Cook and Gowin receive Behrman Award

Michael Cook, the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies, and Emmet Gowin, professor of the Council of the Humanities and visual arts, have received Princeton's Behrman Award for distinguished achievement in the humanities.

Cook, who joined the Princeton faculty in 1986, is widely considered among the most outstanding Islamicists in America today. He has made major contributions to the intellectual history of the medieval Islamic world. His works on Muhammad and early Islamic theology have become classics.

Cook's 2003 book, "A Brief History of the Human Race," examines the last 10,000 years and explains why and how history has unfolded the way it has. He has received the Andrew Mellon Foundation's Distinguished Achievement Award and has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Gowin, a faculty member since 1973, is a noted photographer. A retrospective of his work, "Emmet Gowin/Photographs: This Vegetable Earth Is but a Shadow," was published by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1990. His 2002 book, "Changing the Earth," features hand-toned black-and-white images that show how humans have altered the planet's surface.

Gowin has earned numerous honors, including a Guggenheim and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, awards from the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and the Seattle Arts Commission, the Pennsylvania Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Friends of Photography Peer Award and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He received the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton in 1997.

Bestowed annually, the Behrman Award was established in 1975 by a gift from the late Howard Behrman, a physician and book collector.