Published: Oct. 12, 2020

 Announcement of the 2020 Mary E. V. McClanahan Graduate Essay Prize

Summary: Classics Graduate students are invited to submit essays to be judged by a committee of three faculty members. The writer of the essay judged to be the best will receive $1,500 and will present his or her essay as a lecture to the department, to be followed by a reception. Even very good seminar papers are likely to have a better chance if they have been revised and improved; hence the fall submission deadline.

Eligibility: Graduate students enrolled in the Department of Classics at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Fall 2020 semester are eligible to submit essays in the field of Classics, broadly defined. These will usually have been written for seminars and courses here, but essays originally written for other courses or at other institutions are also eligible. Essays should be between four and six thousand words in length, although shorter submissions may be considered. If the essay includes a research apparatus (footnotes, bibliography, image captions), these should not be included in the word count. A student who has won the prize may not compete a second time.

Submission deadline: Electronic versions of the essays (.docx, .doc, or .pdf) should be submitted to Peter Hunt ( by October 12th.  Please submit an anonymous version of the essay, so the committee may judge the essays blind to the extent possible.   The winner will be announced by October 26th.

Prize: In addition to the cash prize ($1500) the winner normally presents their essay to the department in a public lecture followed by a reception.  We anticipate that the lecture will need to be given via Zoom this year.

Judging: The selection committee consists of three faculty members in the Department of Classics. The committee may decide not to award the prize.  In exceptional circumstances, the committee may decide to acknowledge more than one paper in whatever way they deem appropriate, e.g. designating a paper as an honorable mention, splitting the prize money, or sponsoring two lectures.  The announcement date, due date, and amount of the prize may vary from year to year.

Judges for this year’s competition are Professors Dimitri Nakassis (Committee Chair), Isabel Köster, and Zach Herz.  Send submissions to Peter Hunt.