Humanities Prof Honored by Mellon
$1.5 million grant to Fried will support programs that
enhance research, teaching
By Amy Cowles
Michael Fried, professor of the
history at Johns Hopkins, is one
of four scholars to receive the fourth annual Distinguished
Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The
foundation awarded a $1.5 million grant to Fried, who is
the James R. Herbert Boone Professor of Humanities and
Professor of the History of Art.
The awards honor scholars who have made significant
contributions to humanistic inquiry and will provide the
recipients and their institutions with resources to deepen
and extend humanistic scholarship. The awards are for three
years, with funds being granted to, and overseen by, the
In contrast to other notable academic award programs
that benefit the individual scholar exclusively, the
Distinguished Achievement Awards are designed to recognize
the interdependence of scholars and their institutions.
Accordingly, while this grant program honors the
achievements of individuals, the grants themselves support
specific institutional programs of activities that will
enhance both research and teaching.
"I'm extremely pleased about this award," Fried said.
"It will have a huge impact on my life, and it's great for
Fried's plans include jointly leading a semester-long
seminar with Stanley Cavell, professor emeritus of
philosophy at Harvard University, in fall 2006. Among his
other still-evolving plans is one to bring renowned art
historians to the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus during the
2005-2006 academic year.
Fried's contributions to humanistic scholarship extend
well beyond his groundbreaking work on 18th- and
19th-century European art and his championing of
20th-century American art. Through his art historical
monographs, the numerous exhibitions he has organized and
his important discussions of the theory of representation,
Fried's ideas have significantly influenced the critical
practices of his own field as well as those of other
disciplines, including English, Romance languages, history
and philosophy. His work combines historical rigor and
discipline at the highest level with sophisticated
philosophical and psychological analysis. In addition,
Fried has produced notable works of literary criticism and
has published several volumes of poetry. As chairman of
Johns Hopkins' Humanities Center, he has found inventive
means of strengthening humanistic teaching and scholarship
at the university. He is known for the care with which he
trains the doctoral students under his supervision, as well
as for his energetic teaching of undergraduates.
Chosen from such fields as classics, history, history
of art, musicology, philosophy, religious studies and all
areas of literary studies, the recipients of the awards
were selected through an intensive process of nomination
and review. Final selections were made by a panel of
distinguished scholars, including Jerome B. Schneewind,
professor emeritus of philosophy at Johns Hopkins.
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