University of California, Los Angeles

From the 2020 Award for Scholarly Distinction citation in the 2021 Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony booklet

David Warren Sabean is professor emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he held the Henry J. Bruman Endowed Professorship. After spending many years at the Max Planck Institute for History, then under the directorship of the late Rudolf Vierhaus, and a briefer sojourn at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, he returned to the United States and held positions in the departments of history at the University of Pittsburgh and Cornell University before moving to UCLA in 1993.

Sabean’s scholarly production is as prodigious as it is distinguished. His mixture of interdisciplinary insights and methods, principally anthropology, and range of subjects has influenced generations of historians. A sensitivity to the world of rural society and its workings characterizes his scholarship. It first became apparent in his dissertation on the Peasants War of 1525 but came to full fruition in several subsequent, now classic works. Power in the Blood (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987) offered a model microhistory informed by anthropology, while his two-volume magnum opus on the Württenberg village of Neckarhausen—Property, Production, and Family in Neckarhausen, 1700– 1870 and Kinship in Neckarhausen (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990 and 1998, respectively)—analyzed the transformation of rural kinship from a clientage system to a consanguineal system of alliances through cousin-marriage. This duology was a tour de force of archival research. A series of edited and co- edited volumes soon followed. In addition, Sabean has long published on the topic of incest and cousin-marriage across centuries.

Sabean has held visiting and distinguished academic appointments at numerous institutes and universities in the United States and Europe as well as having received major awards including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.