“I was thrilled to hear the news. I know who is on the jury, and they are among the foremost in the field of the theory of historiography. This is a new and exciting way of encouraging researchers in the field and it is amazing to be the first person to receive this prize,” says Hans Ruin, professor of philosophy at Södertörn University.
Contributed to new ways of thinking
The prize is awarded by the International Commission for the History and Theory of Historiography in partnership with the International Network for Theory of History. Submissions were evaluated on aspects such as theoretical and methodological originality, how the author constructs their arguments and how the book contributes to new ways of thinking in the field. In the end, the prize was awarded jointly to two books, of which Ruin’s was one.
In Being with the Dead: Burial, Ancestral Politics and the Roots of Historical Consciousness, Ruin investigates our relationship to death, via burial rites and ancestor cults, as well as memory culture and the writing of history. It a multidisciplinary book, one that uses phenomenology and hermeneutics alongside sociology, archaeology and memory culture.
“I have become particularly interested in the relationships between the culture surrounding death and awareness of history. The book examines how we care for the dead, how we communicate with them and continue being with them. How we maintain life in the communication between the living and the dead, even in our modern and secular culture,” says Ruin.
The book has been warmly received internationally, with positive reviews in scholarly journals, including:
Riksbankens jubileumsfond. External link.
American Ethnologist External link.
Human Studies External link.
Phenomenology & the Cognitive Sciences External link.
Journal of Memory Studies External link.
Journal of the American Academy of Religion External link.