Prizes

Bernhard Blume Award

The Bernhard Blume Award for excellence in the study of Germanic languages and literatures was established in 1969 by an anonymous donor in honor of Bernhard Blume, Kuno Francke Professor of German Art and Culture, Emeritus.

  • Undergraduate award: a financial award is given to the graduating Senior concentrator in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, or in the History and Literature program, provided the major field is German, who has written the best honors thesis and whose performance in courses offered toward concentration is of equal merit.
  • Graduate awards: awards are given to the second- and third-year graduate students in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, or in the Department of Comparative Literature whose major field is German, who have attained the most outstanding record in course work during their first and second years of study, respectively.

There is no competition for this award; recipients are selected by a departmental faculty committee.

Esther Sellholm Walz Prize

The Esther Sellholm Walz Prize was established by the late Hans G. Walz, Class of 1924, in memory of his mother. A prize is “awarded annually to a graduate student pursuing studies in German or Scandinavian language with the intention of entering the teaching field for the best paper or essay as determined by a committee of the members of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. The paper or essay shall deal with a scholarly subject in German or Scandinavian literature and philology, with preference given to papers on the writings or life of Goethe and Schiller or dealing with topics in the areas of German or Scandinavian folklore and philology.” Hans G. Walz was the son of Professor John Albrecht Walz, who taught in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures from 1894 to 1937. At the end of each winter semester, faculty members offering graduate courses in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures will nominate the most outstanding research papers written by the department's graduate students during the preceding two semesters, in both courses and seminars. The winning paper is selected by a faculty committee before the end of the spring semester.

Carl Schurz Prize

This prize, established in 1924 by a member of the Committee to Visit the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, is for the purchase of books. It is awarded to the freshman in German A, not on financial aid, who passes the highest examination in elementary German at the mid-year examination. The winner will not have studied German before enrollment in the course. When this prize is awarded, the Elizabeth Wilder Prize is not given.

Elizabeth Wilder Prize

A prize of approximately $1,000, from a fund established under the will of Elizabeth Wilder, is offered to the freshman needing financial aid who passes the highest examination in elementary German at the mid-year examination. Freshmen in German A who have not studied German before enrollment in the course will be considered for either this prize or the Carl Schurz Prize. In the years when the Elizabeth Wilder Prize is awarded, the Carl Schurz Prize will not be given.

Jack M. Stein Teaching Fellow Prize in Germanic Languages

This award is sponsored annually by the Harvard Graduate Society for Advanced Study and Research and named in honor of the late Professor Jack M. Stein, who was instrumental in raising the quality of language instruction in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. The prize is awarded each year to a Teaching Fellow who, in the judgment of a faculty committee visiting classes, conducts undergraduate sections with the highest measure of pedagogical skills, linguistic proficiency, enthusiasm, and commitment to students’ learning and welfare.

Einar Haugen Prize

To commemorate the legacy of Einar Haugen, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Scandinavian and Linguistics, Emeritusthe prize is awarded annually to an undergraduate or graduate student for excellence in the field of Scandinavian languages and literatures. Inquiries regarding the prize may be addressed to Professor Stephen Mitchell.

George B. Sohier Prize

This prize, founded by Waldo Higginson, of the Class of 1833, in memory of George Brimmer Sohier, of the Class of 1852, is exactly $250, given for the best thesis containing approximately 10,000 words of text presented by a successful candidate for Honors in English or Modern Literature and in certain cases History and Literature. The competition is open to undergraduates from the departments of English, Comparative Literature, History and Literature, Germanic Languages and Literatures, Romance Languages and Literatures, and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Theses for this prize will be considered without special application by students.