The Floyd Seyward Lear Prize for Best Essay

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 The Floyd Seyward Lear Prize for Best Essay is an annual prize awarded jointly by the Rice Historical Review (RHR) and the Rice University History Department for the best submitted article to the RHR. The award is in honor of Dr. Floyd Seyward Lear, who was a member of the faculty at the Rice Institute (later Rice University) in the Department of History from 1925 to 1975, the year of his death. He was Assistant Professor from 1927 to 1945, Professor in 1945, Harris Masterson Jr. Professor of History in 1953 (the first to hold this chair), and Trustee Distinguished Professor from 1965. He served as chairman of the Department of History from 1933 to 1960.

Award Details:
The student awarded with the prize will receive a $500 scholarship. The recipient will also have a special mention in that academic year’s publication of the Rice Historical Review, be placed on the RHR website, and will also be invited and honored at the journal launch party. The logistics of awarding the prize is coordinated with the Department Administrator, and the awardee will receive this money during the launch party. For more information on the logistics of the prize, please contact

Selection and Awarding Process:
All papers submitted to the Rice Historical Review will be automatically considered for this award. Faculty and student reviewers of submitted articles will have a chance to nominate papers in the provided review form. After all articles have been read and papers have been sent to copy-editing, all nominated articles that were selected for consideration will be reviewed by the RHR editorial board. Through consensus, the board will narrow down the pool to three nominees for a final round of deliberation. This final round will consist of the RHR Editor(s)-in-Chief and the RHR Faculty Board. This committee will read through the final three articles and decide the winning article. Throughout this entire review and selection process, the RHR will ensure ethical standards through a double-blind review. No member of the RHR editorial board are allowed to submit to the journal, and board members who are personally aware of the identity of the candidate papers have to recuse themselves from deliberations. The Managing Editor and Assistant Managing Editor will ensure that no reviewer will know the author of any candidate papers, and that the candidates are unaware of the reviewers of their article.

The Rice Historical Review would like to thank the Katherine Fischer Drew, Autry Professor Emeritus, for giving us the possibility to provide this scholarship.