American historian receives Norway's Holberg Prize





American historian Natalie Zemon Davis accepted Norway's 4.5 million kroner ($680,000) Holberg Prize Wednesday for her narrative approach to history.

The awards committee said the 81-year-old Detroit native, who received the award in a ceremony in Bergen, won for her work showing "how particular events can be narrated and analyzed so as to reveal deeper historical tendencies and underlying patterns of thought and action."

The Holberg Prize was created in 2003 by the Norwegian government to honor work in the humanities, social sciences, law and theology. It was named in memory of Norwegian playwright and author Ludvig Holberg, who lived from 1684 to 1754....


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Shel Barry Silver - 6/10/2010

Comparing the Holberg Prize AP squib printed on today's Breaking News list against the parts omitted suggests that the latter probably hold more historical interest than the former (see below). While this would probably be true of the opening paragraphs (or ‘head’) of any straight news story from a wire service; today’s instance was not unique. Recently, I’ve seen many similar. Moreover, today’s instance didn’t even end with an ellipse indicating omitted material...
Is there an HNN policy for editing the news list, or for indicating a longer & even more substantive original piece? Could you use some more editorial volunteers? I could probably do a few hours a week.

"The Holberg Prize citation praised Davis as "one of the most creative historians writing today" whose work has inspired a generation of younger historians and promoted "cross-fertilization between disciplines."

"In her acceptance speech, Davis said narrative history has allowed contemporary historians to abandon old dogmatic views of history and "work frankly toward forms of common knowledge."

"In comments published on the Holberg Prize website, she described her work as "decentered" and "pluralistic" history, "where what happens in a woman's workshop or a villager's hut or at a printer's press can count as much as decisions at a king's council or a meeting of a Faculty of Theology."