Michael Laffan's "Under Empire" Wins General History Prize in 2023 NSW Premier's History Awards

Sept. 12, 2023

Michael Laffan's latest book, Under Empire: Muslim Lives and Loyalties Across the Indian Ocean World, 1775-1945 (Columbia University Press) won the General History Prize in the 2023 New South Wales Premier's History Awards. The General History Prize is given to a major work of non-fiction, on international history that is of national or international significance.

The judges' comments called Under Empire "a majestic account of the shifting perceptions of Muslims in Indian Ocean empires from the Dutch to the British, Ottomans and, at the close, Japanese. The book’s expansive geographical scope takes the reader from East Africa to Southern India and Southeast Asia, across Muslim and western worlds, showing how a variety of political formations have shaped and been shaped by Muslim lives."

The other short-listed candidates were:

  • "Visions of Nature: How Landscape Photography Shaped Settler Colonialism" by Jarrod Hore (University of California Press)
  • "Singing the News of Death: Execution Ballads in Europe 1500-1900" by Una McIlvenna (Oxford University Press)