Two American Women Historians Receive the $300,000 Dan David Prize

The Dan David Prize is the largest history prize in the world. It is awarded by the Dan David Foundation at Tel Aviv University in Israel to up to nine early and mid-career scholars and practitioners in the historical disciplines. The honor comes with a $300,000 prize. The prize was established in 2001 by Dan David, who lived through Nazi and Communist persecution in his native Romania before becoming a global business leader and philanthropist.

Two of the winners this year are American women historians.

Kimberly Welch is an associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Her scholarship has revealed new dimensions of slavery, race, and the law in the American South during the nineteenth century. She examines trial court records, church disciplinary hearings, and other local legal records in order to uncover the role ordinary people played in shaping legal processes. Dr. Welch is the author of Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South (University of North Carolina Press, 2018). She is currently working on a book that examines free Black moneylenders and their involvement in the credit economy of the early modern Atlantic world. Dr. Welch is a graduate of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She earned a master’s degree at American University in Washington, D.C., and a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland.

Kristina Richardson is an associate professor at Queens College in New York and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Richardson’s research is based on the writings and material production of non-elites in the medieval Middle East. She has analyzed the intellectual networks of medieval disabled writers, explored the degraded position of blue- and green-eyed people in early Islamic societies, identified the only known pre-modern Arabic sign alphabet, and co-published a study and edition of the earliest known Arabic notebook of an artisan or merchant. Dr. Richardson is the author of Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) and  Gypsies in the Medieval Islamic World: The History of a People (I.B. Tauris, 2021). Dr. Richardson earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Princeton University and received a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

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