29 October 2014 15:21

Lancaster University Professor wins the American Historical Association’s 2014 George L. Mosse Prize.

Derek Sayer, Professor of Cultural History at Lancaster University, has been awarded the prize for his book, Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History (Princeton University Press, 2013).

The book aims to restore Czech avant-garde art to the central position it had in interwar European culture, before the devastating effect of the Nazi conquest of Czechoslovakia and the advent of communism.

The book was selected by a review committee of American Historical Association (AHA) members, which included academics from the University of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt University and the University of California, Davis.

Brad S Gregory, Chair of the 2014 Mosse Prize Committee, said: "Set against the city’s recurrent and often brutal political dislocations, with vast erudition that incorporates the literature, music, arts and architecture of Prague’s avant-garde from before World War I through the Velvet Revolution, this study is as conceptually bold as it is impressively learned."

The prize will be awarded during a ceremony at the Association’s 129th Annual Meeting in New York in January next year.

Professor Derek Sayer said: "I am enormously gratified that the American Historical Association has honoured Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century with an award that recognizes the importance of 'creativity and originality' to achieving 'extraordinary scholarly distinction.' I see this prize as an endorsement of the interdisciplinary imagination."

The George L. Mosse Prize, awarded annually by the AHA, recognises outstanding major works on the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since the Renaissance. Founded in 1884, the AHA is the oldest and largest professional academic association of historians in the United States.

The book has also received an Honourable Mention for the 2014 Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize, a Special Mention for the 2014 F. X. Šalda Prize, and was selected by the Financial Times as one of the Best History Books of 2013