Laura Shannon Prize Winner

Seigel Modernity Bourgeois Life

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication Year: 2012

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Modernity and Bourgeois Life: Society, Politics and Culture in England, France and Germany since 1750

by Jerrold Seigel

2014 Award in Humanities

Jury Statement

A work of erudite detail and stunning originality, Jerrold Seigel’s Modernity and Bourgeois Life offers a magisterial account of the development of networks in terms of economy, politics, and aesthetic culture. In a volume that displays a lifetime of detailed research and reading, impeccably marshaled and prodigiously footnoted, Seigel argues for the emergence of a bourgeois form of life in which “networks of means” link distant energies and resources in ways that amplify the agency and social power of individuals and groups. He examines the distinctive shapes this bourgeois form of life has taken in England, France, and Germany, building a compelling case that brings apparently distinct factors and even antagonistic forces into focus in an original account of the constitutive features of modernity. Here is a work of scholarly synthesis and narrative power capable of informing many disciplines for decades to come.

Lecture: “A Life Between Cultures in Twentieth-Century France: Louis Massignon’s Islamic Catholicism”

Final Jury

Russell A. Berman
Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities
Stanford University

Thomas Elsaesser, FBA
Professor of Film and Television Studies Emeritus
University of Amsterdam

Jennifer Herdt
Gilbert L. Stark Professor of Christian Ethics
Yale Divinity School

Peter Holland
McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies
University of Notre Dame

Alasdair MacIntyre
Professor of Philosophy Emeritus
University of Note Dame