Appiah and Barkan receive Behrman Award
Posted May 1, 2010; 10:00 p.m.
Appiah, the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton, has been a faculty member since 2002. He has an intellectual range that includes moral, social and political philosophy, African and African American studies, and issues of personal and political identity, multiculturalism and nationalism. His recent work has revolved around the idea of "cosmopolitanism," which argues that individuals should seek an identity as a citizen of the world in order to be responsive to the needs of others, but without denying one's own particular rootedness in a heritage or community.
Appiah is the author of 12 scholarly books, three novels, and 19 edited books, as well as an annotated collection of proverbs from Ashanti, Ghana, on which he collaborated with his mother. His influential award-winning book, "Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers" (2006), has been translated into 15 languages. Other key titles include "Experiments in Ethics" (2008); "The Ethics of Identity"( 2006); "Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race" (1996, with Amy Gutmann); and "In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture." His forthcoming book is "The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen." Appiah also is co-editor, with Henry Louis Gates Jr., of "Encarta Africana, "an encyclopedia of material related to Africa and the African American experience, which has been published in several editions.
Barkan, the Class of 1943 University Professor of Comparative Literature who joined the faculty in 2001, is a wide-ranging humanist who specializes in the literature and visual arts of the Renaissance. He has edited eight volumes of Renaissance drama and early modern thought and is the author of five books. As a scholar and teacher who works across disciplines, Barkan also is a faculty associate in the Department of Art and Archaeology and the Department of English at Princeton. He served as director of Princeton's Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts from 2002 to 2009.
Barkan's scholarship is known for its ability to connect vibrantly with the past, such as encouraging readers to imagine what it was like for thinkers from the Renaissance to live among the ruins of antiquity, as in his award-winning book "Unearthing the Past: Archaeology and Aesthetics in the Making of Renaissance Culture" (1999). His other books are "Transuming Passion: Ganymede and the Erotics of Humanism" (1991); "The Gods Made Flesh: Metamorphosis and the Pursuit of Paganism" (1986); "Nature's Work of Art: The Human Body as Image of the World" (1975); and the memoir "Satyr Square: A Year, a Life in Rome" (2006). He has two books forthcoming from Princeton University Press; "Michelangelo: A Life on Paper," and "Mute Poetry Speaking Pictures," which again will bridge the literary and visual worlds through history.
Bestowed annually, the Behrman Award was established in 1975 by a gift from the late Howard Behrman, a physician and book collector.