Aid and Awards
Research Paper Awards
The Department of History awards several prizes each spring to students who have submitted exceptional writing for a Vanderbilt history course throughout the academic year.
Henry Lee Swint Award
$500 to the author of the best research paper or essay in any field of history. This competition is open only to undergraduate history majors and excludes history honors theses.
Samuel T. McSeveney Award
$500 to the author of the best research paper or essay written for a freshman history seminar (History 1111 or another 1111 course taught by a history professor). This award was established in 2001 by Professor Samuel T. McSeveney to recognize an undergraduate student with the best paper written in a freshman seminar in the Department of History.
Dewey Grantham Award
$500 to the author of the best honors thesis in the history department. Named for the late Professor Dewey Grantham, this award has been presented each year since Spring 1997.
2020 Winner: Mary E. Tezak, “The Hatay belongs to us”: Defining Community in the Sanjak of Alexandretta, 1915-1940,” (Julia Cohen (advisor), Emily Greble, Joel Harrington.) Highest Honors and Winner of the Grantham Prize for 2020.
2019 Winner: Halee Robinson, "For My Children's Sake: Enslaved Women and the Idea of Home in Nineteenth-Century Tennessee," (Byrd, Williams, Taylor, Tuchman). Awarded: Highest Honors.
2018 Cameron Rohall, “‘In Short, I am a West Indian’: Planters, Performance, Anxiety, and Abolition in Georgian Britain,” (Molineux, Epstein, Wright-Rios).
2017 Robert Yee, “Commerce and Corporate Governance: Financial Attempts to Restructure the British East India Company, 1765-1773,” (Caferro, Sheikh, Wcislo).
2016 TWO WINNERS.
Cecily Larison, “A Look Rather than a Reality: Feminism, Bras, and the Politics of Commodification,” Adviser: Paul Kramer
Talley, Mark Christian, “Forgotten Vanguard: The Origins and Mission of the National Council for United States-China Trade, 1972-1980,” Adviser: Thomas A. Schwartz
2015 Danielle Jessup Beaujon, “Coming ‘Home’: Repatriation in the Bouches-du-Rhône, 1962-1970,” Adviser: Lauren Clay.
2014 NO WINNER.
2013 Helen Li, “Culture Card: The Beijing Olympics and the Politics of Mega-Events,” Advisor: Gerald Figal.
2012 Sandra Michelle Jensen, “Curiosities on the Cumberland: Early Nineteenth-Century Museums in Nashville, Tennessee,” Advisor: Catherine Molineux.
2011 Kathryn Manza, “‘For the Poor, the Sick and the Needy’: How Socially Conscious Catholic Priests Navigated the Birth Control Debate in the U.S. in the Early Twentieth Century,” Advisor: Arleen M. Tuchman.
2010 Stephanie Lynn Freeman, “‘The Highest Stakes Poker Game Ever Played’: Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Reykjavik Summit of 1986,” Advisor: Thomas A. Schwartz.
2009 Melanie Carol Erb, “The Rhetoric of Reform: Metaphors of Disease in John Howard’s The State of the Prisons,” Advisor: Professor James Epstein.
2008 Conrey Callahan; "The Impact of the Spanish Civil War on Argentine Nationalist Intellectual Thought," Advisor: Professor Marshall Eakin.
2007 Gregory Roberts; "From Other Worldly to Worldly: Materialism, Anomie, and the Decline of Catharism's Charismatic Appeal," Advisor: Professor Bill Caferro.
2006 Ty Johannes; “The Other Side of the Prism: Explaining and Refuting the Image of a Weak and Indecisive Jimmy Carter,” Advisor: Instructor Breck Walker.
2005 Vreni Schoenenberger; “Staring at the Ground: Examining the Wider History of International Health Cooperation through the Indian Plague of 1896 and Trypanosomiasis in, 1900-1908,” Advisor: Professor Ruth Rogaski.
2004 Jonathan Michael Davis; “The Great Flood of 1937 In Louisville : a reconsideration of New Deal politics in a Southern City,” Advisor: Professor David Carlton.
2003 Two Awards: Megan Hektner; “’We Wanted to Sew Our History’: The Arpillera Movement, Motherhood, and Political Mobilization in Chile,” Advisor Professor Marshall Eakin, and, Ryan Crosswell; “In the Shade of Palmetto: Reconstruction, South Carolina , and David T. Corbin,” Advisor: Professor David Carlton.
2002 Two Awards: Sarah Fried; “Constructing the Self: Female Identity Development in the Turn-of-the-Century South,” Advisor: Professor Rebecca Plant, and, Justin Memmott; “Selective Silences: The Story of the American Press and Mein Kampf, 1933-1939,” Advisor: Professor Tom Schwartz.
2001 Two Awards: Lauren O’Neill; “Homemade: Domestic Bids and the Craft of Jimmy Carter’s Israeli-Egyptian Diplomacy,” Advisor: Professor Tom Schwartz, and, Lauren Ellis; “Preserving the Social Myth?: The United Steelworkers Strike at the Nashville Corporation in 1947,” Advisor: Professor Hugh Graham.
2000 No award given this year.
1999 Matthew Hanna; “The American Embassy: Catalyst for the 1965 Dominican Intervention,” Advisor: Professor Tom Schwartz.
1998 Andrew Hawken Hall; “The Last Days of Pirates,” Advisor: Professor Jane Landers.
1997 Two Awards: Clara J. Holloway; “’Hasten the Inevitable Day of Freedom’: The Carter Administration and Namibian Independence, 1977-1981,” Advisor: Professor Thomas Schwartz, and, Hilary D’Lacy Fey; “A Study of Heritage in Britain: From the Falklands War to Windsor Castle, ” Advisor: Professor James Epstein.
$500 to the author of the best research paper or essay written by a law, history & society major. Excludes history honors theses.
Economic History Award
$500 to the author of the best research paper or essay written by an economics and history major. Excludes history honors theses.
Paul K. Conkin Award
$500 to the author of the best paper in U.S. history. This competition is open to all undergraduate students but excludes history honors theses.
- All papers must be double-spaced without instructor comments.
- Attach a coversheet indicating the class for which the paper was written (course number, course title, term, and instructor) and the award for which it should be considered.
- The paper cannot be revised from the version that was graded for class.
- An entry may be considered for more than one award if it meets the eligibility criteria, but each student can submit only one essay per award.
- Email submissions by the last day of teaching for the spring semester.
Frank A. Woods Award
$500 to a graduating senior with the highest grade point average who is majoring in history; economics & history; or law, history & society. Mr. James Lachs (BS 1993) established this award in honor of Frank A. Woods (BA 1963; LLB 1966).
Gertrude Casebier Award
This award is intended for Vanderbilt history major students who are engaged in an original historical research project. The history department will offer awards up to $1,000 each to the top research project proposals to help defray the costs of research that cannot otherwise be completed by using the library, archival, and interlibrary loan resources of Vanderbilt University and greater Nashville.
Proposals should include: a letter of recommendation from the faculty adviser overseeing the project, a one-page statement describing the nature and significance of the project, and a one-page budget detailing the intended use of the funds being requested. Proposals will be reviewed and award once per semester. Email submissions by February 15, 2023 for the spring semester.