About the Prize
The Washington University International Humanities Prize is awarded biennially to a person who has contributed significantly to the humanities either through a supremely well-crafted work or an entire body of work that has dramatically changed how we see or understand a particular place, event, person, idea or field of expression, or through courageously persevering in a humanities pursuit in an atmosphere of persecution. Past recipients are as follows: Sir David Adjaye (2018), Bill T. Jones (2016), Marjorie Perloff (2014), Ken Burns (2012), Francine Prose (2010), Michael Pollan (2008), Orhan Pamuk (2006).
The recipient receives a $25,000 prize and gives a public lecture on the Washington University campus, as well as interacting with students and community members throughout their visit.
A selection committee constituted by six members of the Washington University humanities faculty and two greater community members convenes to review nominated candidates and their body of work. The director of the Center for the Humanities invites the selected recipient approximately one year prior to the award ceremony. Faculty and student engagement with the recipient’s work is encouraged (including reading groups and special course work). During the visit, the recipient interacts with a wide range of members of the campus community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and senior administration.