Modern Greek Studies Association

S. 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 S. 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, 2024.

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.

2024 Recipient

Rebecca Shoup (University of California, San Diego), “Women on the Move: Prostitution on Two Nineteenth-Century Eastern Mediterranean Islands.”
See the announcement →

Previous Recipients

2019 · Christopher Leo Jotischky-Hull (Brown University) “The Crowning of the Lyre: Andréas Kálvos and the Appropriation of Pindaric Imagery in Nineteenth-Century Greek Diasporic Poetics.”

2017 — Alexander Grammatikos (Carleton University), “There’s No Place Like Homeland: Victimized Greek Women, The Greek War of Independence, and the Limits of European Philhellenism”

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."