For almost fifteen years Barrie Dobson was the genial, shrewd and scholarly chair of the steering committee of the Harlaxton Medieval Symposium. He took his role as chair of the committee seriously and worked hard between meetings to move forward the programmes and the publications. But his particular contribution to the symposia was his inclusive style of leadership. He considered that everyone who came to the symposia was important and worth talking to, and he encouraged all the speakers by his perceptive but gentle questioning, often followed up by a thoughtful letter afterwards.
Barrie was immensely distinguished and his range of publications might have been daunting for the fledgling historian. But Barrie instantly dispelled any sense of distance or hierarchy. He was courteous, approachable and generous, and especially to young scholars. For this reason it seems entirely appropriate that two postgraduate bursaries endowed jointly by Harlaxton College and the Symposium committee should carry Barrie’s name and so perpetuate that encouraging enthusiasm which was the hallmark of Barrie’s scholarship.
Caroline M. Barron
Royal Holloway University of London
Previous Award Winners:
2017 – Claire Kennan (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Esther Lewis (University of Nottingham)
2016 – Fiona Whelan (University of Oxford) and Oliver Fearon (University of York)
2015 – Daisy Gibbs (University of Newcastle) and Katie Harrison (University of York)
2014 – Eliza Hartrich (University of Oxford) and Sam Gibbs (University of Reading)