Lisa Weeden Wins Award for Her Book on the War in Syria

The University of Chicago Press has awarded the 2022 Gordon J. Laing Award to political scientist Lisa Wedeen. Given annually as the Press’ top honor, the Laing Award is presented to the author, editor, or translator, of a book published in the previous three years that has brought the greatest distinction to the press.

Dr. Wedeen was honored for her book Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria, which examines the country’s 2011 uprising and ensuing conflict.

In Authoritarian Apprehensions, Dr. Wedeen draws on decades of scholarship and research on Syria to offer an erudite and compassionate analysis of the uprising of 2011 — the revolutionary exhilaration of the initial days of unrest, and then the devastating violence that shattered hopes of any quick undoing of dictatorship.

“It is deeply gratifying — thrilling, really — to receive the 2022 Laing Award, because I love the Press and so value the views of my peers,” said Dr. Wedeen, the Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science and co-director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago. “Academic writing can be a lonely venture but it is also collaborative, and I am appreciative in particular of my Syrian friends, colleagues, and interlocutors, without whom this book would not exist.”

Professor Weeden holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

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