Calls for Papers

Announcing UT essay competition on the financial crisis in higher ed

Editors’ Note: This announcement comes from HistPhil contributor Thomas Adam. Note that the winning essay will appear in an edited volume whose introduction will be written by HistPhil‘s own Stan Katz

The Department of History at the University of Texas at Arlington is announcing its annual Webb/Smith Essay Competition as part of the 52nd annual Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lecture Series. This year’s essay competition addresses the financial crisis of higher education. With rising tuition and living costs and a growing student population, too many graduates find themselves in financial trouble after graduating. Mounting student debt prevents an increasing number of young professionals from starting the life they envision, such as starting a family and buying a home. Student loan debt endangers the well-being of many American families and poses a significant threat to the American economy and society. Student loans are the second-largest type of personal debt for Americans after mortgage debt, with total personal debt averaging $1 trillion according to 2012 statistics.

We invite original, unpublished article-length essays (maximum 10,000 words plus endnotes) from a wide range of disciplines that include but are not limited to history, political science, economics, sociology, and civil society studies. Essays should provide analyses of the economics of American higher education from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. We are also interested in essays that compare the funding of institutions of higher education in the United States with the funding of universities and colleges in other countries. We welcome submissions anchored in different theoretical and methodological perspectives. Submissions may deal with any aspect of university and college funding as well as with funding for research and development. A prize in the amount of $500 will be awarded to the author of the winning entry during the 51st Annual Webb Lecture on March 9, 2017. The winning entry will also be included in the edited volume The Economics of Higher Education for which Stanley Katz of Princeton University has agreed to write the introduction, to be published by Texas A&M University Press in 2018. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2016 (date of receipt). Essays should be submitted electronically to the organizers of this Webb Lecture Dr. Thomas Adam, University of Texas at Arlington, Department of History ( and Dr. A. Burcu Bayram, University of Arkansas, Department of Political Science, (

-Thomas Adam

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