Publication Date

February 1, 2008

Perspectives Section


Roy RosenzweigThe American Historical Association and the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University have agreed to institute a joint “Roy Rosenzweig Prize in History and New Media.” The Rosenzweig Prize will be awarded annually for an innovative and freely available new media project that reflects thoughtful, critical, and rigorous engagement with technology and the practice of history.

Roy Rosenzweig, who died from cancer on October 11, 2007, was the Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of History at George Mason University. He was one of the pioneering founders of the CHNM. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and lectured as a Fulbright professor. As the AHA's vice president for research, he urged the Association to open all book prizes to publications in new media form. The Rosenzweig Prize will be the first to specifically recognize members of the historical profession for contributions developed in digital form.

In 2005, Rosenzweig's Web-based project, "History Matters," earned him and the CHNM the James Harvey Robinson Prize of the AHA. In 2003, he received the Richard W. Lyman Award of the National Humanities Center (which is given to scholars who advance "humanistic scholarship and teaching through the innovative use of information technology") for his work with CHNM, particularly the "History Matters" project and the September 11 Digital Archive. Just before his death, Rosenzweig was awarded the Troyer Steele Anderson Prize by the American Historical Association for his distinguished service to the Association and to the profession. The award was presented posthumously at the 122nd annual meeting of the AHA.

The AHA and the CHNM together will select members of the Roy Rosenzweig Prize selection committee and develop prize guidelines. The award winners will be announced at the AHA's annual meeting.

The George Mason University Foundation, Inc., will manage the funds for the Rosenzweig Prize. Contributions may be tax deductible to the full extent allowable by the law.

Contributions for the AHA/CHNM Rosenzweig Prize may be mailed to GMU Foundation, Inc., 4400 University Drive, MS 1A3, Fairfax, VA 22030.

Checks should be made payable to the GMU Foundation, Inc., and indicate that the gift is for the AHA/CHNM Rosenzweig Prize. Gifts may also be made online at, but funds must be specified for the AHA/CHNM Rosenzweig Prize in the comments section. Contributions toward the Rosenzweig Prize may also count toward the CHNM's National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) challenge grant in accordance with NEH guidelines.

For questions or information on alternate methods of giving, individuals should contact Heidi A. Bruce, Director of Development, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, George Mason University. Phone: 703-993-9319. E-mail: Details about the prize will be made available later on the web sites of theAHA and of the CHNM.

Since 1994, the CHNM at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. The CHNM combines cutting-edge digital media with the latest and best historical scholarship to promote an inclusive and democratic understanding of the past as well as a broad historical literacy. The CHNM's work has been recognized with major awards and grants from the AHA, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, the Library of Congress, and the Sloan, Mellon, Hewlett, Rockefeller, Gould, Delmas and Kellogg foundations.

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