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Reed history professor receives grant for "Making Publics: Markets, Media, and Association in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700"


David Harris Sacks is part of a 17-member interdisciplinary research team that has been awarded a grant of over $2.4 million.


PORTLAND, OR (November 2, 2005) - David Harris Sacks, the Richard F. Scholz Professor of History at Reed College, is part of a 17-member interdisciplinary research team of co-applicants that has been awarded a grant of over $2.4 million CDN from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for their project Making Publics: Markets, Media, and Association in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700 . The grant comes as part of the Council's 2004 Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) competition and runs for a five-year period to conclude in 2010. As a co-applicant, Sacks will receive an annual stipend to support his research activities over the duration of the award.

Sacks' team is lead by Paul Yachnin, the Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The research team plans to pursue interdisciplinary studies of cultural, intellectual, and religious life across early modern Europe while exploring the contributions that early modern publics have made to the emergence of modernity.

Sacks is one of four early modern European historians among the projects co-applicants. "It has been my particular mission to ensure that the importance of Europe's increasing involvement with the wider world is kept in view throughout the life of the project," he noted.

In addition, Sacks will oversee several responsibilities for the project, including membership on its seven-person Management Committee and service as one of the two co-leaders responsible for overseeing the team’s various activities in 2008-9, including the holding of several international meetings in partnership with institutions in the United Kingdom. As an expert in early modern Britain, Europe, and the Atlantic world, he will help provide a larger context for the local, European publics that are central to the project. He will also assist in putting the European exploration of and trade with the Americas and the East in the context of the project's aims.

For Sacks, however, the primary focus of the project centers on the dissemination of knowledge and the development of Europe's cultural institutions. "The common focus of our joint efforts will be the reception into Europe of the new knowledge of the world generated in the fields of natural history and geographical discovery and the contributions the incorporation of this new knowledge made to the development of European cultural institutions: printing and publishing, museum collection, public performance of theater and music, et cetera," Sacks said.

David Harris Sacks
Sacks, the Richard F. Scholz Professor of History at Reed College, specializes in the history of early modern Britain, Europe, and the Atlantic world. A professor at Reed since 1986, Sacks has also been affiliated with the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Harvard University, Yale University, Cornell University, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Cambridge. He is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. In 1992, he received fellowships from both the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to support his study of monopoly and liberty in early modern England, 1558-1649. In addition, he has received awards and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, and the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, RI. His book The Widening Gate: Bristol and the Atlantic Economy, 1450-1700 received the prestigious John Ben Snow Prize from the North American Conference on British Studies for the best book in all fields of British history published in 1992. Sacks received his B.A. magna cum laude with honors in history from Brooklyn College, and his A.M. and Ph.D. in history from Harvard University.

The Richard F. Scholz Professorship
First established in 1936, the Richard F. Scholz Professorship in History is named in honor of a professor in Reedâ's history department with strong ties to Reed's humanities program. Scholz, Reed's second president (1921-1924) and the chair's namesake, is credited with planting the seed for Reed's current humanities program. Sacks, the fourth recipient of the chair, was appointed to the chair in September 2003. Before him, professors Ray Kierstad, Richard Jones, and Rex Arragon have held the chair.