Historian Jennifer Klein wins Hans Sigrist Prize

The Hans Sigrist Foundation at the University of Bern (Switzerland) awarded the 2014 Hans Sigrist Prize to Jennifer Klein, professor of history, for her contribution to the field of “Women and Precarity: Historical Perspectives.”

Jennifer Klein

The foundation cited Klein’s research on the history and development of Social Security in the United States, as well as her research on the history of care work, which “brilliantly combines social, economic, political, and gender history.” The foundation added, “By applying a multi-perspective approach which takes into account all parties involved, as well as the interdependence of complex dynamics, Jennifer Klein has rewritten the history of the social state.”

As a part of the award proceedings, Klein delivered a keynote address, titled ”Women, Work, and Welfare: A History of Gender and Precarious Labor Markets in the U.S.,” at the foundation’s annual symposium and separately spoke to students in the history department about her research. Klein was officially presented the prize on Dec. 6 in Bern.

The goal of the foundation in awarding the prize is “to select a researcher/academic at mid-career level who still has plenty of time to make additional contributions to his or her field.” It is not meant to be a lifetime achievement award, but instead a prize to spur further research.

Prize winners receive 100,000 Swiss francs (over $100,000) to help further their research. They are also invited to speak in Bern at an annual symposium and take part in the university’s “Dies academicus” ceremony. 

For more information, visit the foundation’s website.

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