University of Pittsburgh
March 27, 2008

Pitt History Professor Honored With Merle Curti Award

Marcus Rediker, author of "The Slave Ship: A Human History," to receive the award March 29 at the Organization of American Historians meeting in New York City
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Marcus Rediker, University of Pittsburgh professor of history, has been selected the 2008 Merle Curti Award winner for "The Slave Ship: A Human History" (Viking Penguin, 2007) by the Organization of American Historians (OAH), who will bestow the honor March 29 at the 101st OAH annual meeting at the Hilton New York, West 53rd St. and Avenue of the Americas in New York City.

The award, to be presented by OAH president Nell Irvin Painter and president-elect Pete Daniel at 6:30 p.m. in the Hilton's East Ballroom, is given annually for the best book published in American social, intellectual, or cultural history.

In "The Slave Ship," Rediker said he set out to describe "what it meant to live in a wooden world." According to Rediker, what had happened on the slave ship informed what resulted on land. "It was a social and cultural process that changed people," he explained. "And the repercussions from that process still resonate today."

At Pitt since 1994, Rediker is the author of "Villains of All Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden Age" (Beacon Press/Verso, 2004); "The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic" (Beacon Press/Verso, 2000); "Who Built America? Working People and the Nation's Economy, Politics, Culture, and Society," Volume 1 (Pantheon Books, 1989); and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates, and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750" (Cambridge University Press, 1987).

Rediker's writings have been translated into French, German, Greek, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. His many honors include a 2001 International Labor History Book Prize, a 1988 Merle Curti Social History Book Award, and a 1988 John Hope Franklin Book Prize. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In addition, the Organization of American Historians named him Distinguished Lecturer for 2002 through 2008.

Founded in 1907, OAH is the largest learned society and professional organization dedicated to the teaching and study of the American past. OAH promotes excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, and encourages wide discussion of historical questions and equitable treatment of all practitioners of history. Members in the United States and abroad include college and university professors, students, precollegiate teachers, archivists, museum curators, and other public historians employed in government and the private sector.