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Student Essay Prize

Victor Papacosma Essay Prize

This Prize honors S. Victor Papacosma, who taught History at Kent State University until his retirement. Victor served the MGSA with dedication in many capacities. As Executive Director from 2004 to 2014, he moved the association forward through his effective and ever-gracious collaborative spirit of inclusiveness.

Given to the Best Graduate Student Essay on a Greek subject, the Victor Papacosma Essay Prize is awarded on a biennial schedule to coincide with the Association's Symposium. The prize consists of a cash award of $250 and reimbursement to the prize-winner for expenses (up to $300 for travel and accommodations in addition to the gift cards offered to graduate students participating in the conference, if relevant) paid out to attend the Association's Symposium. The prize winner will also be given a free one-year membership, or one-year renewal of membership, to the Association, and will be invited to present the paper in conference-paper form at the Symposium.

All disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences compete together. Eligibility for the prize includes all graduate students enrolled in any M.A. or Ph.D. program in a North American institution. All graduate students submitting papers at the MGSA Biennial Symposium are strongly encouraged to submit their work to the Graduate Student Essay Prize Committee for consideration. In order to qualify, applicants must be current members of the Association when they submit their essays.


The length of submission should be between 6000 and 9000 words (double-spaced) and must be primarily in the English language and prepared for anonymous evaluation. If possible, papers should follow the format for documentation as set out in The Journal of Modern Greek Studies. The subject matter of submissions must deal wholly or in part with the post-Byzantine Greek world -- including Greek diasporas.

For future submissions, send one pdf of the author’s cover sheet (with name, title of essay, email address and regular mailing address) and another pdf with the anonymous essay to [email protected]
Deadline 31 July, 2019.

The committee charged with reviewing submissions and deciding the prize winner will be selected by the MGSA Graduate Studies Committee and will include representatives from multiple disciplines and with the participation of the Editor, or an Associate Editor, of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies. It is our expectation that the winning submission will be published in the Journal of Modern Greek Studies, but only after it has successfully passed the journal's peer review process. Other entries that receive honorable mention will also be proposed for the Journal of Modern Greek Studies peer review.

2017 Recipient

Alexander Grammatikos (Carleton University), “There’s No Place Like Homeland: Victimized Greek Women, The Greek War of Independence, and the Limits of European Philhellenism”

Previous Recipients

2015 — Panayotis League, (Harvard University, ethnomusicology) for his paper: “The Poetics of Meráki: Dialogue and Speech Genre in Kalymnian Songs.”

Honorable Mention — Etienne E. Charrière (University of Michigan, Comparative Literature) for his paper: “A Greek Novel ‘Clad in an English Dress’: Stephanos Xenos’ Devil in Turkey (1851) as Transnational Text.”

2013 — Katerina Stergiopoulou, a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at Princeton University, for her essay "Μεταγράφοντας: Giorgos Seferis Writing with the Song of Songs."

2011 — Will Stroebel, a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, for his essay "Narrating the Disaster: Trauma and National Discourses in Elias Venezis' To Noumero 31328 and Kosmas Politis' Stou Hadjifrangou."

2009 — Karen Emmerich, Ph.D. candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, for her essay "Eleni Vakalo's Poetic Objects: The Poem as Peiramatopragma."


The ASEEES Graduate Student Essay Prize was established in 2006 and is awarded for an outstanding essay by a graduate student in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. The winner of the competition receives free roundtrip domestic airfare to and room at the ASEEES Annual Convention and an honorary ASEEES membership for the following year. The prize is presented during the awards presentation at the Annual Convention.

2017 Winner

Louis Porter, “No ‘Neutral Men’: A Day in the Life of a Soviet International Civil Servant, 1956-1967,” PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Rules of Eligibility

Rules of eligibility for the ASEEES Graduate Student Essay Prize competition are as follows:

ASEEES Regional Affiliates and Institutional Members are invited to hold their own competitions for best essay among their graduate students, and submit the winning paper to the ASEEES Grad Student Prize Committee.

Essay author must be a graduate student and must have written the essay in English while in a graduate program.

Essays can be any of several formats:

    • Expanded versions of conference papers
    • Graduate level seminar papers
    • Master's Thesis Chapters
    • Dissertation Chapters

Nominating Instructions

Essays should be submitted to the ASEEES by the Chairs of the Regional Affiliates or the primary or secondary representatives of the Institutional Members. Graduate students whose institution is not an institutional member of ASEEES or is not holding a competition this year, are advised to check the rules for their regional competition. Students cannot self-nominate their papers without going through the proper nominating procedures.

Submitter must clearly indicate the format of the essay submitted and provide an abstract.

Essays should have a minimum word count of 7,500 and a maximum word count of 14,000 (25 to 50 pages approximately) inclusive of footnotes and bibliography. Submissions must be double-spaced and include footnotes or endnotes.

Essays should be sent in electronic format, simultaneously to Mary Arnstein, Communications Coordinator, at and to all members of the prize committee.

Deadline for submissions: June 1.

2018 Committee on the Student Prize

The winner of the ASEEES Graduate Student Essay Prize will be chosen by the ASEEES Committee on the Student Prize:

Victoria Smolkin, Wesleyan U; 2016-2018; Committee Chair

Eric Gordy, U College London (UK), 2017-2019

Laura Olson Osterman, U of Colorado, 2018-2020