The Neil Sutherland Article Prize
Ellen Boucher, “The Limits of Potential: Race, Welfare, and the Interwar Extension of Child Emigration to Southern Rhodesia,” Journal of British Studies 48 (October 2009): 914-934.
Boucher skillfully mixes narrative with interpretation, developing a well-crafted, engaging, accessible piece of scholarship. The committee was particularly impressed with the subtlety and range of Boucher’s use of evidence. She deftly worked back-and-forth between her case study of the Rhodesia Fairbridge Memorial Association and larger developments in child welfare, child psychology, empire building, and other global processes of modernity. She accomplished this impressive feat without losing the thread or persuasiveness of the argument. Her discussion of how race and class hierarchies in Empire limit the “potential” of children has widespread implications in her particular study of British colonialism in Africa and in other historical contexts.