Sarah Ehlers has been awarded the Forschungspreis 2019 des Deutschen Museums (Deutsches Museum Research Prize) for her book Europa und die Schlafkrankheit. Koloniale Seuchenbekämpfung, europäische Identitäten und moderne Medizin 1890–1950 (Europe and sleeping sickness. Colonial Disease Control, European Identities and Modern Medicine 1890–1950).
The judges gave the following comments (translated):
“This book was – it is hard to believe – written before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, and yet there are many parallels between the pandemic we are experiencing today and the epidemic of sleeping sickness that occurred at the beginning of the 20th century, and which rocked Sub-Saharan Africa. One cannot help but read the book in the light of what we are experiencing today … The excellently researched and very well written book is certainly not an easy or edifying read. Rather, it shows how closely developments in modern medicine are linked to national and international power politics. And in this respect, too, from it we can learn a lot about our pandemic-shaped present.”
More information about the award here.