LUMS History Faculty Wins Prestigious Turriano ICOHTEC Prize
Faculty at the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS) are making an impact around the world through their research, teaching, and publications. In recent news, Associate Professor of History, Dr. Waqar Zaidi was awarded the Turriano ICOHTEC Prize for Young Historians, for his book, Technological Internationalism and World Order: Aviation, Atomic Energy, and the Search for International Peace 1920-1950.
This award, organised by the 2022 International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) and sponsored by Fundación Juanelo Turriano, recognises the best first/early career book in the history of technology. Dr. Zaidi was selected for demonstrating rigour, intellectual bravery, and readability in combining the history of technology with the history of international relations. The prize-winning book will be presented and discussed at a special session of the organisation’s international symposium.
According to the committee responsible for the prize, “Zaidi masterfully inscribes top-level history of technology into the most dynamic debates in political history and in the field of international relations. It is rare that a historian in the early stage of his career can so skillfully contribute to two booming, but too-often-disconnected fields of history of technology and the history of international relations … Zaidi’s work is a lighthouse that may illuminate other researchers’ path.”
“I am delighted at receiving this prestigious international award,” said Dr. Zaidi. His award-winning book, published in 2021 by Cambridge University Press, is an interdisciplinary study of the junctions of international history and international relations and attempts to create collective security through technology and international organisations such as the League of Nations and the United Nations.
Dr. Zaidi shared that ICOHTEC is among the world's leading academic history of technology societies. “The prize is a recognition of the depth of my research and the hard work I have put into the book over the past 10 years. It reflects, I hope, a wider recognition of the impact of my book within this and other academic communities. I am, as far as I know, the first Pakistani to win this prize.”
Dr. Zaidi’s book, based loosely on his PhD research, was written after he joined LUMS back in 2013. He believes that the book couldn’t have been written without the support of LUMS and his colleagues. “The exacting standards and nature of academic historical work mean that it can take years of painstaking research to write a history monograph. LUMS is one of the very few institutions in the country that currently provides academics in the humanities and social sciences, the intellectual space, and institutional and financial support, to produce and publish research such as this. For that I am grateful. I am already working on my next book projects, and I hope that the university will continue to support those in the same way it has supported my existing research.”