Vanessa Da Silva Baptista awarded joint runner-up for Pollard Prize

7 November 2023

Congratulations to Vanessa Da Silva Baptista who was awarded joint runner-up for the Institute of History Research's annual Pollard Prize!

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At their centenary celebration on Wednesday 18th October 2023, the Institute of History Research announced the winner and runners-up of their annual Pollard Prize, awarded for the best paper presented at an Institute of Historical Research seminar by a postgraduate student or by a researcher within one year of completing the PhD. 

Vanessa was awarded joint runner-up for her paper entitled ‘”How to make a ring jump in the manner of a locust”’: Recipes to animate small objects in late medieval European manuscripts’, delivered at the IHR’s European History 1150-1500 seminar. Based on her doctoral research on magic tricks in late medieval manuscripts, this paper focused on a single category of magic trick, tricks that animate small object such as rings, eggs, and even roasted chickens, to argue that late medieval European people experienced magic tricks as a form of both cognitive play and playful experimentation with chemical knowledge.

Winners and runners-up receive fast track publication in the IHR journal, Historical Research, and £500 and £200 in books from the Oxford University Press.

Image: The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Digby 86, fol, 47r. Creative Commons License: CC-BY-NC 4.0.