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Hope College
Department of English
126 E. 10th St.
Holland, MI 49423
phone: 616.395.7620
fax: 616.395.7134


George Birkhoff English Prize

The George Birkhoff English Prize is a $75 cash award designed to pro-mote study of the English literature and language. The prize is awarded for an essay on a topic selected by the English Department and submitted to the department for this competition. The prize was established in 1888 by George Birkhoff, a benefactor of the college. His original intent had been to support and encourage the study of both English and Dutch Literature, and so two prizes were awarded for several years: one in the sophomore class in English Literature and one in the freshman class in Dutch Literature. In 1902, the prize became the dominion of the junior and senior classes. Later, in the 1940's, 50's, and 60's the topic was chosen by the faculty to relate to classroom work done in one of the literature classes open to junior and senior students, but today the prize may be won by any excellent paper on a literary subject. In 1914, the Birkhoff Prize in Dutch was discontinued.

Submission Information

Deadline: Monday,March 10, at 4:00 pm

The Birkhoff Prize, given annually since 1888, and named for a benefactor of the college, honors the best paper on a literary topic. Preference will be given to papers of literary criticism that include a research component.

The Prize will be awarded at the Honors Convocation on April 24.

Please submit one clean copy of the paper (without instructor’s comments or marks)
Sarah Baar
Office Manager
Department of English
Lubbers Hall 338

Click here for a list of previous winners