Prizes and Honors

CHARLES A. BEARD THESIS PRIZE IN HISTORY
Established in 2003 by the History Department, the Charles A. Beard Senior Thesis Prize in History is awarded annually for a senior thesis of superior distinction in any historical field and period.

2016 Recipient: Stanislas Conze, for his thesis “Repurposing the Middle Ages: Architecture & Myth in Early 19th Century German Medievalism”

GARRETT MATTINGLY THESIS PRIZE IN HISTORY
The Garrett Mattingly Thesis Prize in History, established in 2003 by the History Department, is awarded annually for a senior thesis of superior distinction in any historical field and period.

2016 Recipient: Maya Barad, for her thesis “Developing Eugenic Consciousness: The Campaign for Voluntary Sterilization of the Mentally Deficient in Interwar Britain” 

CHANLER HISTORICAL PRIZE
A prize established at the bequest of J. Winthrop Chanler of the Class of 1847, the Chanler is awarded to the Columbia College senior who submits the best thesis on a topic dealing with the history of civil government in America.

2016 Recipient: Abigail Chew, for her thesis "The Daughters of Colonial America: Apprentice Girls, Gender, Childhood and Family in Urban Mid-Atlantic Society, 1700-1799”

ALBERT MARION ELSBERG PRIZE
Established by Mrs. Albert Elsberg in memory of her son, Albert Marion Elsberg, this prize may be awarded to a Columbia College senior standing who has demonstrated excellence in modern history.

2016 Recipient: Wallace Teska, for his thesis “The Citizens of 1946: Lamine Guèye, Marius Moutet, and French Colonial Reform on the Road to Decolonization”

HERBERT H. LEHMAN PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN HISTORY
Given to a General Studies student with an outstanding record of accomplishment in history courses at Columbia.  Preference given to those with substantial coursework in US History.

2016 Recipient: Conor Goetz, for his thesis “‘The Mad and Hungry Dogs:’ The Press and Political Power in the Washington, DC Race Riot of 1919”

LILY PRIZE
For the best senior thesis in history on a non-US topic, established by James P. Shenton in memory of his mother.

2016 Recipient: Maris Hubbard, for her thesis “The Personal is the International: Building a Global Sisterhood in 1990s Belgrade”

ALAN J. WILLEN MEMORIAL PRIZE
Awarded to the Columbia College student who writes the best seminar paper on a contemporary American political problem. The selection is made jointly by representatives of the Departments of History and Political Science. Established by classmates and friends of Alan J. Willen, Class of 1964, in his memory.

2016 Recipient: Maxwell Schwartz, for his thesis “The Progressive Democrats of the ‘New Era’: Private Citizens in American-Russian Relations, 1917-1921”

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Departmental Honors are awarded to a graduating history major on the basis of a high average in history courses and an excellent senior thesis. Only ten percent of graduating majors may receive departmental honors.

Please click on each student's name to download a PDF copy of his or her senior thesis.

The recipients of Departmental Honors for 2015–2016 are:

  • Maya Barad for her thesis: “Developing Eugenic Consciousness: The Campaign for Voluntary Sterilization of the Mentally Deficient in Interwar Britain”
  • Conor Goetz for his thesis: “‘The Mad and Hungry Dogs:’ The Press and Political Power in the Washington, DC Race Riot of 1919”
  • Maris Hubbard for her thesis: “The Personal is the International: Building a Global Sisterhood in 1990s Belgrade”
  • Sam Preston for his thesis: “The Nazi Atomic Bomb: The Mistaken Assumption that Started the Cold War”
  • Nicolas Sambor for his thesis: “‘Celebrated, Criticized, and Copied Around the World’: The Harvard Economic Service and its Place in 20th Century Economic History”
  • Maxwell Schwartz for his thesis: “The Progressive Democrats of the ‘New Era’: Private Citizens in American-Russian Relations, 1917-1921”
  • Patrick Sherrier for his thesis: “The Power of Music and the Music of Power: ‘Nazi’ Musicians in America, 1945-1949”
  • Harrison Stetler for his thesis: “‘A skilled surgeon presiding at the birth of a new culture’: Christopher Lasch on the Politics of Post-Industrial Society”
  • Ian Trueger for his thesis: “Reading Difference in Inquisition Spain: Pork, Race, and the Specter of the Converso (1430-1527)”
  • Jingwei Xu for his thesis: “‘Scientific Frontier:’ The North-West Frontier, Imperial Intelligence, and the Geopolitics of Empire, 1849-1901”

The recipients of Departmental Honors for 2014–2015 are:

  • Michael Christie for his thesis: "David Chaum and Ecash: Privacy Technology's Negotiations of Political, Cultural, and Techno-Social Contingencies in the mid-1990s."
  • David Ecker for his thesis: “Masters of Music: The Victor Talking Machine Company and the Transformation of the Recording Industry, 1901-1918”
  • Thomas Flynn for his thesis: “Too Big to Forget: A Close Look At Moral Hazard in Late 20th Century American Finance”
  • Isabel Genecin for her thesis: “'In the World But Not of the World?' Doucelina, Felipa, and the Beguines of Marseilles”
  • Jacob Hamburger for his thesis: “Nihilism and the Neoconservatives: Allan Bloom's Encounter With the American Intellectual Right”
  • Anika Havaldar for her thesis: “'Civilizing' Marriage: British Colonial Regulation of the Marriages of Indian Indentured Laborers in Natal, 1860-1891”
  • Dan Herbatschek for his thesis: “The Reconstruction of Language and Time: Artificial Languages, Mathematics, and the Changing Idea of Time in the Scientific Revolution”
  • Christopher Meyer for his thesis: “Constructing Jerusalem: Moravian Missionaries and Frontier Diplomacy in Colonial Pennsylvania, 1742-1763”
  • Julian NoiseCat for his thesis: “Re Séme7 Westes tek Boston: Shuswap Memory, Museums and Nationalism, 1958-1986 ”
  • Jared Odessky for his thesis: “Saving Our Children: Queer Teacher Organizing, the Religious Right, and Battles Over Child Protection in South Florida's Schools, 1977-1997”
  • Emma Stodder for her thesis: “Mobilizing and Contesting Motherhood in the Revolutionary Family: Women's Activism in Mexico City, 1971-1989”

The recipients of Departmental Honors for 2013–2014 are:

  • Salonee Bhaman for her thesis: “Crack is Wack: Activism, Rhetoric, and the Creation of a Crisis Surrounding the Regulation of Prenatal Drug Use in New York City from 1987-1997”
  • Aminadav Grossman for his thesis: “The Transformation of American Jewry and Men’s Headgear: The Story of the Yarmulke from 1945 to 1975”
  • Todd Hirsch for his thesis: “Stuffed Shirts” or Progressive Reformers: Opposition to the Brooklyn-Battery Bridge, the Demolition of Fort Clinton, and Robert Moses’ Vision for New York”
  • Hallen Korn for his thesis: “Law or Order: The Politics of Development and Humanitarian Intervention in the Congo Crisis, 1960-61”
  • Corinna Munn for her thesis: “The Changing Depiction of Prussia in the GDR: From Rejection to Selective Commemoration”
  • Kenneth Philbrick for his thesis: “Epidemic Smallpox, Roman Demography, and the Rapid Growth of Early Christianity, 160 CE to 310 CE”
  • Hannah Rosner for her thesis: “‘A School for Problems’ Gender and the Development of Citizenship Education at the Highlander Folk School During the Civil Rights Movement”
  • Bob Sun for his thesis: “Medicine as Colonial Enterprise: The Founding of the Pasteur Institute in Saigon, 1891”
  • Lanbo Zhang for his thesis: “The Intellectual as Warrior: Isaiah Berlin’s Cold War”

The recipients of Departmental Honors for 2012–2013 are:

The recipients of Departmental Honors for 2011–2012 are:

The recipients of Departmental Honors for 2010–2011 are:

The recipients of Departmental Honors for 2009–2010 are: