WHA/Phi Alpha Theta Undergraduate & Graduate Student Paper Prize

Phi Alpha Theta and the World History Association sponsor two student paper prizes in world history. Separate cash awards in the amount of $500 are given for the best undergraduate world history paper and the best graduate-level world history paper composed in the 2016-17 academic year. A one-year membership in the WHA and a certificate will also be included with each prize.

A world history paper is one that examines any historical issue with global implications. Such studies can include, but are not limited to, the exchange and interchange of cultures, the comparison of two or more civilizations or cultures, or the study in a macro-historical manner of a phenomenon that had a global impact. For example, world history topics might include a study of the trans-cultural impact of Eurasia’s Silk Road; a comparative study of the Ottoman and British empires; or the worldwide impact of the Influenza Pandemic of 1919.

The Committee will judge papers according to the following criteria: world historical scope; originality of research; depth of analysis; and prose style.

To be eligible, students must have composed the paper while enrolled at an accredited college or university during 2016-2017, and either they or the faculty member who taught the course must be members of either the World History Association or Phi Alpha Theta.

Submissions must be no longer than 30 typewritten, double-spaced pages of text, exclusive of the title page, endnotes, and bibliography.

Number all pages except for the title page.

Endnotes must conform to standard historical formats. Do not use parenthetical notes.

The author’s identity is to appear nowhere on the paper.

A separate, unattached page should accompany the paper, identifying the author, title of paper, home address, telephone number, e-mail address, college affiliation, graduating year and status (undergraduate or graduate student), and the association (WHA or PAT) to which the person belongs. Phi Alpha Theta members must indicate the institution at which they were inducted and the year.

A one-page (250-word) abstract must accompany each submission. Abstracts of winning papers will be published in all announcements of competition results.

Additionally, a letter or e-mail from a relevant history faculty member (the supervising professor, the Chair of the department, or the Phi Alpha Theta chapter advisor) must attest to the fact that the paper was composed during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Papers that do not adhere to these guidelines will be disqualified.

Winning papers are eligible for consideration for publication in the various journals of the World History Association and Phi Alpha Theta, but no promise of publication accompanies any award.

Send submissions via email with the following attachments in MS Word:

1) the paper;
2) the page with identifying information; and
3) the abstract.

The faculty member’s letter must be emailed or posted separately.

Email to the Committee Chair, Jon Davidann, at jdavidann@hpu.edu.


Send hardcopy materials to the Committee Chair at the address listed below. Hardcopy submissions must include four (4) printed copies each of the paper, the page with identifying information, the abstract, and the faculty member’s letter.

Mail to:

Jon Davidann
Professor of History
Hawai’i Pacific University
1188 Fort Street (Model Progress Building), Rm. MP 325
Honolulu, HI 96813



Entries must be emailed or postmarked by June 1st of each year.


Robert Nowland, University of North Carolina at Asheville, ‘The Game of United States Diplomacy Within the Ottoman Empire: How the United States Interests’ in the Ottoman Empire Delayed its Entrance into the Great War.”

Rachel Schrottman, Northeastern University, “Francafrique: The French Role in Rwanda”

Beninio McDonough-Tranza, Free University (Berlin), ‘The Construction of “Self” and “Other” in a Semi-Colonial Community: The Case of Japan Punch, 1862-1883’

Rachel Schrottman, Northeastern University, “Impact of Belgian Colonization on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda”

Emilia Antiglio, University of Warwick, “The Diffusion of Porcelaine des Indes in Eighteenth-Century France: From Lorient to Paris and Beyond, 1720 – 1775.”

Jakub Mscichowski, Simon Fraser University, “From Avalokitesvara to Guanyin and the Maria Kannon: Charting the Roles of Syncretism in East Asian Christianities.”

Matthew Wallin, Northern Kentucky University, “Intellectual Crosscurrents of the Black Atlantic: Pan Africanism and Civil Rights in the Time of the Cold War”

Priya Shah, Chapman University, “Language, Discipline, and Power: The Extirpation of Idolatry in Colonial Peru and Indigenous Resistance”

Christopher Heap, University of Warwick, Coventry, U.K., “Silks, Silver and Contraband: The Eastwards Manila Galleon in the Global Economy, 1571-1815”

Graduate Division: Kathryn Hain, University of Utah, a member of the WHA and a PAT member (inducted University of Utah, 2011) for her paper, written in a class with Prof. Peter von Sivers: “The Mediterranean Trunk Line to Slavery: The Early Medieval Slave Trade in Europeans”

Undergraduate Division: Hyeok Hweon Kang, Emory University, a member of PAT (induction Emory 2012), for a paper in a class taught by Prof. Tonio Andrade: “Big Heads and Buddhist Demons: The Korean Military Revolution and The Northern Expeditions of 1654 and 1658.”

Graduate division co-winners: Andrew Christian Peterson, University of Hawaii at Manoa, “What Really Made the World Go Around?: Indio Contributions to the Acapulco-Manila Galleon Trade.”

Adam P. J. Witten, University of Hawaii at Manoa, “Cross-Fertilizing the Botanical Sciences: Japan’s Role in the Formation of Disciplinary Science.”

Undergraduate division: Nathanael Cameron Hood, Ursinus College, “The Roots of Mahayana Buddism.”

Graduate division: Gregory Rosenthal, “Boki’s Predicament: The Material Culture and Environmental History of Hawaiian Sandalwood, 1811-1830” Stony Brook University, SUNY, World History Association Member

Undergraduate division: Samantha Huang, “Technologies of Chinese Smuggling: Migratory Knowledge and Networks, 1882-1924” UC San Diego (2010), Phi Alpha Theta Member

Graduate division: No Prize Granted

Undergraduate division: Jonathan D. Garon, “A Tainted Peace: The Failure of De-Nazification in Occupied German,” University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Graduate division: Gail Marlow Taylor, “The Book of Secrets: Alchemy and the Laboratory Manual from Al-Razi to Libavius, 920-1597,” California State University, Fullerton

Undergraduate division: Tim Davies, “What did Indian Merchants Do? Gujarat and the Trade to East Africa in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” University of Warwick, U.K.

Graduate division: Preston Bakshi, “Decolonizing Medicine: Professionalization and the Pharmaceutical Industry in Independent India,” University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California

Undergraduate division: Rigel A. Behrens, “Jesus Christ, Karl Marx, and the Cold War: The Latin American Church’s Response to a Changing World,” Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky

Undergraduate division runners up: 
Taylor Burton, Columbus State University, Georgia, for “Bwiti: A Syncretic Faith of Modern Africa”

Kevin Michael Smith, University of California at Irvine, for “Coterminous Companions: Nationalism, Class, and Anational Arab-Jewish Cooperation in Mandatory Palestine”

Graduate division: Jeffer Daykin, “Progressive Pedagogy in Rural China: Tao Xingzhi’s Xiaozhuang Experimental School as an Implementation of John Dewey’s Educational Philosophy,” Portland State University, Portland, Oregon

Undergraduate division: Robert Cole, Power and Performance in Bombay’s Victoria Terminus,” University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia

Graduate division: Phillip Sinitiere, “Navigating the Indian Ocean: Exploring the Textures of an African Diaspora,” University of Houston, Houston, Texas

Undergraduate division: Kyle Jackson, “Preface to a Brief History of Modern Humans,” Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

Graduate division: Luke Clossey, “Distant Rites: The Jesuit China Mission and Its Global Ritual Community,” University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California

Undergraduate division: Elizabeth Kamradt, “Colonial Jamestown and Cape Town: A Discussion of Early Changes and Lastinf Outcomes,” Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky

Graduate division: Christopher J. Lee, Stanford University, “Current Concepts in the Red Atlantic: World History as Political Practice in Cape Town, South Africa, 1943-48”

Undergraduate division: Kathleen Vazoulas, Marist College, “Complexity of Relations: Mexico and the United States, 1938-1942”

Graduate division: No Prize Granted

Undergraduate division: Nadine Leon, “The Saint Domingue Revolution: The Impact of the Revolution on Colonial France, 1789-1815,” Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut

Runner-up #1: Laurie Lahey, “Time After Time: China, Europe, and the Fate of the Mechanical Clock,” Rowan College, Glassboro, New Jersey

Runner-up #2: Kirk Lawler, “The Jesuit Incursion into Ming China: Science and Humanism in the Service of God,” North Central College, Naperville, Illinois

Graduate division: Mary Ann R. Gabbert, University of Texas El Paso, for “El Paso, A Sight for Sore Eyes: Medical and Legal Aspects of Syrian Immigration, 1906-1907”

Undergraduate division: Thomas D. Pomenti, Ursinus College, for “Genocidal and Non-Genocidal Cleansings: Why a Perpetrating Regime Will Choose Either Total Murder or Mass Expulsion as Its Means of Population Cleansing”


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