The Undergraduate Program


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.

2017 Recipient: Rosalie Calvet, for her thesis “Thwarting the Other: A critical approach to the French historiography of Colonial Algeria”

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.

2017 Recipient: Asha Banerjee, for her thesis “The First Modern Bailout: The Barings Crisis of 1890 and the Bank of England”

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.

2017 Recipient: Sophie Wilkowske, for her thesis “To Spend without Wit and Save without Sense: One Woman’s Accounts, 1923–1940”

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 who has demonstrated excellence in modern history.

2017 Recipient: Philip Jeffery, for his thesis “Truth and Politics at 1930s Union Seminary”

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.

2017 Recipient: Winston Ghee Wei Toh, for his thesis “The Contested Development of Nationalism in Colonial Malaya, 1930–1955”

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

2017 Recipient: Katarzyna Kaczowka, for her thesis “Accumulation and its Discontents: The Mass Strike of 1905 and Rosa Luxemburg’s Anti-Imperialist Critique of Marx”

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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 2016–2017 are:

  • Erik Dupire-Nelson for his thesis: “Missed Opportunities on the Riviera: Strategic Decisions by the Western Allies in World War II and the Advent of the Cold War”
  • Daniel Echikson for his thesis: “Sugar Traders, West Indian Slavers, and Corporate Financiers: The Economic History of an American Family at the Turn of the 19th Century”
  • Valerie Fendt for her thesis “Paradigm Shift: The Standing Rock Sioux and the Struggle of Our Time”
  • Peter Giraudo for his thesis: “Divorced From Reality: Giovanni Gentile’s Idealist Political Thought and Fascist Concept of the Nation”
  • Aaron Hansen for his thesis: “Pandering from the Pulpit: Religion and the Pursuit of Happiness in the American Republic, 1789-1825”
  • Danielle Jacobs for her thesis: “The Investment Company Act of 1940: Democratizing Finance in the Fight Against Fascism”
  • Michael Crocitto Kenny for his thesis: “‘A fool a fugitive or a hero’”: The European Odyssey of Herbert L. Matthews, 1931-1945”
  • Jeremy Reeves for his thesis: “The Colonial Eye of Power and Personalized Politics in the Levant Campaign of 1941”
  • Martin Ridge for his thesis: “The Romantic Consciousness: Marxism, Liberalism, and the Education of Marshall Berman, 1961-1970”
  • Brian Solender for his thesis: “‘Farming Don’t Pay:’ The Anatomy of the 19th-Century Western Farm Mortgage Industry”

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:

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:


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