Award honours work advancing knowledge of Slovak history

glasses and pen resting on notebook

York University Professor Emeritus Stanislav Kirschbaum has been honoured for his contributions to advancing knowledge of Slovak history.

Stanislav Kirschbaum
Stanislav Kirschbaum

On Sept. 20 via Zoom link with Slovakia, Kirschbaum of the Department of International Studies at Glendon College was awarded the Daniel Rapant Prize at the conclusion of an academic conference organized in Bratislava by Matica Slovenská.

Matica Slovenská is a historic Slovak cultural institution founded in 1863, which, since 1995, awards this medal to persons recognized for their contributions to the development of the historical sciences and their efforts to make Slovak history and the life of Slovaks known at home and abroad. It is named after Daniel Rapant, a professor at Slovak (now Comenius) University in Bratislava, who was the most outstanding Slovak historian of the 20th century, and is considered generally to be the father of Slovak history.

Kirschaum, who taught at Glendon College from 1970 to 2022, is recognized internationally as a leading expert on Slovak politics and history. His book History of Slovakia: The Struggle for Survival (2nd edition, 2005) is the first comprehensive history of the Slovak people, not just in English but in any non-Slovak language, as is his Historical Dictionary of Slovakia (3rd edition, 2014).

In addition, he has published 60 scholarly articles in English, French, German and Slovak on various aspects of Slovak history and politics. For his overall scholarship in international studies, Kirschaum was made a chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques de France in 1994, promoted to the rank of officier in 2015 and elected Fellow of Royal Society of Canada in 2002.

The Daniel Rapant Prize is considered one of the most prestigious awards in Slovakia.