East Central/American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies

​​​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 (pronounced mo-LEEN) 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 also be recognized in the Eighteenth-Century Intelligencer (glory will ensue!).

If you wish to enter your paper, please read the guidelines below, then email an abstract of your paper to the chair of the Molin Committee, Dr. Linda Merians, by September 30, 2024.

Committee Chair: Dr. Linda Merians (Guttman Community College, retired)

Standing Members: Dr. David Palumbo (Emmanuel College), Dr. Jeremy Chow (Bucknell University)

Molin Prize Guidelines

1. To be eligible for consideration, you must email your abstract (of roughly 500 words) to the Molin Committee chair, Dr. Linda Merians (linda.merians@gmail.com), by September 30, 2024.

2. During the conference, Molin Committee members will attend your session. We will judge based on the quality of research and writing, as well as the professionalism and engaging quality of the presentation. Presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes.

3. Presenters must submit their complete paper, with citations, to the committee chair by November 18, 2024. This should be the same paper you read at the conference – not a longer or revised version.

4. You must be a current dues-paying member of EC/ASECS to be eligible.

Direct any questions to the committee chair at the address above.​


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."
2012: Rebekah Mitsein, Purdue University, "Allies, Spies, and Exiles:  Unsettling the Frontier in Benjamin Church's Entertaining Passages Relating to Philip's War."
​2013​: First Place: Alice McGrath, University of Pennsylvania, "The Queer Art of Patchwork:  Revisiting Jane Barker."

          Honorable Mention:  Mary Beth Harris, Purdue University, "Vignettes of Violence:  Leonora Sansay's Secret History; or the Horrors of St. Domingo and the Recovery of Violence Against Women."

2014: Two first-place winners:

         Jeremy Chow, University of California, Santa Barbara, “Mellifluent Sexuality: Female P/Leisure in ​Radcliffe’s Romance of the Forest.” 

          Rachel Zimmerman, University of Delaware, “A Brazilian Idiosyncrasy: Hammocks and Social Status in Colonial Brazil.”

2015: Nick Allred, Rutgers University, "Patronage and Publicity: A Reading of Leonard Welsted."

​2016: Sophie Capmartin, Tulane University, "Le Rio ne juegea pas qu'ellle dut les voir dans luer  assortiment sauvage et trop bizare': a strange Indian delegation at the court of Louis XV."

2017: Chelsea Berry, Georgetown University, ""Black Medical Practitioners and Knowledge as Cultural Capital in the Greater Caribbean."

2018: Two first-place winners:
         Paige Deans, "The Prodigal Daughter: Possession, Performance, and Propaganda of the Great Awakening." 
         Daniel Froid,"Performing (Secular) Devilry in the Theatrical Afterlives of Le diable boiteux."

2019: Faith Barringer, “The Coquette, the Libertine and Fragonard: An Intertextual Look at The Stolen Kiss.”   

2020: Jacob Meyers, “Arthropods Under the Lens: The Aesthetic Instability of Insect Microscopy in the Caribbean”