PhD student Ken Corbett wins PCCBS Graduate Student Paper Prize

Congratulations to Ken Corbett for winning the Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies Graduate Student Paper Prize!

Ken attended the Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies (PCCBS) at the University of California Santa Barbara on March 23-25 2018 and he presented his paper “Redeeming the Time: Punctuality, Credit, & the Middling Sort.” Ken’s paper was selected as the best paper delivered by a graduate student member of the PCCBS in 2018.

As quoted on the PCCBS website:

“This well-written and richly-sourced paper explores the values and ideas connected to “time-keeping” by moving away from emphasizing the mechanical clock –a la David Landes and others –and instead “focusing on the language and values of human precision and accuracy related to timekeeping.” What social and cultural factors “drove people to build and buy” clocks and other mechanical tools for marking time? The answers among others: “punctuality became timeliness” and “punctuality came to be regarded as something praiseworthy and, by the mid-eighteenth century, a virtue.”

“The paper highlights shifts in meanings and moral codes, revisiting sources and debates concerning early modern Puritanism, capitalism, and trade. Familiar names including Richard Baxter, Adam Smith, Hannah More and Daniel Defoe are front and center, as are others probably less recognizable, but also significant. Respectability and Christian values help explain the links between individual economic behavior and general social norms in this successful revisiting of Weber and Tawney.”


In order to be eligible to win this Graduate Student Prize, the candidate must be a member of PCCBS and attend a meeting of the PCCBS, NACBS or any other professional conference. The topic of the paper must fall under the British Studies umbrella.


For more information:

For more information on Ken Corbett’s research at UBC: