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Lore Society established the Marian Madison Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholar’s Prize in Romani Studies for the best unpublished paper by a young scholar on a topic in Gypsy and Traveler Studies.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  •  Unpublished and not under consideration for publication at the time of submission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 30 November 2020. The screening committee expects to make the announcement of the winner by March 15, 2021. 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 szahova@yahoo.com.

Two Win 2019 Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholars’ Prize in Romani Studies

The screening committee of the Gypsy Lore Society Young Scholar’s Prize in Romani Studies has announced two winners of the prize for the 2019 competition. The winners are Antonio Montañés Jimenez for the paper “Gitano Christian politics of memory: Remembering and belonging” and Ionela Bogdan for “Stories of their own: Roma women in Romania and the everyday life under Communist regime. An oral history research.


The winners and abstracts of their papers


Antonio Montañés Jimenez is a PhD student at the University of St Andrews (UK) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (European jointly supervised PhD-Cotutelle)​​. He also holds a position as a Sub-honors Tutor in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews. Funded by the Spanish Government National Programme (FPI) and the Ford Foundation-Apadrina la Ciencia Scholarship, his thesis focuses on Spanish Gitanos´ conversion to Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity. His work was the recipient of the Inves 2016 Banco Sabadell Foundation prize and the 2019 Young Sociologist Prize awarded by the Institute of Catalan Studies.

 

“Gitano Christian politics of memory: Remembering and belonging” (abstract)

After World War II, a remarkable Christian Pentecostal religious movement, known as the ‘Gypsy Evangelical Movement’ (GEM), transformed the religious landscape of the Roma people. The process of evangelizing the Spanish Gitano population began in the late 1960s, and some years later, the movement converged in an ethnic institution known as the ‘Iglesia Evangelica de Filadelfia’.

 

In this paper, I examine how written stories crafted by the elite of the Pentecostal Gitano church have contributed to confer legitimacy to the movement and shape pastors´ memory resorting to classic Christian tropes (martyrdom, God´s trial, and believers´ repression). I situate Gitano evangelical believers’ story-telling in a broader narrative framework about the biblical origins of Gitano people: many Gitano pastors and believers firmly believe Gitanos are descendants from the lost tribes of Israel, thus, closely related to the Jews. I will show that the IEF´s collective memory is shaped by political narratives aligned with new modalities of ethnic authority embodied by Gitano ministries. Stories and tales about the past intertwine with the IEF structures of power to produce new frameworks in which Gitano believers redefine their identity and position vis-à-vis non-Gitanopeople by reimagining their role and telos in the Christian cosmology. Furthermore, identifying with a historically stigmatized group like the Jews is a powerful signifier of the marginal role in Spanish society that Gitanos feel themselves to inhabit.


This piece of work is part of a broader Ph.D. research project concerned with the role of Gitano pastors in shaping the daily lives of Gitanos in urban settings, informed by an 18 month-ethnographical fieldwork in Madrid.

 

Ionela Bogdan has a PhD from University of Iceland and Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. Her thesis The interlinking of gender, state policies and lived experience among Romanian Roma women during the communist regime. An oral history research focused on the recent history of Roma women in Romania, emphasizing how gender and gender designated roles developed into Roma communities throughout the period. Ionela’s interests are in the fields of oral history, gender studies, Romani studies and contemporary history.

 

Stories of their own: Roma women in Romania and the everyday life under Communist regime. An oral history research” (abstract)

Every Romanian, even those who did not experience the Communist regime, has said at least once, when expressing his or her disapproval towards something that: “it’s like in the Ceauşescu’s time”. The reminiscence of day to day life throughout the Communist period is very much present in the Romanian society and very much debated as well. An analysis of the manner in which Roma women relate to the everyday life under the Communist rule seemed essential in order to understand how they managed to juggle between “constructing socialism”, participating in mandatory public manifestations, being wives, mothers, good workers and fulfilling other daily chores. In theory, activities such as cooking, cleaning, doing groceries or washing seem to be mundane tasks that do not pose significant challenges. Throughout the Communist period and especially throughout the 1980s such activities were tedious and time consuming due to the economic hardship that characterized the country. This study focuses on the strategies used by Roma women to overcome shortages, while trying to explain and expose the bitter-sweet nostalgia towards to the Communist period. Emphasis will also be placed upon activities carried out by interviewees in their spare time as well as on their recollections connected to mandatory public manifestations.

 

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 Romani Studies. The prize is a cash award of $500.  The winning papers will be published, after any necessary revisions, in an issue of the journal Romani Studies.

The deadline for receipt of papers for the next round of the competition is November 30, 2020. The full announcement is available on the Gypsy Lore Society web site, http://www.gypsyloresociety.org.