Nominations sought for WashU International Humanities Prize

Nominations due March 15

Who will be the recipient of the 2022 Washington University International Humanities Prize? Thanks to a new selection process coordinated by the Center for the Humanities, the answer is in the hands of faculty in WashU’s humanities and humanistic social sciences units.

The Washington University International Humanities Prize is awarded biennially to a person who has contributed significantly to the humanities through a body of work that has dramatically impacted how we understand the human condition. The recipient receives a $25,000 prize, delivers a public lecture on the Washington University campus, and engages with students, faculty, administration, and community members throughout their visit. Past recipients are Sir David Adjaye (2018), Bill T. Jones (2016), Marjorie Perloff (2014), Ken Burns (2012), Francine Prose (2010), Michael Pollan (2008) and Orhan Pamuk (2006). Due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 award and ceremony were canceled. The next event is expected to be held in spring 2022 or fall 2022.

In the past, nominations for the prize were generated by a committee appointed by the Center for the Humanities that included Washington University humanities faculty and staff and two community members. The committee that nominated candidates also reviewed their work and made the selection. 

For the first time ever, the humanities center has opened up the nomination process to the Washington University humanities community at large. Departments and programs are invited to submit nominations on their own or in collaboration with other units. The nominations will be reviewed by the center’s interdisciplinary executive committee of nine faculty members and two community representatives, who will make the final selection.

Left: Bill T. Jones, 2016 recipient, interacted with a small group of undergraduate students and faculty before his public lecture/performance at Edison Theatre. Right: Marjorie Perloff, 2014 recipient, gave a public lecture in Graham Chapel before receiving a commemorative Washington University International Humanities Prize medal.

The new process is designed to facilitate greater engagement between the award recipient and the Washington University humanities community, maximizing the impact of the recipient’s campus visit and preceding event and curricular programming.

Follow this link to learn more about the nomination process and download a nomination form (due March 15, 2021).