Ruth Anna Putnam Essay Prize

Ruth Anna Putnam

The Ruth Anna Putnam Essay Prize


The Ruth Anna Putnam Prize recognizes an outstanding essay by a Philosophy major or minor in the broad area of social and political philosophy. Professor Putnam taught in the Philosophy Department at Wellesley College from 1963 to 1998. This prize honors her deep commitment to social justice in her own life and work. The prize winner will receive an award of $300.


Eligibility: Any Philosophy major or minor is eligible to submit an essay. Your submission need not have been written for a philosophy class; work produced for another class or unrelated to any particular class may also be submitted. You may submit only one essay per year, but you may apply in more than one year.


Submission guidelines: Your essay must not be longer than 3500 words. Please include a word count at the end of the essay. Entries must be double-spaced with pages numbered. Submissions in either pdf or docx format are acceptable.


Please format your essay so that it contains no identifying information. In your submission email, please indicate your full name and class year.


Please e-mail your submission as an attachment to the Philosophy department administrator, Gretchen Pathak (


Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2024

Click here for more on the life and career on Ruth Anna Putnam.



Winner of the 2023 Putnam Prize:
Clara Shanabrook '23

"Say I Do Not: Freedom in the Work of Gabrielle Suchon"