Géza von Molnár Essay Awards

Any student who has taken a course with a faculty member from the Department of German can participate in the contest. There are two award categories:

  • Géza von Molnar Essay Award: $ 400 Award for Winning Essay in English
  • Géza von Molnar German Achievement Award: $ 400 Award for Winning Essay in German

This essay contest has been established to honor Géza von Molnár who died unexpectedly on July 27, 2001.

Contest Guidelines
  1. A student may submit an original essay or research paper written for a course taken with a faculty member from the German Department at Northwestern during the current academic year or the spring quarter of the previous year.
  2. The paper may address any German cultural or literary topic or question.
  3. The paper should be in English for the “Géza von Molnár Essay Award” and in German for the “Géza von Molnár German Achievement Award”.
  4. The paper should not be longer than 12 pages and must include relevant footnotes and a bibliography.
  5. The paper should have a title page, which should not include the students name, name, the course number or the name of the professor.
  6. With the submission, the student should include a coversheet with the following:
    1. Contact information (name, address, phone number, e-mail address, NetID)
    2. Course information (The name of the course the paper was submitted for; the quarter the course was taught in; the name of the professor)
    3. Information on student's course of study (school, major(s) and minor(s) including the year of study (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, Senior), and expected graduation date
    4. Biographical information ( a short paragraph about student; reasons for studying German; study abroad experience; plans for the future; what the language means to the student.
  7. The submission should be emailed (pdf format) to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The deadline will be announced during Spring quarter.
  8. Awards will be given out at the annual German Department Spring Picnic.

Who Was Géza Von Molnár

Born in Leipzig on August 5, 1932, professor von Molnár joined the faculty of Northwestern University in 1963 and attained the rank of professor in 1983. He chaired the German department on three different occasions for a total of ten years. He authored separate books on Fichte, Novalis, and Goethe and contributed some two dozens scholarly articles and chapters to edited books and journals. He frequently spoke at national and international conferences. At the time of his death, he was working on several new projects including a book on Goethe, a book on Faust, and one on Jews and Germans. The breadth of professor von Molnár's knowledge came through to his students as he brought literature, philosophy, history, language, and theater together to foster an understanding of thought and culture.