Laureates 2016

2016 Past - Social History - New Directions

Inga Clendinnen (August 1934 – September 2016)


Prof. Inga Clendinnen was an outstanding historian who focused on social history and the history of cultural encounters in the early modern period. Her innovative work has a transnational perspective and examines populations in situations of extreme violence.

Prof. Clendinnen’s studies on the oppression of the Maya, on the Aztecs, and on the Holocaust, have used the craft of the anthropologist to describe violence’s cultural origin, conduct, and consequences. From 1999, Clendinnen’s work considered the first contact between indigenous Australians and Europeans.

Her work is comparative, using a broad range of sources to penetrate cultural collisions of domination and cruelty reaching cultural and physical genocide and her articles, essays, and fiction have been widely published in Australia and internationally.

Clendinnen received numerous distinguished awards, amongst which are the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal (2007), Officer in the Order of Australia (2006), the ASA (Australian Society of Authors) biennial medal (2005), the Queensland Premier’s Award for Best History Book (2004), the 2004 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Non-Fiction Prize, the NSW History Awards, Premier’s General History Prize (1999), the 1999 National Jewish Book Award in the category of 'Holocaust Studies' given by the Jewish Book Council of the USA, the ‘Spain and America in the Quincentennial of the Discovery’ Prize (1988) and the Herbert Eugene Bolton Memorial Prize (1988).