The Neil Sutherland Article Prize
Rachel Hope Cleves, “ ‘Heedless Youth’: The Revolutionary War Poetry of Ruth Bryant (1760-83).” William and Mary Quarterly 67, no. 3 (July 2010):519-548.
Cleves’ article, which explores the experience of girls and war is meticulously researched, insightful, and skillfully contextualized. As Cleves herself notes, “Largely excluded by their gender and youth from political assemblies, academies, and the army, girls left few textual clues about their beliefs.” Cleves weaves together the various threads of Ruth Bryant’s poetry and its themes of domesticity, gender, family and patriotism, finding a young girl’s voice in the historical record. The committee agreed that Cleves’ work is an original and exciting contribution to an understanding of the experiences of children and youth and war, and to the field of the history of childhood.