The Undergraduate Program

Thesis Prizes and Honors

2023 Winners 

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

Elia Zhang – Sinitic Aesthetics in the Imagism Poetics: The Poetry and Criticisms of Laurence Binyon, Ernest Fenollosa, and Ezra Pound, 1908-1936 

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

Crystal Foretia The Color of Intimacy: Marriage, Passing, and the Legal Strategies of Afro-Creole Women in Antebellum New Orleans 

 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.

Robbert van Batenburg – Alexandre Kojève and his Quest to Actualize the ‘Universal and Homogenous State’: A Theory of Droit and its Application at the ‘End of History’

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.

Isabella Noonen – America’s ‘Fifth Estate’: The East Village Other, The Underground Press Syndicate, and the Creation and the Transformation of the Press of the Sixties Youth Movement 

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

Zirui Chen – The Great North Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials – Habeas Corpus, Due Process, and the Southern Redemption of the Fourteenth Amendment, 1870-71 

Philip Shen – Asserting Their Racial Order: The Origins of The Los Angeles Chinese Massacre of 1871

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

Elizabeth Concepcion – From Autonomy to Internationalism: Quarantines, the Hajj, and Ottoman-Egyptian Relations, 1830-1870

Alexandra Kirk – “The Defiance of a Flower:” Women’s Participation in Thailand’s Movement for Democracy (1973-1976)

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.

Cole Cahill – The Limits of Cooperation – Confronting Privatization at Limited-Equity Housing Cooperatives in New York City

Undergraduate Education Committee Prize 
The Undergraduate Education Committee Prize is given to a thesis of excellence written in any field of history.

Dominy Gallo – Public Women, Private Vice: Resisting and Reforming the State Regulation of Sex Work in 1940s Algiers

Departmental Honors 2023

Victoria Borlando – Finding the “International Word”: Artists of the Historical Avant-Garde and Uniting Interwar Europe 

Pablo Drake – Forgotten Prisoners – Spanish Internment Practices and Military Culture during the Rif War, 1909-1927

Hana Gallagher – “To live and dye in the state of Grace and perfection”: Navigating Catholic Space in the Last Wills and Testaments of Ireland and Mexico, 1553-1699

Lorenzo Garcia – François de Sales (1567-1622), the Catholic Reformation, and the “Love of God” – Reform and Theology in Early Modern Catholicism

Jack Hietpas – Islands of the Poor: Single-Room Occupancy Housing on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, 1930-1990 

Andi Honeycutt – Slow Creatures of Attachment: Changing Worldviews After the Abolition of Slavery in the Family of Charles Colcock Jones, Sr., 1837-1892

Olivia Jenkins – “Brotherhood and Unity” Among the Sisterhood: The Anti-Fascist Women’s Front (AFŽ) and the State-Building Project of Postwar Socialist Yugoslavia 

Clara Kraebber – “Support and Criticism and Many Hours of Trying to Understand and Survive:” Popeye Jackson and Revolutionary Abolitionism in the 1970s California Bay Area Radical Prison Movement

Samuel Levine – “Such a Place as Atlantis”: Biafran Propaganda, Diplomacy, and Identity, 1966 – 1970

Sophia Macomber – A Most Spectacular Scandal: Changing Dynamics of Female Bodies, State, and Cult from the Late Roman Republic to the Early Principate

Daragh McMahon – The Test of Transition – The UN Administration of Cambodia (1992-1993)

Caitlin Mulvihill – Disconnected: Accessing The Obscured Legacy of The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Cyber Operations

Reagan Schweppe – Between Life and Death: Early Twentieth-Century Representations of Nature at the American Museum of Natural History and Bronx Zoological Park

Karuna Vikram – Patent Politics – The Pharmaceutical Industry, Technology Transfer, and the Fight for India’s 1970 Patent Act

Luna Wang – Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance: A History of ESG Standardization from 1970s to the Present

Mizia Wessel – Beyond the Vote: Black Women’s Klan Testimonies in the Context of the Federal South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials, 1871-1872

Max Wilson – The psychosocial devastation of cannons during the Hundred Years’ War

Samuel Yelnosky – Views from the Co-Op: Reconsidering Delta Cooperative Farm

Annarosa Zampaglone – To Claim a Colony: The Evolution and Impact of Italian Colonial Land Laws in Eritrea from 1884 to 1907


 A list from previous years can be found here.