2014 Johnston Award for Best Conference Paper

Alexandra Johnston Award
Award Year: 

Work: Brazil, Sarah J. (University of Geneva). “Clothing and the Postlapsarian Body in Early English Drama.” International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, 2013.

In her extended investigation of the staging of Genesis 3.21, "And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins, and clothed them,” Brazil has a genuinely interesting and original thesis about the imagery of clothing in the Fall and Expulsion scenes of Early English Drama. In tracing the ideas about what clothing and nakedness represent in these plays, Brazil moves gingerly through a vast array of primary works, weaving in and out of the physical and metaphysical imagery of the body, exegetical texts, and the subtleties of the language of the dramas, making a convincing case for the theological differences among the plays’ contemplation of sin and skin. She fully investigates a complex network of ideas and interpretations about the fallen body that informs not only these plays, but also much medieval iconography. It is a very learned paper, one worthy of a much more senior scholar.

Awards announcement and presentation took place during the annual MRDS business meeting in May 2014, at the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan.