Victor Sholl recipient of 2024 Mary Hatch Marshall Essay Award

March 12, 2024, 9 a.m.

headshot with blue sepia image of Bird Library in background
Victor Sholl, PhD student in Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences

Victor Sholl, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), was selected as the 2024 winner of the prestigious Mary Hatch Marshall Essay Award for his piece titled “Writing the story of the world: the case for World Narrativism.” A&S and the Syracuse University Library Associates will host a virtual award event and author reading on Wednesday, April 10 at 1 p.m. (EST). Anyone interested in attending can register by emailing by April 3.

Sholl, this year’s recipient, will receive a $1000 prize. His article introduces and argues for a view he calls World Narrativism: that narrative features affect the quality of trajectories the world can take, thus becoming relevant when we decide which course of the world we should promote. Though the idea that the history of the world has narrative features has been defended before, views of this kind typically do not involve an explicit claim that individuals should promote a better story of the world. The common assumption is that whatever is the story of the world, it is something governed by factors beyond the control of individuals. He argues that World Narrativism is original in this respect.

His essay was chosen from those submitted by A&S graduate students currently enrolled in African American studies; English; art and music histories; languages, literatures and linguistics; philosophy; religion; and writing studies, rhetoric, and composition.

Sholl received his master’s in philosophy from the University of São Paulo in 2022. His research interests include well-being, normative reasons, explanations, consequentialism, and artificial intelligence and art.

Professor Mary Hatch Marshall was a founding member of the Library Associates and holds a distinguished place in the College’s history. In 1952, she became the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of English Literature —the first woman appointed a full professor in the College— after having joined the faculty four years earlier. Library Associates established the annual Mary Hatch Marshall Award to honor and help perpetuate her scholarly standards and the generous spirit that characterized her inspirational teaching career, which lasted through her retirement in 1993. Members of Library Associates, Marshall’s friends and family, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Central New York Community Foundation all contributed to the endowment, established in 2004, that funds the award.

Library Associates are a group of dedicated SU Libraries supporters who help to raise funds and accessibility for the Libraries' special collections, rare books, and manuscripts through opportunities like the Faculty Fellows program. Those wishing to join the Library Associates or make a gift to the Mary Hatch Marshall Award Endowment can contact Ron Thiele, assistant dean for advancement for the Libraries, at or 315.560.9419.

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