Liam Mannix, PhD’18 (History), has been selected as the 2019 Recipient of the Richard Saller Dissertation Prize.
Mannix defended his dissertation—“The Catholic Agricultural Enlightenment in France”—in June 2018.
Paul Cheney, professor in the Department of History and Mannix’s dissertation committee chair, said, “Mannix has crafted a dissertation that intervenes in two very long lasting and consequential debates in the historiography of Early Modern France and Early Modern Europe more generally: the origins of agricultural capitalism, and the role of the Catholic Church in the Enlightenment. In addressing the role of the Church in old regime France, moreover, Mannix has also managed to say something of real import on an issue more restricted to historians of France, but that is no less pressing for all that: the potential and role of old regime corporations in the modernization of the French economy on the eve of European industrialization… [His] findings on the Church, considered as a proprietor and as a complex firm, change our perspective on how it responded to Enlightenment anti-clericalism.”
The award is named for Richard P. Saller, the tenth Provost of the University of Chicago (2002-2006) and former Dean of the Division of the Social Sciences (1994-2002). Professor Saller joined the University of Chicago as an Associate Professor of Anthropology in 1984. He was awarded the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1992 and was named the Edward L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor. He left UChicago in 2007 for Stanford University where continues to serve as Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences.
The Saller Dissertation Prize recognizes the most outstanding dissertation of the year. It is awarded annually through the work of a multidisciplinary faculty committee. This year’s members included Marc Berman (Psychology), Adrian Johns (History), Jennifer Pitts (Political Science), Kristen Schilt (Sociology), Rick Schweder (CHD), and Rosanna Warren (Social Thought). A full list of awardees since the award’s founding in 1986 is available HERE.