Board of Scholars Chair Anthony Appiah Receives National Humanities Medal
(Update:scroll down to see photos from the event)
President Barack Obama has named Kwame Anthony Appiah as one of nine winners of the 2011 National Humanities Medal, awarded annually for outstanding achievements in history, literature, education, philosophy, and musicology. Appiah is the newly-appointed Chair of the Facing History and Ourselves Board of Scholars, which consists of intellectual leaders and experts in fields that enrich Facing History’s thinking and keep the organization’s work connected to the latest scholarship. The White House announced the awards last week. Winners will be honored at a ceremony at the White House on February 13.
Appiah, who is President of the PEN American Center, has been a member of Facing History’s Board of Trustees since 1993. Raised in Ghana and educated in England, he has been the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University since 2002, and his work has been widely published and translated into Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, and Spanish, among others. In 2010, Appiah was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers. “His books and essays within and beyond his academic discipline have shed moral and intellectual light on the individual in an era of globalization and evolving group identities,” said a release issued last week by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which also praised Appiah for “seeking eternal truths in a contemporary world.”
Other National Humanities Medal winners include National History Day, a program that reaches more than half a million students across the country; Amartya Sen, an economist and Nobel laureate whose work explores issues of poverty, famine, and injustice; and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet John Ashbery. “The National Humanities Medal honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities,” the press release read.
Read the press release “White House Announces 2011 National Humanities Medals,” on the National Endowment for the Humanities website.
Watch the ceremony live on February 13 at 1:45 p.m.
Read about Appiah’s recent appointment as the Chair of Facing History’s Board of Scholars.