2007 EMET Prize Laureate – Humanities
Prof. Myriam Yardeni is awarded the EMET Prize for her pioneering studies in the field of Western European history and French history in particular; for her works on Huguenots, Jews and other minorities and the formation of the French national identity, which are cornerstones in modern historiography, and for her academic leadership as teacher and scholar.
Prof. Myriam Yardeni was born in Rumania in 1932 and made aliyah in 1950. She completed her B.A. in General History and French Civilization and her M.A. in General History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1963 she was awarded a PhD with distinction from the Sorbonne University for her thesis in religious history of the modern era. At the same time she attended the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. With the founding of the University College of Haifa (which later became the Haifa University) she joined its teaching staff and founded the Institut d’histoire et civilisation françaises and the School of History.
She specialized in the formation of a national identity at times of crisis, and created new analytical tools for the study of the phenomenon, among them representation, propaganda and indoctrination. She also studied French Calvinism. She has carried out a comparative study of the Huguenot refugees in the 17th and 18th Centuries and devised models for the study of the pace of their national, social, cultural and religious assimilation. She has also researched the history of historiography in the early modern era as a source for understanding the history of mentalities and social consciousness. She wrote about the utopias and the anti-Semitism of the early modern period and viewed them as a process of “accumulation of novel anti-Jewish elements” that were later incorporated into modern anti-Semitism. She is also interested in the theoretical and methodological aspects of the discipline of history and has offered a personal interpretation to understanding the chain of reciprocal influences and processes in history.
Over the years she has been a visiting professor at the University of Bordeaux III and in the Religious Sciences Section of the Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. She has been a research fellow in various scientific institutes in Europe. In 1999 she was awarded the Israel Prize in general history.