U of T historian wins award


Dr. Natalie Zemon Davis, a U of T History scholar and Detroit native, has been awarded the Holberg International Memorial Prize, valued at about $785,000. The award, named after Ludvig Holberg, a Norwegian writer, philosopher and historian, was established in Norway in 2003 and is one of the most prestigious in the world. Its objective is to redirect awareness to studies in the arts, humanities, social sciences, law and theology.
Dr. Davis, a Toronto historian and professor emerita at Princeton University, is a leader in cross-disciplinary history, a method of studying history with the help of disciplines such as anthropology, art history, ethnography and literary theory. She was described by the Holberg Prize committee as “one of the most creative historians writing today, an intellectual who is not hostage to any particular school of thought or politics.”
“I feel grateful not only to the Holberg Prize committee, but to all the people that I’ve learned from over the years,” said Dr. Davis in an interview with CFTKTV. “In a funny way, I feel grateful to the long-dead people in the past I’ve written about because I tried to make their stories and their voices come alive for people today, but they left me the
Dr. Davis plans to donate a portion of the money awarded to her to rare book libraries and scholarship funds for graduate students
“How we understand each other on this troubled planet is way more important to our children’s future than the latest digital gadget,” said U of T President David Naylor in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “We simply don’t believe Canada—or our university—can thrive without academic strength and a sustained investment in the humanities and social sciences.”
Dr. Davis will be awarded the Holberg Prize in a ceremony on June 9 in Bergen, Norway. She hopes her win will inspire more government funding for programs in the social sciences and