Graduate Student Essay Prize

2018 NASSH Graduate Essay Prize Competition
Submission Deadline—Friday, January 26, 2018

NASSH 2018 Conference Dates: May 25-28, 2018

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

For a PDF version of the 2018 Graduate Student Essay Prize, click here.

The North American Society for Sport History announces its thirty-fourth annual NASSH Graduate Essay Prize. The NASSH Prize is awarded annually to the graduate student whose historical essay is judged by the committee to be of the highest quality. The award winner will present his or her paper in a special session at the 2018 NASSH convention in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and will also receive:

1) Round-trip travel, including economy airfare, from a site in North America to the 2018 NASSH Conference in Winnipeg;

2) Hotel accommodations and meals at the convention;

3) Free convention registration.

4) The winning essay will also be forwarded to the Journal of Sport History for review and possible publication.

Eligibility & Rules  

1) Any student doing graduate work in a recognized university during the 2017-18 academic year (including masters and doctoral candidates) or, any new Ph.D. or Master’s student who is within six months of having received his or her graduate degree is eligible.

2) Candidates are to submit a 4,000-6,000 word essay, with a cover sheet detailing the author’s name, current email address, institution, advisor’s name, degree program, and (if relevant) graduation date.  Page two of your manuscript should include only the paper’s title, and a short abstract (+/- 150 words).  (Papers submitted to the committee for review will begin with this second page.  Your name and institution must not appear on page two or any other subsequent pages in the manuscript.)

3) Candidates may submit only one paper to the competition per year.

  1. The paper must be your own work; co-authored publications are not permitted. The research and writing are to be undertaken by the student submitting the essay.

4) Previous winners are ineligible.

5) A student who has previously entered this contest (and did not win) may not submit a paper on the same or closely related subject in another year.

6) Papers must be submitted in English, and must follow the basic style guidelines of the Journal of Sport History (based on Chicago Manual of Style) with the exception that footnotes—not endnotes—should be used for citations.  For more information on JSH style go to:

7) Essays of 6,000 words are considered to be 24 pages long with approximately 250 words on each page of text.  Please use one-inch margins, 12-point Times New Roman font, and double space your main text. Footnotes (single-spaced) are included as part of the essay’s total word count.  Please note: essays exceeding 6,500 words or failing to follow other requirements—such as lacking an abstract—will not be considered for the award.

8) By submitting a paper to the competition, the writer agrees that if he/she wins, that they shall attend the conference and present their paper.

9) Papers submitted to the NASSH Graduate Essay Competition may also be submitted to the NASSH Program Committee for possible inclusion as a regular conference paper at NASSH 2018.

10) The 2018 Graduate Essay Committee:  Jan Todd, chair (non-voting); Jason Shurley, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater; Ian Ritchie, Brock University, and Maria Veri, San Francisco State University.

How to Submit

To submit your essay for consideration send an email to with the subject line: “Nassh Graduate Essay Submission.”  Please attach your essay in WORD and in the body of the email please repeat the contact information on your title page.

An electronic return message will acknowledge that this mailbox has received your manuscript. If you do not receive an auto-reply, please also send the manuscript to  If you have questions, please email me (Jan Todd) at either address.

The deadline for submissions is midnight, January 26, 2018, in your time zone. The date stamp on your email will be proof of timeliness.


Past Graduate Student Essay Competition Winners
2017 Ben Pollack, University of Texas at Austin, “Hot Body for a Cool Medium: Debbie Drake, Television, and the Sexualization of Exercise in Postwar America”
2016 Cat Ariail, University of Miami, “The Athletic Citizenship Quest of Carlotta Gooden”
2015 Ashley Brown, George Washington University, “Swinging for the State Department: American Women Tennis Players and the Politics of Gender in Goodwill Tours,1942-1959.”
2014 Nathan Titman, University of Iowa, “Artist def. Machine: Bill Tilden’s Unruly Masculinity in 1920s Tennis.”
2013 Bieke Gils, University of British Columbia, “Flying, Flirting and Flexing: Charmion’s Trapeze Act, Sexuality and Physical Culture at the Turn of the Twentieth Century”
2012 Dominic G. Morais, The University of Texas, Austin, “Branding Iron: Eugen Sandow’s Utilization of ‘Modern’ Marketing”
2011 Terry Gitersos, University of Western Ontario, “‘Une grande victorie pour le Quebéc François’: The Elimination of English at Le Collisée”
2010 John Gleaves, Penn State University, “Doping Professionals and Clean Amateurs: Amateurism’s Influences on the Modern Philosophy of Anti-Doping”
2009 Travis Vogan, Indiana University, “Exceptional Excess: Prize Fighting Films, Jack Johnson, and Documentary Affect”
2008 David Lunt, Penn State University, “The Heroic Athlete in Ancient Greece”
2007 Matthew P. Llewellyn, Penn State University, “A Nation Divided: Great Britain and the Pursuit of Olympic Excellence, 1912-1914”
2006 Carly Adams, University of Western Ontario, “From Montreal to London, 1926-1952: The Journey of Pauline Perron, Outside, Pro Ball Player”
2005 David Mizener, York University, “The State, the Agrarian Press, and the Ontario Plowman’s Association: Competitive Plowing and Agriculture in Twentieth-Century Ontario”
2004 Jaime Schultz, University of Iowa, “‘A Wager Concerning a Diplomatic Pig’”: Remembering and Forgetting in the Iowa-Minnesota Football Contests, 1934-1935”
2003 Kenneth Cohen, University of Delaware, “The Case for Space: Billards and American Sub-Cultures”
2002 Jennifer Guiliano, Miami University of Ohio, “Sports Mascots as Illegitimate Identities: A Case Study of Miami University’s Redskins”
2001 Matthew Andrews, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, “Equal Suffrage as Far as Prizefighters Go: Gender, Pugilism, and Public Space in Turn-of-the-Century San Francisco”
2000 Annmarie Jutel, University of Otago, “Morality and Medicine: Sylvester Graham’s Doctrine of Healthy Living Revisited”
2000 Greg Gillespie, University of Western Ontario, “Wickets in the West: Cricket, Culture and Constructed Images of Nineteenth Century Canada”
1999 Brad Austin, Ohio State University, “The Politicalization of Intercollegiate Athletics During the Great Depression”
1998 Susan L. Forbes, University of Western Ontario, “Defining Practices: Female Employees’ Leisure at Eaton’s”
1997 Dan Mason, University of Alberta, “The International Hockey League and the Professionalization of Ice-Hockey, 1904-1907”
1996 Stacy Lorenz, University of Alberta, “‘A Lively Interest on the Prairies’: Western Canada, The Mass Media, and a ‘World of Sport, 1870-1939”
1995 R. Gregg Bennett, Auburn University, “Top of the 1st: Baseball from Reconstruction at Four Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conferences”
1994 Patrick Trimble, Penn State University, “Babe Ruth: The Media Construction of a 1920’s Personality”
1993 Robert Rinehart, University of Illinois, Urbana, “Fists Flew and Blood Flowed: Cultural Resistance, Hungarian Water Polo, and International Responses, 1945-1956”
1992 Dennis Gildea, Penn State University, “Counterpunch: The Morrissey-Heenan Fight of 1858 and Frank Queen’s Attack on the ‘Respectable Press”
1991 Jack Davis, Brandeis University, “Baseball’s Reluctant Challenge: Desegregating Major League Spring Training”
1990 Barbara S. Pinto, University of Western Ontario, “Ain’t Misbehaving: The Montreal Shamrock Lacrosse Club Fans, 1868-1884”
1989 Mark Dyreson, University of Arizona, “The Emergence of Consumer Culture and the Transformation of Physical Culture: American Sport in the 1920’s”
1988 Stephen Wenn, University of Western Ontario, “A Tale of Two Diplomats: George S. Messersmith and Charles H. Sherrill on Proposed American Participation”
1987 James Coates, University of Maryland, “The Racial Segregation of Baltimore Public Parks System, 1890-1917”
1986 Jan Todd, University of Texas at Austin, “Benarr Macfadden: Reformer of Feminine Form”
1985 Catriona Beaton Parratt, University of Windsor, “Sport and Hegemony: Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 1885-1929”