The 2009 R. John Rath Article Prize Awarded to Alison Frank, Assistant Professor at Harvard University

bridges vol. 23, October 2009 / Noteworthy Information

The R. John Rath Article Prize is awarded annually by the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota for the best article published that year in the Austrian History Yearbook. It is funded by the estate of the longtime Habsburg scholar and founder of the AHY, R. John Rath (1910-2001), and by contributions in his memory. The 2009 winner is Alison Frank , assistant professor of history at Harvard University and former bridges contributor, for "The Pleasant and the Useful: Pilgrimage and Tourism in Habsburg Mariazell," in The Austrian History Yearbook, vol. 40 (2009), pp. 157-182.  The article prize carries an award of $600.

{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick – all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} In awarding this prize, the jury noted: "We are pleased to award the 2009 Rath Prize to Alison Frank. Working with the archival records of Mariazell, the most prominent pilgrimage shrine in the Habsburg lands, she offers a thoughtful reassessment of pilgrimage and its meaning for Austrian society in the 19th century.  Through her examination of Mariazell's status as both pilgrimage site and tourist destination, Frank demonstrates how fluidly modern technology and leisure practices were marshaled to serve 'the ancient, if malleable, practice of pilgrimage.' This elegant and erudite essay illuminates the history of religious revival in a seemingly secular era, bringing together the history of popular religion, economic development, and tourism in nineteenth century Austria."

The prize jury also issued a special commendation to Chad Bryant for his article, "Into an Uncertain Future:  Railroads and Vormaerz Liberalism in Brno, Vienna, and Prague," The Austrian History Yearbook, vol. 40 (2009), pp. 183-201.