Boyd and Niles Essay Contests (2001-2016)

Established in 2001 to honor two Carleton scholars who made signal contributions to the study of the medieval and Renaissance periods on this campus, the MARS essay prizes encouraged and celebrated undergraduate writing of the highest quality on topics within the scope of the concentration. In 2017, in recognition of the changing nature of MARS courses and Carleton students needs, the Essay Prizes were converted into the Niles Boyd Travel Fund which will support student explorations of sites and experiences throughout Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, and the Middle East that deepen their knowledge and appreciation of the period ca. 300-ca.1650.  Each year at least two awards will be given to enhance student off-campus experiences in this way.

Catherine E. Boyd Essay Prize in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Catherine Boyd was an internationally recognized medievalist who specialized in the history of the medieval church, particularly in Italy. From 1947-1966 she taught courses at Carleton ranging from the history of the ancient Near East to the Renaissance. The Catherine Boyd Prize was awarded for the best long essay (10+ pages in either English or other foreign language) in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

The Philip H. Niles Essay Prize in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

A brilliant teacher and dedicated scholar of the social history of medieval England, Philip Niles taught at Carleton from 1967 until his retirement in 1998. Established to honor his contributions to medieval studies and to Carleton, the Niles Essay Prize was awarded for the best short essay (5-10 pages in English or a foreign language) in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.


Eligible essays for both prizes include those written since Spring of the previous year in the context of courses, in independent studies (though the same essay may not be submitted for both honors in independent study and the MARS prizes) or written especially for this prize competition. Students may submit only one entry; comps essays are not eligible.

For consideration, submitted essays must conform in all respects to the relevant conventions of usage and documentation for their respective disciplines. Consult with your instructors/advisor if you have any doubts about the stylistic conventions appropriate to your essay. Questions? Contact V. Morse or W. North or P. Hecker.