The Blair Rogers Major and James Russell Major Dissertation Award

  • Students and friends celebrate the presentation of Russell Major's Festschrift in 1991, L to R: Don Bailey, Claire Duhon, Annette Finley-Croswhite, Garrett McAinsh, Meg Holt, Mack Holt, Blair Major, Alan Arthur, Russell Major, Frank Smith, Jenny Arthur, Donna Bohanan and Al Hamscher

  • Nancy Locklin, Jeffrey Houghtby, Darryl Dee and Doug Powell at the 2010 Society for French Historical Studies.

  • Carol L. White won the Major Award in 2006 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Clayton State University.

  • Dr. Johanna Rickman, who received the 2002 Major Award, published Love, Lust and License in Early Modern England (2008).

  • Elizabeth Bouldin, who won the 2009 Major Fellowship, in England for her research.

  • Dr. Nancy Locklin received the Outstanding Teacher Award at Maryville College in 2005.

  • Darryl Dee, who received the Major Fellowship in 2003, published Expansion and Crisis in Louis XIV's France (2009).

  • Paris has been a frequent destination for students holding Major Fellowships.

  • Annette Finley-Croswhite and Gayle Brunelle are garnering terrific reviews for Murder in the Metro.

  • Doug Powell, Ph.D. 2009, at the Château de Chantilly where he researched the Condé and the Fronde.

Blair Major with some award recipients (L to R) Carol White, Nancy Locklin, Blair Major, Jeff HoughtbyThis fellowship was created by the late Professor Major, a distinguished authority on representative institutions in early modern France, in collaboration with Blair Major, his wife, in grateful recognition of a grant they received when he was completing his dissertation at Princeton University in 1948-49. They were trying to survive with two small children on the G.I. Bill and a teaching assistantship when they unexpectedly received the Elias Boudinot Fellowship, for which they were extremely grateful.

J. Russell Major

To do the same for others, they established this award to go annually to the most promising student regardless of race or sex writing a dissertation in the history of Europe and of European expansion (including the British Isles), from classical antiquity to the present.  Award preference will be given to qualified doctoral students working in the field of early modern Europe. The 2012 reformulation is designed to honor the intent of Russell and Blair by giving preference to qualified applicants in the early modern field, but also to make more students eligible in the event we don't have an early modern nominee in any particular year.  The formula "history of Europe and of European expansion, from classical antiquity to the present," was consciously designed to be as capacious as possible.  Depending of course on the dissertation topic, it will now possible to nominate students in fields that were previously not included - notably African, American, Ancient, Asian, Latin American, Medieval, and Modern European history.

Award amounts vary based on the endowment income available but have been averaged $10,000 to $13,000 in recent years.  

Past Recipients of the Major Award

  • 2017-18: Julia López Fuentes
  • 2016-17: Cassandra Casias
  • 2015-16: Stefanie Krull
  • 2014-15: Andrew Zonderman
  • 2013-14: Sean Wempe
  • 2012-13: Glen Goodman
  • 2009-10: Elizabeth Bouldin
  • 2008-09: Amanda Madden
  • 2006-07: Carol White
  • 2005-06: Daniel Krebs
  • 2003-05: Douglas Powell
  • 2002-03: Johanna Rickman
  • 2001-02: Brian Kaschak
  • 2000-01: Darryl Dee
  • 1998-99: Jeffrey Houghtby
  • 1997-98: Amy Enright
  • 1996-97: Nancy Locklin
  • 1995-96: David Paradis