It gives me great pleasure to announce that our colleague, Richard Hoffmann, is the recipient of the 2014 Margaret Wade Labarge Prize for his book An Environmental History of Medieval Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014)
Let me share the citation composed by the awards committee of the Canadian Society of Medievalists:
The committee’s work was made challenging and stimulating this year by the high quality of the books nominated for the 2014 Labarge prize. While several works merited recognition, the unanimous choice as winner was Richard C. Hoffmann’s An Environmental History of Medieval Europe (Cambridge, 2014). In its study of the history of medieval Europe “as if nature mattered,” the book almost singlehandedly creates a new field within medieval studies. It also makes important contributions to environmental studies, bringing historical depth to that growing and dynamic field. Throughout the book Hoffmann engages critically with a truly impressive range of scholarly literatures and original sources. His incisive analysis is consistently memorable, and in each chapter he manages to convince the reader of the importance of his subject matter. Hoffmann’s deeply interdisciplinary approach incorporates the accomplishments of the natural, medical and social sciences, providing ample room for reflection over history’s disciplinary strengths and limits. The book is also elegantly written and particularly lucid, with striking cases and examples throughout, making it potentially appealing to a remarkably broad audience. Committee members also appreciated Hoffmann’s scholarly generosity, noting that in many places the book paves the way for future research in this important field of study. The book is a triumph of research and analysis, highly deserving of this year’s prize.
Many congratulations, Richard