Indian American historian at UCLA Sanjay Subhramanyam wins $500,000 Dan David Prize

Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Sanjay Subrahmanyam; photo credit: UCLA Department of History

Sanjay Subhramanyam, an alumnus of Delhi School of Economics, will be honored for his work in macro history.

An Indian American historian at UCLA has been recognized with Israel’s prestigious Dan David Prize. Sanjay Subhramanyam, who is a distinguished professor and Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Social Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, will be honored with this recognition for his contributions to macro history.

Subhramanyam will receive the award at a ceremony in Tel Aviv in May this year, according to the Associated Press. The international award is given by the Dan David Foundation, headquartered at Tel Aviv University. The foundation grants three prizes of $1 million each annually for achievements that include, having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on the world.

Each year fields are also chosen in three categories — “Past,” “Present” and “Future.” The recipients in the “Past” category are generally drawn from the fields of history, archaeology, paleontology and biography; the “Present” are chosen from fields of arts, media, policy and economics; and the “Future” from one of the exact or natural sciences.

Subrahmanyam will be sharing the $1 million prize with Kenneth Pomeranz, a renowned historian and professor at the University of Chicago.

Subrahmanyams’ recognition has come for his work on inter-cultural encounters between Asians, Europeans and people of North and South America during the early modern era.

The Indian American professor is an alumnus of University of Delhi in India. He did his doctorate from Delhi School of Economics. Since 2004, he has been teaching courses at UCLA on medieval and early modern South Asian and Indian Ocean history, the history of European expansion, the comparative history of early modern empires, and various aspects of world history.

Subrahmanyam has also been the recipient of the Infosys Prize for humanities for his path-breaking contribution to history. In 2002, Subrahmanyam was appointed as the first holder of the newly created Chair in Indian History and Culture at the University of Oxford. He held the position for two years.

By receiving the Dan David Prize, Subrahmanyam has joined a prestigious list of other awardees that include former Vice President Al Gore, former British premier Tony Blair, novelist Margaret Atwood, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales as well as Indian American musician Zubin Mehta and author Amitav Ghosh.

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