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Urban History Association Best Book Award

29 September 2017

Bristol’s Su Lin Lewis has been awarded the Urban History Association’s prestigious Best Book Award (Non-North American) for 2015/16 for her latest monograph Cities in Motion: Urban Life and Cosmopolitanism in Southeast Asia, 1920-1940.  The book was described as ‘an exemplary demonstration of how we might move toward more inclusive global histories while remaining grounded in local historical evidence’. 

Cities in Motion explores intersecting themes of urban space, cross-cultural sociability, education, the press, and popular culture in late colonial Penang, Rangoon, and Bangkok. 

On her reasons for writing the book, Dr. Lewis remarked that ‘As with many other regions of the world today, the modern history of Southeast Asia is often seen through the lens of nationalism, and especially ethnic nationalism.  I wanted to challenge this perspective and used the lens of the cosmopolitan port-city to stress the region's long history of cultural diversity, tolerance, and global connection.’

Dr. Lewis said of receiving the award: ‘I am deeply honoured to have received this prize, and that the Urban History Association considers the work an important bridge between urban history and global history.’

Head of Department Josie Mclellan added: ‘This is a fantastic achievement, the Department is extremely proud to host such outstanding research in global urban history.’ 

To find out where to get a copy of Cities in Motion, or to see more of the outstanding works produced by Bristol’s historians, visit the History Bookshelf on the department website.  

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