Rudikoff Prize

The Sonya Rudikoff Award for the best first book in Victorian Studies was established by the Robert Gutman family in honor of Mr. Gutman’s late wife. Sonya Rudikoff was an active member of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association and a recognized scholar. Her book, Ancestral Houses: Virginia Woolf and the Aristocracy, was published posthumously.

Submitting a Book for Consideration:

A text nominated for this award must be the author’s first book, and the subject should address Victorian literature and/or culture. Our focus is on Victorian Great Britain and the Empire, though we will consider texts that are transatlantic or transnational in focus. We will not, however, consider texts that are strictly American Victorian. We now welcome books for the 2024 prize.

The 2024 prize will consider books with a 2022 publication date as printed on the copyright page of the book. The deadline for submission is September 1, 2023.

Please send SIX (6) copies of the book (one for each judge) by mail. Contact Justin Sider at for the submission instructions and mailing address.


Past Winners of the NVSA Sonya Rudikoff Prize:

2021: To be announced at the April 2023 conference! 

2020: Jessie Reeder, The Forms of Informal Empire: Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature (Johns Hopkins University Press)

Honorable mention: Shawna Ross, Charlotte Bronte at the Anthropocene (SUNY Press)

Alicia Mireles Christoff, Novel Relations: Victorian Fiction and British Psychoanalysis (Princeton University Press)

Emily Steinlight, Populating the Novel: Literary Form and the Politics of Surplus Life  (Cornell University Press)
Honorable Mention: Nasser Mufti, Civilizing War: Imperial Politics and the Poetics of National Rupture (Northwestern University Press)

Benjamin Morgan, The Outward Mind: Materialist Aesthetics in Victorian Science and Literature (University of Chicago Press)
Honorable Mention: Jonathan Farina, Everyday Words and the Character of Prose in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge University Press)

Jesse Oak Taylor, The Sky of Our Manufacture: The London Fog in British Fiction from Dickens to Woolf (University of Virginia Press)
Honorable Mention: Elisha Cohn, Still Life: Suspended Development in the Victorian Novel (Oxford University Press)

Annmarie Drury, Translation as Transformation in Victorian Poetry (Cambridge)
Honorable Mention: Jordan Bear, Disillustioned: Victorian Photography and the Discerning Subject (Pennsylvania State)

Allen MacDuffie, Victorian Literature, Energy, and the Ecological Imagination (Cambridge)
Honorable Mention: Kathleen Frederickson, The Ploy of Instinct: Victorian Sciences of Nature and Sexuality in Liberal Governance (Fordham)

Jennifer Esmail, Reading Victorian Deafness: Signs and Sounds in Victorian Literature and Culture (Ohio University Press) and
Ross G. Forman, China and the Victorian Imagination: Empires Entwined (Cambridge University Press)

David Kurnick, Empty Houses: Theatrical Failure and the Novel (Princeton University Press) and
Meredith Martin, The Rise and Fall of Meter: Poetry and English National Culture, 1860-1930 (Princeton University Press)

Charles LaPorte, Victorian Poets and the Changing Bible (University of  Virginia Press) and
Sadiah Qureshi, Peoples on Parade: Exhibitions, Empire, and Anthropology in Nineteenth-Century Britain (University of Chicago Press)

Sukanya Banerjee, Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire (Duke University Press)

Rachel Teukolsky, The Literate Eye: Victorian Art Writing and Modernist Aesthetics (Oxford University Press)

Chris Otter, The Victorian Eye: A Political History of Light and Vision in Britain, 1800-1910 (University of Chicago Press) and
Cornelia Pearsall, Tennyson’s Rapture: Transformation in the Victorian Dramatic Monologue (Oxford University Press)

Amanda Claybaugh, The Novel of Purpose: Literature and Social Reform in the Anglo-American World (Cornell University Press)

Patrick R. O’Malley, Catholicism, Sexual Deviance, and Victorian Gothic Culture (Cambridge University Press)

Suzy Anger, Victorian Interpretation (Cornell University Press)

Seth Koven, Slumming: Sexual and Social Politics in Victorian London (Princeton University Press) and                                          Alex Woloch, The One vs. The Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel (Princeton University Press)                                                                                  Honorable Mention: Andrew Warwick, Masters of Theory: Cambridge and the Rise of Mathematical Physics (University of Chicago Press)

Priya Joshi, In Another Country: Colonialism, Culture, and the English Novel in India (Columbia University Press)

Nicholas Dames, Amnesiac Selves: Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, 1810-1870 (Oxford University Press)

Jonah Siegel, Desire and Excess: the Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art (Princeton University Press)
Honorable Mention: Rick Rylance: Victorian Psychology and British Culture 1850-1880 (Oxford University Press)

Alison Winter, Mesmerized: Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain (University of Chicago Press)

Yopie Prins, Victorian Sappho (Princeton University Press)