Jennifer Edwards, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Manhattan College, was awarded the 2015 William Koren, Jr. Prize for her article “My Sister for Abbess: 15th-Century Power Disputes over the Abbey of Sainte-Croix, Poitiers,” which was published in the Journal of Medieval History in 2014.
Awarded to the outstanding journal article published on any era of French history by a North American scholar in the American, European or Canadian journal during the previous year, the Koren Prize was awarded to Edwards by the Society for French Historical Studies during its annual meeting in April.
In her article, Edwards examined the difficult history of the community of nuns in the Abbey of Sainte-Croix, Poitiers, which suffered two major assaults between 1491 and 1520. Armed troops twice contested the community’s election of the abbess and in the second instance, removed the abbess and replaced her with a candidate handpicked by the king of France.
“Edwards deftly demonstrates the efforts on the part of the nuns of Sainte-Croix to protect their rights during this period of growing royal power and monastic reform,” the Koren Prize committee cited. “Through careful archival research and sensitive attention to gender and power dynamics among the leading families of France, Edwards sheds new light on the tight interconnections among monastic reform and control, family strategies and the growth of royal power at a crucial moment in France’s political history.”
Edwards is a member of the American Historical Association, the Medieval Academy of America and the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, where she has been an advisory board member since 2013.