The Undergraduate Program

Prizes and Honors

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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: