Department Chair:
Drew Wilburn

Administrative Assistant:
Linda Pardee

Phone: (440) 775-8390
Fax: (440) 775-8084

King Building, Room 105
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Winkler Memorial Prize

Winkler Memorial Prize

The John J. Winkler Memorial Prize

The John J. Winkler Memorial Trust invites all undergraduate and graduate students in North America (plus those currently unenrolled who have not as yet received a doctorate and who have never held a regular academic appointment) to enter the twenty-second competition for the John J. Winkler memorial prize. This year the Prize will be a cash award of $1500, which may be split if more than one winner is chosen.

The Prize is intended to honor the memory of John J. ("Jack") Winkler, a classical scholar, teacher, and political activist for radical causes both within and outside the academy, who died of AIDS in 1990 at the age of 46. Jack believed that the profession as a whole discourages young scholars from exploring neglected or disreputable topics, and from applying unconventional or innovative methods to their scholarship. He wished to be remembered by means of an annual Prize that would encourage such efforts. In accordance with his wishes, the John J. Winkler Memorial trust awards a cash prize each year to the author of the best undergraduate or graduate essay in any risky or marginal field of classical studies. Topics include (but are not limited to) those that Jack himself explored: the ancient novel, the sex/gender systems of antiquity, the social meanings of Greek drama, and ancient Mediterranean culture and society. Approaches include (but are not limited to) those that Jack's own work exemplified: feminism, anthropology, narratology, semiotics, cultural studies, ethnic studies, and lesbian/gay studies.

The Winner of the 2017 Winkler Prize

The winner of the 2017 John J. Winkler Memorial Prize is Debby Sneed, a Ph.D. Candidate in Classical Archaeology at UCLA.

Debby's Essay, "Ten Fingers and Ten Toes: The Fate of Deformed Infants in Ancient Greece," re-examiness the evidence for the allegedly common practice of exposing infants with birth defects in the ancient Greek world. Debby carefully re-considers the statements usually cited as evidence of the practice from philosophical and medical writers, finding that they provide little secure evidence (if any). She also considers a range of archaeological evidence, significantly the presence of "feeding bottles" found in infant graves to argue that infants with certain kinds of defects were regualarly cared for and not, as is sometimes supposed, exposed because of their physical defects at birth.

The 2018 Winkler Prize Competition

The winner of the 2018 Prize will be selected from among the contestants by a jury of four, as yet not named.

The deadline for submissions is March 5, 2018. Essays should not exceed the length of 30 pages, including notes but excluding bibliography and illustrations or figures. Electronic submission is required. Essays should be sent in .pdf format.

Preferred method of submission:  Please fill out the google form here. At the bottom of the form is a space in which to upload your essay. 

Alternate method: Please include an email with your essay in which you provide the following information: your college/university, your department or program of study, whether you are a graduate or undergraduate, your email and regular mail addresses, a phone number where you can be reached in May of 2017, and the title of your work.

The Prize is intended to encourage new work rather than to recognize scholarship that has already proven itself in more traditional venues. Essays submitted for the prize should not, therefore, be previously published or accepted for publication. Exceptions may be made in the case of anticipated publication in a conference proceeeding. The Trust reserves the right not to confer the Prize in any year in which the essays submitted to the competition are judged insufficiently prizeworthy.

Contestants may send their essays and address any inquiries to: Kirk Ormand, Dept. of Classics, Oberlin College;

The John J. Winkler memorial Trust was established as an independent, charitable foundation on June 1, 1990. Its purpose is to honor Jack Winkler's memory and to promote both his scholarly and his political ideals. Inquiries about the Prize, tax-deductible gifts to the Trust, and general correspondence may be addressed to: Kirk Ormand, John. J. Winkler Memorial Trust, Dept. of Classics, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH 44074

Previous Winners of the Winkler Prize

1991  Kirk Ormand The Use and Abuse of Ariadne, 55BCE-1984CE
1992 Denise McCoskey Is there a 'Thesmophoria' in This Text? Women's Spheres in Aristophanes' Ecclesiazousae and Thesmophoriazousae
1993 John Ma Black Hunter Variations
1994 Shane Butler (Un)Masking 'The Greek Miracle': Performativity in Fifth and Fourth Century Athens
1995 Sara Lindheim Setting Her Straight: Ovid Re-Presents Sappho
1995 Christopher Spelman Marriage and Ideology in Catullus (Honorable mention)
1996 Mark Buchan Penelope as Parthenos
1997 Tamara Chin Mapping the Scythians: Anti-nomad techniques in Herodotus and Niebuhr
2002 Tamara Chin Compulsory Heterotextuality: Sappho (31) meets Shijing [Book of Songs] (1)
2003 Mary Frances Brown Medusa's Eyes: Gender, Subjectivity, and Ekphrasis in Ovid's Metamorphoses
2003 Jennifer Benedict The Matrix of Identity: Gender and Representation in the Works of Lucian
2004 Brooke Holmes Catachreses: Epic Pain and the Wound of Agamemnon
2004 Lyra Monteiro Colonial Origins: New Approaches to History, Archaeology, and Ethnicity at Metapontum
2005 Marianne Hopman From Devouring Monster to Femme Fatale: Scylla in the Greek and Roman Imagination
2005 Name withheld on request 'Beastly Obscenity' and the Serious Irrumator
2006 James Uden A Virgin Martyr and a Phallic Prayer: New Connections in the Elegies of Maximianus
2006 Taylor Coughlan The Voice Which Is Not One: Narrative, Intertext, and Gender in the Metamorphoses 4.274-415
2007 Alexander Dressler The Sophist and the Swarm: Platonism and Feminism in Achilles Tatius
2007 Michael Pelch The Danger of Drag in Aristophanes' Thesmophorizusae
2008 Danielle Meinrath The Ancilla and her Ass: Re-reading Photis in Apuleius' Metamorphoses
2008 Alison Fields Megilla/us: The (Fe)Male Penetrator in Lucian's Dialogue of the Courtesans
2009 Stephen Kidd Forging the 300:Muscles/Muscle-Armor in Ancient Greece/Today
2009 Geoff Benson

Archimedes' Cattle of the Sun and the Limits of Euhemerism (Honorable mention)

2010 Cameron Fitzsimmons

Dignitas Servilis: The Subjectivity of Male Slaves in Plautus

2010 Anne Doering

Elemental Bodies: Female Self-image and the Elements

2011 Sarah Olsen

Maculate Conception: Unraveling the Sexual and Romantic Discourse of Heliodorus' Aithiopica

2011 Joseph Dexter

A.R. Gurney's Jewish Antigone

2012 Donna Zuckerberg

The morphê of Menelaus in Euripides' Helen

2012 David Rosenthal

Androgyny as Liminality: Achilles’ Gender Crossing in the Iliad

2012 Amanda Krause

Mansura dabo monimenta per aevum: The Metamorphoses as Museum

2013 Jen Oliver

Mater amissa: The Lost Amazon in Seneca's Phaedra

2014 Brian McPhee

A Puer's Horror, Heroism, and Humor: An Interpretation of Pseudolus III.1

2014 Tom Sapsford

The Wages of Effeminacy?: Kinaidoi in Egyptian Documentary Sources 

2015 John Wein

Ovid’s Trash: Philomela and the Rape-Revenge Film

2016 Jessica Wright

The Care of the Brain in Early Christianity

2016 Sarah Harper

A World of Mirrors (or Mirages): Magical Realism in Apuleius's Metamorphoses

2017 Debby Sneed

Ten Fingers and Ten Toes: The Fate of Deformed Infants in Ancient Greece