Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholars' Prize



Marian Madison Gypsy Lore Society
Young Scholar’s Prize in Romani Studies

The Gypsy Lore Society established the Marian Madison Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholar’s Prize in Romani Studies for the best unpublished paper by a young scholar on a topic in Gypsy and Traveler Studies. The prize is a cash award of $500. When two papers of the same quality are assessed, priority will be

given the applicants who are members of the Gypsy Lore Society. The winning paper will be published, after any necessary revisions, in an issue of the journal Romani Studies. The selection committee looks for self-contained scholarly articles of publishable quality that treat some relevant topic in an interesting and insightful way.

In order to be eligible the papers must be:

  • Written by undergraduate students, graduate students beyond their first year of study and PhDs up to 3 years after awarding of the degree
  •  A discussion of any topic in the field of Romani Studies      
  •  Unpublished and not under consideration for publication at the time of submission
  •  Submitted in English
  •  Between 30 and 40 double-spaced pages. 

Submissions should be sent electronically to szahova@yahoo.com and include two documents: the paper, and a separate cover sheet containing the title of the paper, the author’s name, affiliation, mailing address, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers, and date of entrance into an appropriate program or of awarding of the PhD.


The deadline for receipt of papers for the current cycle is October 30, 2018. The screening committee expects to make the announcement of the winner by January 30, 2019. The committee reserves the right not to award the prize in a given year. Interested scholars should submit their papers along with an abstract (no longer than 250 words) to the e-mail address below.


2017 Prize Award

The screening committe of the Marian Madison Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholars’ Prize in Romani Studies has announced Vita Zalar as the winner of the prize for 2017 for her paper "Administrative Aporias: The Case of the heimatberechtigt Gypsy Population in the Late Habsburg Monarchy."

Vita Zalar holds an M. A. in History from the University of Ljubljana (2017) and is a PhD student at the Postgraduate School ZRC SAZU. She works as an assistant and young researcher at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU). Vita's interests are in the fields of social and cultural history, Romani Studies, and Central Europe.

Congratulations to Vita and good luck in her further research in Romani studies!

The paper by Vita Zalar will be published, after revisions, in an issue of the journal Romani Studies.

The Gypsy Lore Society established the Marian Madison Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholars’ Prize in Romani Studies for the best unpublished paper by a young scholar on a topic in Gypsy and Traveler Studies. The prize is a cash award of $500.

The deadline for receipt of papers for the current cycle is October 30, 2018. For more information please consult Gypsy Lore Society web site, http://www.gypsyloresociety.org/gypsy-lore- society-young- scholars-prize.


Abstract of the Prize Paper

Administrative Aporias: The Case of the heimatberechtigt Gypsy Population in the Late Habsburg Monarchy.

This study positions itself as a contribution to the history of the term “gypsy” and its administrative applications in the late Habsburg monarchy. I approach the analysis by illustrating the non-aligned co-existent semantic fields of the terms Zigeuner/cigan in the case of the Duchy of Carniola. I then proceed to research the structural inadequacies, uncertainties, aporias, of the Habsburg local and provincial administration when faced with the challenge of assigning and finding out the home municipalities of the non-sedentary part of the
heimatberechtigte gypsies. I focus on the Cisleithanian part of the Habsburg monarchy in the years 1888-1918, when the legislative frame for dealing with non-sedentary gypsies was primarily based on the laws regarding the right of domicile (Heimatrecht), laws regarding criminalization of vagrancy (Landstreicherei) and laws regarding the forced removal (Schub) system into one’s alleged home municipality. By using a microhistorical approach, I analyse the innovative negotiations undertaken by various local authorities that had to maneuver within the irreconcilable imperatives of the Cisleithanian laws regarding the rights of domicile. Geographically, the study is confined to the south-western Cisleithanian province the Duchy of Carniola.