Senior Theses Prizes & Honors Winners: 2012-2020

2020 Winners

Charles A. Beard Prize
Given by the Department for a senior thesis of distinction in any historical field or period.

Emmaline Bennett – Cities of Defeat: Spanish Civil War Refugees and the French Concentration Camps of 1939

Garrett Mattingly Prize
Given by the Department for a senior thesis of distinction in any historical field or period.

Emilia Flack  “A Man Has Disappeared”: Gender, Social Frameworks, and Narrative Construction in the Audin Affair and its Memorial Afterlives, 1957 – 2018

 Lily Prize
Given by the Department for the best senior thesis in history on a non-U.S. topic. Established by James P. Shenton in memory of his mother.

Neil Hemani Azad Hind: Radical Indian nationalism in Nazi Germany during World War Two

Herbert H. Lehman Prize
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 U.S. History.

Mark Gyourko “A Somewhat Awful Procedure”: Otmar Emminger, the West German Bundesbank, and the Final Days of Bretton Woods (1968-1973)

Chanler Historical Prize
Given by the College for the best essay submitted by a senior on a topic dealing with the history of the American civil government.

Isabelle Harris – To Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States: An Institutional History of Congress’s 1871 Investigation of Post-Civil War Violence

Albert Marion Elsberg Prize (prize split)
Given by the College for a sophomore, junior, or senior who has demonstrated excellence in modern history.

Jay Castro – ‘Rising Visions / Fragmentary Glimpses’:  Framing Modernity in Madison Square, 1890-1920.

Paola Ripoll – “Looming A Little Larger Than Its Mere Geographical Size:” Puerto Rico in John F. Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress

Allen J Willen Memorial Prize
The prize is awarded to the Columbia College student who writes the best seminar paper on a contemporary American political problem.

Eitan Meisels – The Shah’s “Fatherly Eye” Iranian Espionage in the United States and the Anti-SAVAK Campaign (1970-1979)

Departmental Honors 2020

Keziah Anderson – “On the Forty Acres that the Government Give Me”:  Independent Freedpeople of the Five Slaveholding Tribes as Landholders, Indigenous Land Allotment Policy, and the Disruption of Racial, Gender, and Class Hierarchies in Jim Crow Oklahoma

Emmaline Bennett – Cities of Defeat: Spanish Civil War Refugees and the French Concentration Camps of 1939

Eva Blake – Castle Pox:  The Battle over Public Health in Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1773-74

Sunny Chen – “To Make World Culture Our Own:”The Russian Institute and the Development of Area Studies in Postwar U.S. (1940-1955)

Edgar Esparza – “[A] system which we wish to last for ages.”: An analysis of early American external and internal sovereignty, 1774-1790

Emilia Flack – “A Man Has Disappeared”: Gender, Social Frameworks, and Narrative Construction in the Audin Affair and its Memorial Afterlives, 1957 – 2018

Charlotte Force – Medicine and Religion in Irish Penitentials, 550-1215

Benjamin Goldstein – “A Legend Somewhat Larger Than Life:” Karl H. von Wiegand and the Fall of Hearstian Sensationalist Journalism

Mark Gyourko – “A Somewhat Awful Procedure”: Otmar Emminger, the West German Bundesbank, and the Final Days of Bretton Woods (1968-1973)

Isabelle Harris – To Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States: An Institutional History of Congress’s 1871 Investigation of Post-Civil War Violence

Johanne Karizamimba – The Poetry of Revolution: Phillis Wheatley and the Transformation of Black Religious Thought

Alice McCrum – “The war, no, not that again”: Samuel Beckett, the French Resistance, and the Narratives of History

Sanjay Paul – Smallholders No More: The Populist Movement in Gillespie County, Texas, 1846-1896

John Russell – Abandoning the Crown: U.S.-Vatican Relations During the Vietnam War, 1963-1968

Manoela Saldanha – Smith, Snake, and the Struggle for Indigenous Religious Rights: Protecting Peyotism in Employment Div. v. Smith

Daniel Shao – Beethoven as “Paradigmatic Socialist Warrior”: The Reception and Performance of Classical Music in the GDR

Tommy Song – Scholars on the Margin Global Intellectual History of Anthropologists and Educationists of Color Trained at Columbia University, 1897-1937

Michelle Yan – “ Conciudadanas ”: The Book of Gold, Women, and Politics in Paraguay, 1864-1870

Perry Young – Immortal through Labor: The Stakhanovite Movement in Soviet Ideology

2019 Winners

 

Charles A. Beard Prize
Given by the Department for a senior thesis of distinction in any historical field or period.

Emma Kolchin –  “Reimagining Hayden White: The Politics of Writing History”

Garrett Mattingly Prize
Given by the Department for a senior thesis of distinction in any historical field or period.

Yen Ba Vu “Dividing the Delta: Khmer-Vietnamese Relations from 1930 to 1954 in the Mekong Delta”

Chanler Historical Prize (split)
Given by the College for the best essay submitted by a senior on a topic dealing with the history of the American civil government.

Andrea Charlotte Floersheimer “Kitchen Courthouses and Flying Judges: Bush Justice in Alaska, 1959 – 1980” 

Emily Anne Gruber “‘Knowledge, for what?’ Seth Low and the Governance of Brooklyn, Columbia University, and New York City (1881-1903)”

Albert Marion Elsberg Prize (prize split)
Given by the College for a sophomore, junior, or senior who has demonstrated excellence in modern history.

Mahir Riaz – “Sovereignty Ltd: Sir George Goldie and the Rise of the Royal Niger Company”

Sylvia Davidovicz “’A Prize for Warlike Ambition’: The 1885 Panama Crisis and the Rise of an American Power Complex”

Herbert H. Lehman Prize
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 U.S. History.

Yen Ba Vu – “Dividing the Delta: Khmer-Vietnamese Relations from 1930 to 1954 in the Mekong Delta”

Lily Prize
Given by the Department for the best senior thesis in history on a non-U.S. topic. Established by James P. Shenton in memory of his mother.

Sias Merkling – “Olga’s Occult: Bézobrazow’s Formation of Spiritualist Feminism in the Revue des femmes russes during France’s Fin de Siècle”

Departmental Honors 2019

Cregan, Luke DeCourcey

Cunliffe, Margaret

Davidovicz Smith, Sylvia Michael

Floersheimer, Andrea Charlotte

Gruber, Emily Anne

Magid, Rebecca Ona

Makarov, Erich

Merkling, Sias

Pedersen, Saskia Jane

Riaz, Mahir

Saha, Upasna

 

2018 Winners

 

Charles A. Beard Prize
Given by the Department for a senior thesis of distinction in any historical field or period.

Julien Reiman –  “‘A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man’: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947

Garrett Mattingly Prize
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.

James Woodall –  “From ‘Servant’ to ‘Hotel Worker’: Class Warfare, Hotel Workers, and Wobblies in New York City, 1893–1913

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.

Elizabeth Kandel – “‘Have we an American design?’: The Index of American Design and the United States’ Search for National Culture in the Great Depression

Albert Marion Elsberg Prize (split)
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.

Edward Crouse – “‘Upheld by Force:’ Sylvia Pankhurst’s Sedition of 1920

Samuel Henick – “Winter’s not yet gone: Construction and Memory of the Winter of Discontent in Popular and Scholarly Discourse

Herbert H. Lehman Prize
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.

Benjamin Fortun – Unholy Gospel: The Radical Songs of The Industrial Workers of the World

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

Arielle Alterwaite – “Medical Imaginaries and the Emergence of Biopolitics on the Saint Domingue Plantation

Alan J. Willen Memorial Prize
Awarded annually to the Columbia College student who submits 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. It was established in 1968 by classmates and friends of Alan J. Willen, Class of 1964, in his memory. 

Alexandra Fay – “‘Crimes of Government’: William Patterson, Civil Rights, and American Criminal Justice

Departmental Honors 2018

Benjamin Arenstein – “Scripted History: Hebrew Romanization in Interwar British Mandate Palestine”

Pieter Clerger“Beyond Race and Culture: A Comparative Study of the Effect of Economic Conditions on the Development of Identity Among Afro-Caribbean Communities in the United Kingdom and France”

Spencer Cohen – “A Century of Naval Mythmaking in Tokyo: Remembering the Battle of the Sea of Japan, 1905-2005”

Nathan Eckman – “A Fleeting, Forgotten, Modus Vivendi: U.S. Foreign Policy and its Perspectives on Revolutionary Iran Before the Hostage Crisis of 1979”

Dore Feith – “Dueling Ideas of Honor and Anti-Dueling Networks: Moral Reform in Antebellum Charleston and Savannah”

Kara Kupferberg – “Resistance to Memory: The European Union and Memory of World War II Resistance”

Diana Li“Realistically imagining the unimaginable – the civilian strategists crafting nuclear strategies in the Cold War Pentagon”

Henry Litwhiler – “Crafting the Scholar’s Vocation: Health and Society in the Works of Marsilio Ficino”

Benjamin Preneta – “Neutrality Uncertain: Ghanaian Peacekeepers in the Congo Crisis”

Rachel Sommers – “Soviet Orientalism: A New Approach to Understanding Soviet-Middle Eastern Relations in the Interwar Period and Beyond”

Emily Yeh –  “The People’s Institute: Working-Class Immigrant Political Participation, 1897–1917”

 

2017 Winners

 

Departmental Honors 2017

Erik Dupire-Nelson – “Missed Opportunities on the Riviera: Strategic Decisions by the Western Allies in World War II and the Advent of the Cold War”

Daniel Echikson – “Sugar Traders, West Indian Slavers, and Corporate Financiers: The Economic History of an American Family at the Turn of the 19th Century”

Valerie Fendt – “Paradigm Shift: The Standing Rock Sioux and the Struggle of Our Time”

Peter Giraudo – “Divorced From Reality: Giovanni Gentile’s Idealist Political Thought and Fascist Concept of the Nation”

Aaron Hansen – “Pandering from the Pulpit: Religion and the Pursuit of Happiness in the American Republic, 1789-1825”

Danielle Jacobs – “The Investment Company Act of 1940: Democratizing Finance in the Fight Against Fascism”

Michael Crocitto Kenny  “‘A fool a fugitive or a hero’”: The European Odyssey of Herbert L. Matthews, 1931-1945”

Jeremy Reeves – “The Colonial Eye of Power and Personalized Politics in the Levant Campaign of 1941”

Martin Ridge – “The Romantic Consciousness: Marxism, Liberalism, and the Education of Marshall Berman, 1961-1970”

Brian Solender – “‘Farming Don’t Pay:’ The Anatomy of the 19th-Century Western Farm Mortgage Industry”

 

2016 Winners

 

Departmental Honors 2016

Maya Barad – “Developing Eugenic Consciousness: The Campaign for Voluntary Sterilization of the Mentally Deficient in Interwar Britain”

Conor Goetz – ‘The Mad and Hungry Dogs:’ The Press and Political Power in the Washington, DC Race Riot of 1919”

Maris Hubbard – “The Personal is the International: Building a Global Sisterhood in 1990s Belgrade”

Sam Preston – “The Nazi Atomic Bomb: The Mistaken Assumption that Started the Cold War”

Nicolas Sambor – “‘Celebrated, Criticized, and Copied Around the World’: The Harvard Economic Service and its Place in 20th Century Economic History”

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

Patrick Sherrier  “The Power of Music and the Music of Power: ‘Nazi’ Musicians in America, 1945-1949”

Harrison Stetler – “‘A skilled surgeon presiding at the birth of a new culture’: Christopher Lasch on the Politics of Post-Industrial Society”

Ian Trueger – “Reading Difference in Inquisition Spain: Pork, Race, and the Specter of the Converso (1430-1527)”

Jingwei Xu – “‘Scientific Frontier:’ The North-West Frontier, Imperial Intelligence, and the Geopolitics of Empire, 1849-1901”

 

2015 Winners

 

Departmental Honors 2015

Michael Christie 

David Ecker 

Thomas Flynn 

Isabel Genecin 

Jacob Hamburger 

Anika Havaldar 

Dan Herbatschek 

Christopher Meyer 

Julian NoiseCat 

Jared Odessky 

Emma Stodder 

 

2014 Winners

 

Departmental Honors 2014

Salonee Bhaman

Aminadav Grossman

Todd Hirsch

Hallen Korn

Corinna Munn

Kenneth Philbrick

Hannah Rosner

Bob Sun

Lanbo Zhang

 

2013 Winners

 

Departmental Honors 2013

Jennifer Barrer-Gall

F. Elias Boujaoude

Lisa Cant

John Eckels

Benjamin Eckersley

Jacob Goldenberg

Jonathan Huberman

Elizabeth Jacob

Maria Lomaka

Kevin McWilliams

Claire Sabel

Gabriela Siegel

James Wiseman

 

2012 Winners

 

Departmental Honors 2012

Noelle Bodick

Danica Damplo

Brittany Edmoundson

Jillian Gottlieb

Veronica Hylton

Samuel Klug

Adam Kuerbitz

William Leonard

Catherine Mas

Kelly O’Reilly

Karen Rios

Raul Alexandro Ruiz

Amirah Sequeira

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