Stella Ghervas, the Eugen Weber Professor of Modern European History, received the 2023 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame for her book, “Conquering Peace: From the Enlightenment to the European Union.”

The $10,000 Laura Shannon Prize is awarded each year to the best book that transcends a focus on any one country, state or people to stimulate new ways of thinking about contemporary Europe as a whole. This year’s cycle of the award considered books in history and the social sciences published in 2020 or 2021. As prize-winner, Ghervas delivered the Laura Shannon Prize Lecture at the University of Notre Dame this month (see below).

The final jury lauded Ghervas’ work as “a highly original, analytically penetrating, magisterial narrative that integrates political, diplomatic, military, legal, and intellectual history covering the entire European continent over more than three centuries,” and remarked on its present-day relevance and expressed their hope that “all professional diplomats, as well as politicians engaged in international affairs, will read and learn from this wise book.”

Ghervas has recently joined the UCLA Department of History from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, where she was professor of Russian history. She has held teaching, research and visiting positions in Australia, France, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, the U.K. and the United States. Her main interests are in intellectual, international and legal history of modern Europe, with special reference to the history of peace and peacemaking, and in Russia’s intellectual and maritime history.

She is the author or editor of five other books, including “Réinventer la tradition: Alexandre Stourdza et l’Europe de la Sainte Alliance,” which won the Guizot Prize from the Académie Française, and “A Cultural History of Peace in the Age of Enlightenment.” Ghervas is now working on a new book, “Calming the Waters? A New History of the Black Sea” and an anthology of essential texts on peace from the antiquity to the present day.

Read a Q&A with Ghervas at the UCLA College website.