February 13, 2012
By Elisabeth Grant
This past Friday the National Endowment for the Humanities announced the winners of the 2011 National Humanities Medals, which recognize outstanding achievements in history, literature, education, philosophy, and musicology.
Among the nine recipients this year are two distinguished AHA members—former president Robert Darnton and former vice president Teofilo Ruiz—alongside National History Day, the annual program that involves over half a million U.S. children in the study of history.
A video of the White House presentation of these medals is available here. The official citations for Robert Darnton, Teofilo Ruiz, and National History Day are listed below. Learn about all nine winners here online.
The citations briefly note the work and some of the accomplishments of the three history winners:
- Robert Darnton, historian and librarian, for his determination to make knowledge accessible to everyone. As an author he has illuminated the world of Enlightenment and Revolutionary France, and as a librarian he has endeavored to make his vision for a comprehensive national library of digitized books a reality.
- Teofilo Ruiz, medieval historian, for his inspired teaching and writing. His erudite studies have deepened our understanding of medieval Spain and Europe, while his late examination of how society has coped with terror has taught important lessons about the dark side of western progress.
- National History Day, a program that inspires in American students a passion for history. Each year more than half a million children from across the country compete in this event, conducting research and producing websites, papers, performances, and documentaries to tell the human story.