Two Manchester historians awarded prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prizes

Dr Alexia Yates, Senior Lecturer in Modern History, and Dr Stefan Hanß, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History, have been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize 2020 worth £100,000 in recognition of their outstanding research achievements. With this prize, The Leverhulme Trust recognises ground-breaking “work of outstanding research scholars of proven achievement, who have made and are continuing to make original and significant contributions to knowledge in their field”, and who “have influenced their field sufficiently to have had an international impact.”

“I am extremely grateful and excited about such news,” Stefan Hanß says. “The Philip Leverhulme Prize is such a prestigious recognition that will allow me to further advance my research on early modern material cultures and early modern global history in the future.” Alexia Yates added, “This is a thrilling and humbling announcement. I have tremendous respect for the Leverhulme Trust’s support for research in the UK and am overwhelmed to be among its Philip Leverhulme Prize recipients. I’m especially proud that our history department’s research has been recognized so resoundingly in this year’s competition.”

Dr. Yates is currently working on her AHRC-funded project, Rise of the Rentier, which explores the social history and microfoundations of financial modernity in nineteenth-century France. This project aims to create a history of finance from below, exploring how popular engagement with the financial sector redefined the relationship between citizens, the market, and the state, as well as provided a means for ordinary individuals to reconceptualize their roles as actors in a global political-economic system. She had the opportunity to pursue some of this work as a fellow at the National Humanities Centre in the United States earlier this year, and looks forward to returning to her earlier prize-winning research on real estate with future work on property claims and decolonization in twentieth-century Europe.

The research of Stefan Hanß has been published in the highest-ranked academic journals for the discipline: in Past & Present, History Workshop Journal, and The Historical Journal in 2019 alone. Also his monographs and edited volumes are widely heeded interventions in current historical debates. Hanß, who has already been awarded a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award in 2019, explores new methodological trajectories such as the use of microscopy and laboratory analysis, remaking experiments, and collaborations with artisans, archaeologists, and scientists. “The Philip Leverhulme Prize is not only an incredibly prestigious recognition of my research achievements thus far,” Hanß stresses, “but above all an incredibly generous support for my current and future research.” Hanß will continue his pathbreaking research on the role of hair in the early modern Habsburg world.

Philip Leverhulme Prizes have been offered since 2001 in commemoration of the contribution to the work of the Trust made by Philip Leverhulme, the Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of the Trust. Philip Leverhulme Prizes in History are awarded every three years. This year, the Trust offered prizes in the following subject areas: Biological Sciences, History, Law, Mathematics, Philosophy and Theology, Sociology and Social Policy. The University of Manchester History Department is extraordinarily proud to serve as the intellectual home to two of this year’s prize-winners and to welcome a third – Dr Rian Thum, currently of the University of Nottingham, in spring 2021.

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