S. Eric Molin Graduate Student Award
The S. Eric Molin Prize for Best Conference Paper by a Student
If you are a graduate or advanced undergraduate student presenting a paper at the meeting, please consider applying for the Society's Sven Eric Molin Prize for the best paper presented by a student. EC/ASECS established the Molin Prize at our meeting in October 1989 in order to encourage the participation of graduate students in our society. We named the award after Eric Molin, one of our most beloved members, because his dedication to teaching and to EC/ASECS inspired so many of us. During his career, Eric taught at Ohio University, Randolph-Macon College and, finally, at George Mason University, from 1973 until his death on November 4, 1987. In memory of Eric, many EC/ASECS members contributed generously to the Molin endowment.
Faculty members who supervise students should encourage them to apply. The first prize award is $150.00, and, at the discretion of the committee, a second prize award for $100.00 may be given. The winner will be recognized in the EC/ASECS Intelligencer (glory will ensue!). If you want to enter your paper, please send an abstract of it to the three committee members to arrive no later than September 30. The members of this year's committee are Corey E. Andrews, firstname.lastname@example.org (English, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH 44555); Rivka Swenson, email@example.com (English, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 842005, Richmond, VA 23284-2005); and Anna Foy, Anna.Foy@uah.edu (714 Randolph Ave. SE, Huntsville, AL 35801). Don't hesitate to direct questions to the prize committee's members.
Guidelines for the Molin Prize Contest
(1) Length: The presentation must be an appropriate length; that is, the talk should last no more than twenty minutes. Members of the committee will attend each presentation and time the talks. In practical terms, the text of the essay (exclusive of endnotes) should be no more than nine pages, double-spaced, with twelve-point type and reasonable margins. The committee advises contestants to practice the talk in advance to ensure that it does not run over the allotted time.
(2) Presentation: In order to be eligible for this competition, contestants must be physically present to read the paper at the EC/ASECS conference. An entrant cannot have someone else give the paper since a part of the committee's evaluation will be on the actual presentation and the way in which the contestant fields questions after the talk. The paper must be unique; that is, a contestant cannot submit the paper to another conference or recycle a paper previously presented elsewhere. After the conference, contestants must send the committee a copy the paper in full (and with endnotes) by December 1. A summary of the talk as part of a roundtable or panel discussion is unacceptable.
(3) Audience: In addition to the content of the paper, the committee will also evaluate the writer's ability to make a specialized topic accessible to a wider audience of eighteenth-century scholars. Contestants should recognize that one element of a paper's success is its understanding of the broader context in which the argument is situated. Because the prize committee is composed of scholars from a range of specialties in 18th-century studies, in various disciplines and national cultures, they may not be familiar with all the criticism on the paper's topic. Therefore, the essay should establish how the writer's perspective relates to those of other scholars who have written on the same subject.
(4) Submissions: Entrants must first submit an abstract to the members of the committee by September 30 (see the e-mail addresses above). After the conference, those who submitted their abstracts should send a full copy of the paper (as read) to the committee by December 1. An electronic submission should be a Microsoft Word attachment; members of the committee will send an e-mail confirmation of receipt and will alert entrants if any problem arises with transmission. If using regular mail, please e-mail members of the committee to alert them that you are sending an entry by post so that you and they are sure that your entry arrives. Please attach a vita to your submission, including the titles of any articles you have published and other conference papers you have delivered.
(5) Membership in EC/ASECS: You must be a current dues-paying member of EC/ASECS by the time of the conference. In order to join EC/ASECS, please contact Linda Merians at
Editor's note: We thank our Executive Secretary, Linda E. Merians, for the following list of Prize winners.
Former Winners of the EC/ASECS Molin Prize
1990-Amy Fulton-Stout, "The Search for Characters in the Journals of James Boswell."
1991-Jennifer Georgia, "French Sources of English Women's Conduct Books: The Gentlewomen's Companion and The Rules of Civility."
1992-Michael Kugler, "Provincial Intellectuals: A Model for Enlightenment Studies."
1993-Kate Levin, "The Cure of Arabella's Mind: The Female Quixote and the Disciplining of the Female Reader."
1994-Nathaniel Paradise, "Generic Incursions: Verse Interpolations in the Early British Novel."
1995-Julie Rak, "The Improving Eye: Travel Narrative and Agricultural Change in Eighteenth-Century Scotland."
1996-Susan Essman, "A Collection of Natural Curiosities: Spectacle and Science in Erasmus Darwin's The Loves of the Plants and Charlotte Smith's Conversations Introducing Poetry."
1997-David Liss, "Liberty, Property and Love: Imagining the Nation Through the 1753 Marriage Act."
1998-Jenny Davidson, "The Livery of Religion: Hypocrisy and Servants in Swift's Project for the Advancement of Religion."
1999-John Gilbert McCurdy, "The Maryland Bachelor Tax: Gender and Politics in the Seven Years' War."
2000-Brett Wilson, "Whig Sympathies: Partisan Feelings in Nicholas Rowe's Tragedy of Jane Shore."
2001-no prize awarded
2002-Diana Solomon, "Tragic Play, Comic Epilogue? The Eighteenth-Actress's Genre-Bending Century Epilogues in The Distrest Mother and The London Merchant."
2003-no prize awarded
2004-no prize awarded
2005-Ashley Marshall, "Melmoth Affirmed: Maturin's Defense of Sacred History"
2006-Lori H. Zerne, "The Harlequin Savage: Omai the Tahitian and the Eighteenth-Century British Construction of Racial Difference."
2007-Anna Foy, "Colonel Martin's An Essay upon Plantership (1750) and the Problem of Tossing Dung."
2008-no prize awarded
2009-Two first-place winners:
- Sarah C. Schuetze, "Collecting Clarissa: The Culture of Curiosity in Richardson's Clarissa"
- Rita J. Kurtz, "Diseasing Amoranda's Body: The Logic of Torture - Punishment and Confession in Mary Davys's The Reformed Coquet"
2010-Two first-place winners:
- Kate Parker, "Thomson in Love: The Heaving Bosoms of Spring"
- Michael Genovese, "Bankruptcy and Plague: Recovering the Value of Sympathy in Defoe"
2011-Melissa Wehler, "'Ready to burst': Dorothy Jordan, Leigh Hunt, and Restraining Desire."