Announcing the Smyrna Essay Award

April 11, 2019

The Hellenic Studies Program at Yale University is pleased to announce the “Smyrna Essay Award.” The award will be conferred on any Yale Undergraduate for an outstanding essay on the history and culture of Smyrna from 1839 to 1922, and on the fate of the expelled refugee populations after 1922 to the present. Students from the humanities and social sciences are invited to submit. Essay length should be around 3,000 words.

The port city of Smyrna is one of the oldest urban centers in the Mediterranean. Established in the 11th c. BC, it remained a robust and cosmopolitan center until its partial destruction by fire at the end of the Greco-Turkish war of 1919-1922, and the expulsion of its Christian populations subsequently. The papers may address aspects of economic practices, administrative structures, cultural traditions, education institutions, intercommunal relations, demography, nationalism and political ideologies, as well as any other topic pertinent to the region and time period.  

The first prize is $750, second $500, and third $250.  Winners will be announced in early September 2019 during a special reception. The award is made possible thanks to the generosity of PROTEUS NY and PROMETHEAS and follows the screening of the documentary “Smyrna: The destruction of A Cosmopolitan City 1900-1922.”

Submission deadline is August 15, 2019, by email to George Syrimis at

Your submission must include the following statement, followed by your name:

“By submitting this essay, I attest that it is my own work, completed in accordance with University regulations. I also give permission for the Hellenic Studies Program Center to publish all or part of my essay. This permission applies whether or not I win a prize, and includes publication on the Yale College website or in a booklet prepared for Yale College students or faculty.”