George L. Mosse Prize Recipients
The George L. Mosse Prize was established in 2000 with funds donated by former students, colleagues, and friends of Professor Mosse, eminent scholar of European history. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding major work of extraordinary scholarly distinction, creativity, and originality in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since the Renaissance.
2016 Mosse Prize
Thomas W. Laqueur, Univ. of California, Berkeley
The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains (Princeton Univ. Press)
Thomas Laqueur’s haunting book brilliantly tackles a fundamental historical question: how humanity relates to the dead. His magisterial account establishes that throughout the premodern and modern periods, the world has never been disenchanted; the dead have always had agency in defining what it means to be human. A modern Charon, Laqueur surveys churchyards, cemeteries, and crematoria, establishing our need to be “eased out of this world and settled safely into the next and into memory.”