and Institutional Support for Caribbean Modernists in Post-War Britain: George Lamming, the Somerset Maugham Award, and Michael Joseph

Claire Jenkins (University of Leicester) The nominees aren’t….: Women and the elusive Best Director Oscar

3.10 – 4.30 

Panel 3

“Don’t Tweet this!”: Researching Awards in Real Time

Christina Neuwirth (University of Stirling/University of Glasgow) The History of the Scottish Women Writers Prize: Describing a history of a prize that doesn’t exist yet as part of the effort to set up that prize

Stevie Marsden and Claire Squires (University of Leicester & University of Stirling) The First Rule of Judging Club…: An Autoethnographic Analysis of the Saltire Society Literary Awards

Daniel Massie (University of Glasgow) Some Problems with Oscar: An Audio-Visual essay (Please note: This presentation includes discussion of abuse, rape, and harassment within the context of the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns.)         

4.30 – 4.50 


4.50 – 5.50 




Claire Squires (University of Stirling) Make a Prize! A Flip-Flap Approach to Prize Culture

5.50 – 6.00 

                 Final thoughts

Full programme details and abstracts available here.

Details on getting to the University of Leicester and accommodation are available on our website.

You can register for this event here. When registering for this event, please indicate whether you have any access or dietary requirements that you would like us to know about.
If you have any questions about the event please contact us.





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