The Howard T. Behrman Award medal

Harriet Flower and Mark Johnston receive Behrman Award for the humanities

May 7, 2018 11:06 a.m.

Princeton professors Harriet Flower and Mark Johnston have received the University’s Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities.

Harriet Flower

Harriet Flower

Harriet Flower

Flower, the Andrew Fleming West Professor in Classics, joined the Princeton faculty in 2003. She specializes in Roman history and historiography, epigraphy and Latin literature.

She is the author of "The Dancing Lares and the Serpents in the Garden: Religion at the Roman Street Corner," "Roman Republics," "The Art of Forgetting: Disgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political Culture (Studies in the History of Greece and Rome)" and "Ancestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture." She is the editor of "The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Republic," now in its second edition.

"[H]er wide-ranging body of scholarship ... has made her one of the leading figures in the study of Roman history," wrote one colleague in nominating Flower for the Behrman Award. "[S]has made Roman historians recognize how their own reconstructions of the past had been shaped by assumptions about continuities and change. And she has brought the same attention both to detail and the big picture to her teaching and service to the University and all its students."

Flower teaches undergraduate courses on Roman history and Latin literature at all levels. She has taught graduate courses on a variety of topics, including the politics and religion of republican Rome.

Another colleague wrote: "Harriet exemplifies all that we value at Princeton, and her role in the humanities — beyond her involvements in classics — are tremendously appreciated by students and colleagues alike. Her devotion to students is seldom paralleled; her encouragement of younger scholars provides a model for us all; [and] her willing participation in interdisciplinary advising and mentoring has, over the years, imparted a significant intellectual foundation for graduate students."

Flower was honored during the Graduate School's Hooding ceremony in 2016 with a Graduate Mentoring Award from the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. She is head of Mathey College, one of Princeton's six residential colleges.

Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston

Johnston, the Henry Putnam University Professor of Philosophy, joined the department after completing his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton in 1983. His main areas of research are ontology, cognitive science, philosophy of mind, epistemology, philosophy of religion and value theory.

He is the author of "Saving God: Religion After Idolatry" and "Surviving Death," and is working on three new books, "On Being Ontological Trash," "Human Beings" and "The Obscure Object of Hallucination."

Johnston received the University's Graduate Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984 and the Princeton University Medal (for distinguished service to the institution) in 2001. He was awarded the Governor’s Prize in the Humanities in 1990.

Johnston is the acting director of the Program in Cognitive Science. Since 2015, he has served as an adviser to the Minorities and Philosophy Group. His work has been the subject of symposia at institutions as varied as Australian National University, Oxford University, Sydney University, the University of Texas and Princeton Theological Seminary. Next year he will give the Gifford Lectures at the University of St Andrews.

In nominating Johnston for the Behrman Award, a colleague wrote, "Mark Johnston is a philosopher in the very first rank, a significant public intellectual, a beloved teacher, and someone whose work behind the scenes has succeeded in making academic philosophy better for everyone involved."

A colleague at another institution wrote, "Johnston is simply one of the best of living philosophers, and he has had an influence, both within and without the profession, that is fully commensurate with his talents and status as a powerful and highly original thinker."