Dissertation prize success for School of History graduate

School of History graduate Alfie Norris has been awarded a George Watt essay prize.

Alfie’s undergraduate dissertation, entitled “I was born of working-class folks”: A Study of Wakefield International Brigade Volunteers and Forgotten Working-Class History’’ has been awarded an undergraduate prize as part of the competition.

The George Watt essay prize competition was established in 1998 to honour George Watt, a writer and lifelong activist, who was central to the creation of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA).

Students from anywhere in the world are invited to submit an essay or thesis chapter about any aspect of the Spanish Civil War, the global political or cultural struggles against fascism in 1920s and 1930s, or the lifetime histories and contributions of the international volunteers who fought in support of the Spanish Republic from 1936 to 1938.

Work is judged on the basis of originality, quality of research, and effectiveness of argument or presentation. Prizes are awarded in three categories; pre-collegiate, undergraduate and graduate.

It is an honour to be awarded a George Watt essay prize for my undergraduate dissertation at Leeds. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives are a fantastic organisation who do great work to educate on the Spanish Civil War and anti-fascism. The award is particularly poignant for me as my work tells the story of International Brigade volunteers from my own community in Wakefield, and the project led to me meeting family members of these volunteers. Their stories have gone overlooked and paint a wider picture of early twentieth century working-class history in Britain. 

Alfie Norris

Alfie’s supervisor Professor Peter Anderson also paid tribute to Alfie’s hard work, saying; “Many congratulations to Alfie on winning this prestigious international prize awarded by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archive in New York City. He’s at least a double credit to the School of History because he beat off fierce competition from excellent US universities and did so with a study of working-class volunteers from the Wakefield area who fought against General Franco in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), whose history had been lost to scholars and in some cases to the families of the volunteers”.

Congratulations, Alfie, on your remarkable success!