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May 30, 2000
Four Faculty Members Receive President's Teaching Awards
Princeton, N.J. -- Four Princeton University faculty members received President's Awards for Distinguished Teaching at Commencement ceremonies today. They are: Oliver Arnold, Peter Brown, Amy Gutmann and Howard Taylor.
Arnold is assistant professor of English. He teaches courses on the English Renaissance, Shakespeare and the New Historicism, with what a colleague describes as "the perfect teacherly combination of approachable affability and intellectual rigor."
Currently working on a book on Shakespeare and early modern political representation, Arnold came to Princeton in 1993 as an instructor and was named assistant professor in 1994. In 1997 he received an honorific preceptorship.
He earned his BA in 1983 and his PhD in 1994 at the University of California, Berkeley.
Brown, who is Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History, has taught history at Princeton since 1983, specializing in late antiquity. His course on Civilization of the Early Middle Ages regularly enrolls up to 200 students -- a testament to his ability as "a teacher of passion, wit and spontaneity who can bring erudition to life," according to a fellow faculty member.
Brown is the author of a dozen books, including Augustine of Hippo (1967), The World of Late Antiquity (1972), The Cult of the Saints (1981), Body and Society (1988), Authority and the Sacred (1995) and The Rise of Western Christendom: 200-1000 A.D. (1996).
A native of Dublin, Ireland, he earned his 1956 BA at Oxford, where he taught until 1975. He then went to the University of London for two years before joining the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. He came to Princeton first as a visiting professor and then as Rollins Professors since 1986.
Brown is currently working on a study of attitudes to wealth and poverty in late antiquity and the early middle ages.
Gutmann, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and the University Center for Human Values, has been at Princeton since 1976. Founding director of the University Center for Human Values and the Program in Ethics and Public Affairs, she was named Rockefeller Professor in 1990.
Of her undergraduate course Ethics and Public Policy, one student said, "Her commitment to teaching and joie de vivre" were evident at every session. "She added color to the black and white world as I saw it." A colleague described the range and quality of her contributions to undergraduate and graduate teaching as "nothing short of stunning."
Gutmann is the author of Liberal Equality (1980), Democratic Education (1987), Democracy and Disagreement (with D. Thompson, 1996) and Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race (with A. Appiah, 1996). She earned her 1971 BA at Harvard-Radcliffe College, her 1972 MSc at the London School of Economics and her 1976 PhD at Harvard.
Taylor, professor of sociology, came to Princeton in 1973 as director of the Afro-American Studies Program. His teaching and research interests include race and ethnicity, social psychology, African-American studies and research methodologies.
Taylor is especially recognized by colleagues for teaching required and core courses in such a way as to encourage and inspire potential majors. One student in his undergraduate course on statistical methods called him "an exciting and engaging lecturer with a knack for grounding abstract methodology in everyday life."
A graduate of Hiram College, Taylor earned his 1966 PhD at Yale and taught at the University of Illinois Institute of Technology and at Syracuse University before joining the Princeton faculty.
He is the author of The IQ Game: A Methodological Inquiry into the Heredity-Environment Controversy (1980) and has conducted research on African-American leadership and elites for a forthcoming book on "The Black Elite Network in America."
The President's Awards were established in 1991 by gifts from Lloyd Cotsen '50 and John Sherrerd '52.