The Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Medal: Call for Submissions

Spanish embassy logoTo encourage emerging scholars that are based in the UK, ARTES, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain, awards an annual essay medal to the author of the best art-historical essay on a Hispanic theme, which must be submitted in competition and judged by a reading Sub-Committee. The medal is named after Juan Facundo Riaño (1829-1901), the distinguished art historian who was partly responsible for a growing interest in Spanish culture in late nineteenth-century Britain. The winner is also awarded a cash prize of £400, and the runner-up is awarded a certificate and prize of £100 – both prizes are generously sponsored by the Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain. Prize-winners also receive a year’s free membership to ARTES, and the winning essays are considered for publication in the annual visual arts issue of Hispanic Research Journal. See the information about eligibility and rules of competition. The deadline is 31st January each year. 

Entering the Essay Competition

The judges will be looking for evidence of originality of thought and high academic and literary quality. Essays must focus on the production or reception of the art, architecture or visual culture of the Hispanic world, defined in the broadest possible terms.

As a permanent reminder of the winner’s achievement, an essay medal is awarded, together with a cash prize of £400. The winning essay will be considered for publication in the annual visual arts issue of Hispanic Research Journal. The runner-up may be awarded the ARTES commendation certificate, together with a prize of £100, and an essay so commended may also be considered for publication in Hispanic Research Journal. Both prize-winners also receive a year’s free membership to ARTES.

Essays are submitted by 31st January each year, and are read by the Essay Medal Committee, appointed by ARTES. The decision of the Committee shall be final. Presentation of the medal is usually made at a special ceremony in London in July the same year, and the result is announced on the ARTES website.

Previous Winners

2016: Leah McBride, a PhD student at Glasgow University, for ‘‘The grave is only half full; who will help us fill it?’: The Politics of Trauma in Alfredo Jaar’s Rwanda Project‘.

2015: Rebekah Lee, a PhD student at the University of York, for ‘Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal and the Courtly Portrayal of Middle Age’.

2014: Lesley Thornton-Cronin, a first year PhD student at Glasgow University, for ‘Image-Making by Means of Metaphoric Transposition in the Work of Joan Miró’.

2013: Maite Usoz, a third year PhD student at King’s College, London, for  ‘Sex and the City: Urban Eroticism in Rodrigo Muñoz Ballester’s Manuel Series’.

Regulations for the Essay Medal

1. Essays must be anonymous. Entrants must select a pseudonym under which to submit their text, with a sealed envelope bearing the pseudonym and containing their real name, address and telephone number. Please note that because of the anonymity of the submissions, no acknowledgement of receipt will normally be sent. If a receipt is required, please send a stamped envelope addressed to your pseudonym or to a friend.

2. There is no age limit for entrants, but the Essay Medal Committee reserves the right to give preference to entrants who have not previously published in the field of Hispanic visual arts. We welcome submissions from researchers in a variety of circumstances, but envisage that most essays will be submitted from early career scholars, post-graduate students or undergraduates with exceptionally good end-of-degree dissertations. Details of degrees or qualifications, as well as previous publications, must be submitted with the entrant’s real name and address. Entrants should ideally be resident or studying in the UK, but exceptions may be made if entrants can demonstrate sustained engagement with students, scholars, objects or materials in the UK.

3. The Hispanic world is defined in its broadest sense to include all Hispanic and Lusophone regions (including, for example, Latin America). Visual arts are defined in their broadest sense to include all material and visual culture, including film and photography.

4. The essay must not have been previously published and must not have been awarded any national or international prize. A note of any departmental prizes awarded to it must accompany the entrant’s real name and address.

5. Essays may be up to 8,000 words in length, including bibliography (though this is not not necessary if full footnotes are given), all notes and appendices. Entrants are encouraged to submit shorter pieces, however. Shorter submissions will not be penalised on grounds of length, but overlength essays will be refused. A word count and a summary of up to 250 words (additional to the work total) must be included.

6. The essay should demonstrate original thinking. It may be based on a dissertation, and may involve original research, although essays based on a survey of secondary material will also be considered if they are of suitable quality. However, the essay should be self-contained and especially prepared for this competition.

7. Entries must be written in English. They must be typed or printed, double-spaced, and contained in a simple folder. Pages should not be stapled or bound together, and each page should be numbered. Diagrams or illustrations may be included and should be captioned. They may take the form of photocopies, provided they can be easily read. Sources of information and images must be acknowledged. Entrants are advised that their essays and illustrations will need to be photocopied.

8. The winning essay may be  considered for publication in the visual arts issue of Hispanic Research Journal, subject to the usual process of refereeing, and to acceptance by the Editors, whose decision on this is final. In the event of the essay being accepted for publication, some reworking may be required. Essays may not be offered for publication elsewhere while they are sub judice.

9. In the case of any dispute about the award, the decision of the ARTES Essay Medal Committee shall be final.

10. ARTES reserves the right to make no award if none of the entries is considered worthy.

11. The closing date for entries is 31st January each year. Essays received after this date will not be considered.

12. Two identical copies of the essay should be sent to: Dr Tom Nickson, Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN, UK. Envelopes should be clearly marked ‘Artes Essay Medal’. Electronic copies cannot be accepted.

13. Any queries should be directed to tom.nickson@courtauld.ac.uk

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