22 February 2023

Dieter Langewiesche receives the Akademie der Künste’s Lion Feuchtwanger Prize 2024  

The 2024 Lion Feuchtwanger Prize will be awarded by the Akademie der Künste to Dieter Langewiesche. The shrewd historian has been bringing his special conceptual understanding to theoretical debates since the 1970s. The prize for historical prose, which is endowed with € 7,500, will be awarded in a ceremony held at the Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz, on 7 July 2024, the 140th anniversary of Feuchtwanger’s birth. The three-person jury was made up of Sebastian Kleinschmidt, Gustav Seibt and Patrick Bahners.

Even though historiography has a tendency to branch out into special areas of study, Langewiesche has consistently addressed the major issues relating to the politics of social and cultural history. He has undertaken repeated analyses of nationalism and its ambiguous connection with democracy. In Langewiesche’s “problem histories”, finding a balance between different ways of viewing events and between researcher’s various attempts to come up with explanations generates its own dynamic tension. The scholar’s work thus gives rise to historical prose that is both vivid and transparent. At a time when historical myths are enjoying a renaissance, he writes for an audience that is still seeking self-awareness.

Short biography of the laureate

Born in 1943 in Sankt Sebastian near Mariazell, Austria, Dieter Langewiesche held a professorship in modern history at Universität Hamburg from 1978 to 1985. From 1985 to 2007 he was Professor of Medieval and Modern History at the University of Tübingen. He also helped to re-establish the University of Erfurt, serving as pro-rector from 1997 to 2000. He is a member of the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. His research focuses include 19th- and 20th-century European history – in particular, nation-building and war – the history of liberalism and the middle classes, the labour movement and blue-collar culture, the European revolutions of the 19th century, university and educational history and the history of historical thinking.

Prizes and awards

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize awarded by the German Research Foundation (1996), Ludwig Uhland Prize (2019)

Recent publications

Vom vielstaatlichen Reich zum föderativen Bundesstaat: Eine andere deutsche Geschichte (2020), Der gewaltsame Lehrer: Europas Kriege in der Moderne (2019)