Mark and Ruth Luckens International Prize in Jewish Thought and Culture

The Jewish Studies Program at the University of Kentucky invites entries for the annual Mark and Ruth Luckens Essay Competition in Jewish Thought and Culture.  The Luckens Prize is awarded to the best unpublished original essay that is also suitable for oral presentation to a general audience and is written by a graduate student or recent Ph.D. (Ph.D from no earlier than 2018) who does not already have a tenure-track academic position.  The Luckens Prize carries an award of $500, made possible by a generous gift from the late Dr. Mark Luckens.  In addition to the cash award, the author of the winning essay will be brought to the University of Kentucky to deliver a public lecture in early 2020.

Dr. Luckens studied secular topics in public school and Jewish topics from Torah to Talmud after school in Hebrew school. Secular education helped pave the path out of poverty and into social mobility, while Jewish education helped keep him rooted in Judaism.  Dr. Luckens taught pharmacology and toxicology for 25 years at the University of Kentucky. During that time and into retirement, he continued to study Jewish topics, and the Luckens Prize honors that commitment to Jewish learning. 

Entries for the Luckens Prize competition should be original, unpublished essays of 5000-7000 words in length including all notes and citations; essays that exceed this length will not be considered.  Essays should also be accompanied by a 100-250 word abstract. All submissions must be in English.  Entries will be judged by an interdisciplinary committee of faculty affiliated with the UK Jewish Studies program.  

Submissions for the Luckens Prize competition should be submitted electronically as Word or PDF documents along with a current curriculum vitae, and a 100-250 word abstract for the essay,  to Jason Carr, and cc'ed to Professor Janice W. Fernheimer, Zantker Professor and Director, UK Jewish Studies program, Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies, Submissions must be received by midnight Oct. 18, 2019 to be considered.

Inquiries concerning the 2019 Luckens Prize competition should be directed to Interim Director of the UK Jewish Studies program, Dr. Sheila Jelen,

Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected