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Selma V. Forkosch Prize awarded to Sophie Smith

Associate Professor of Political Theory awarded prize for the best article published in The Journal of the History of Ideas in 2019. 

The Journal of the History of Ideas has awarded Professor Sophie Smith the annual Selma V. Forkosch Prize for the best article published in the University of Pennsylvania Press journal in 2019.

The judging committee stated of Professor Smith’s article: “The Selma V. Forkosch Prize committee has unanimously agreed to award the prize for the best essay published in the Journal of the History of Ideas in 2019 to Sophie Smith for her article "The Language of ‘Political Science’ in Early Modern Europe." The author lucidly explores what it meant to speak of ‘political science’ in Aristotle's key writings on politics and ethics, in medieval Latin commentaries on them, in early modern works on the theme, and in the views that Hobbes constructed in response. She examines with deep learning and great subtlety how ideas of the “political” and of “science,” which separately evolved in this long period, came to be understood in combination as an intelligible object of its own. Her essay, a model of clarity in exposition, examines the role of the texts she studies in raising new questions about the status of “politics” as something that could be investigated and taught and of “political science” itself as field of knowing having a distinctive language of its own.

 Professor Smith said that she was delighted and deeply honoured to receive the award.

Dr Sophie Smith is Associate Professor of Political Theory and Tutorial Fellow, University College