Lynne Cooper Harvey Writing Prize

Every year, AMCS seeks to recognize academic excellence with The Lynne Cooper Harvey Undergraduate Writing Prize, which acknowledges outstanding writing on a topic in American culture. The  Writing Prize will be given to a student who has written an exemplary essay or research paper on an American subject in any AMCS course (home-based or cross-listed) in the Spring or Fall semester. The award carries a cash prize of five hundred dollars; it is presented at the annual AMCS Barbeque at the end of the school year.

How to nominate a paper for the award:

We will send out a call for nominations at the end of Spring and Fall semesters with relevant due dates and information, including the details below. 

We are looking for essays and research papers (5-25 pages) that reveal analytical depth and agile multidisciplinary thinking, although work that is simply a great specimen of undergraduate writing on an American topic would also be suitable. We are particularly interested in work that demonstrates innovative interpretation of sources, methodological sophistication, and creative conceptual framing; where relevant papers should contain original research. We will evaluate shorter paper (5-10 pages) and longer papers (10-25 pages) in separate categories. In cases where both categories include a paper of exceptional quality, the two papers will be recognized and the cash prize split between them.

Please note that we will not be considering honors theses. Since departments are able to award students with three levels of “distinction,” particularly outstanding honors theses can be acknowledged in this way.

To nominate a paper, please send the following information to Karen Skinner ( no later than June 1:

  1. Title of paper and author
  2. The course for which the paper was written
  3. A summary of the assignment for which it was written
  4. A few sentences on why this piece is exemplary in your field (e.g., methodology, theoretical framework)

The call for Fall nominations will go out in early December. 

We will notify the student of the nomination and request a copy of the work for review. If you have an electronic copy on hand, we welcome submission on behalf of the student.