Council Adjusts Period for the Mosse Prize

Mosse sketchStarting in 2013, the scope of the George L. Mosse Prize will be expanded to cover “the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since 1500.”

The prize was originally established by a number of Mosse’s students to recognize work on “the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since the Renaissance,” which some members found rather nebulous. Our consideration of this question started when an author wrote AHA staff seeking for clarification of the period covered by the prize. He observed that the Renaissance is “a term of periodization that functions somewhat differently in art and music history as well as the history of philosophy and the history of science.” He also noted that the rise of the category of the “Late Renaissance,” which extends into the 17th century, could be a further source of confusion. His query led to an internal discussion about the validity of his concerns, and whether saying “since the Renaissance” might also be interpreted to mean “since the beginning of the Renaissance.”

To address these concerns, AHA staff consulted the original donors (Jeffrey Herf, Stanley G. Payne, and Anson Rabinbach), and asked if they would be amenable to a more specific date in the terms of the prize. They readily agreed, noting that “Given the range of George Mosse’s work, we think ‘the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since 1500’ is the appropriate beginning point.”

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