Film, Video 2006 John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity

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Title
2006 John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity
Summary
John Hope Franklin and Yu Ying-shih were awarded the 2006 Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity. John Hope Franklin's pioneering work established African American history as an important area of academic study and popular understanding. His contributions ranged across the genres of non-fiction writing, from scholarly monographs to works of history intended for a non-academic public, to a textbook, a biography, and an autobiography. Long before the "agency" of ordinary people became a touchstone of historical writing, Franklin demonstrated that blacks were active agents in shaping their own and the nation's history. His studies unearthed numerous long-neglected yet indisputably essential parts of the American past. Taken together, they made the point that no account of American history could be complete if it did not afford a key place to the conditions and struggles of black Americans. Yu Ying-shih has been described by his peers as "the greatest Chinese intellectual historian of our generation." His knowledge encompasses nearly the entire span of Chinese history, from early times to the present and his work is read and discussed throughout the Chinese-speaking world. In addition, Yu is a vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party and champion of the pro-democracy movement in mainland China.
Event Date
December 05, 2006
Notes
-  John Hope Franklin, a native of Oklahoma and a graduate of Fisk University, received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He taught at a number of institutions, including Fisk University, St. Augustine's College, North Carolina Central University, and Howard University. In 1956 he went to Brooklyn College as chairman of the department of history. He became chair of Brooklyn College's history department in 1956, thus making him the first black scholar to be appointed department head at a mostly white college. In 1964, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, serving as chairman of the department of history from 1967 to 1970. He finished his career as the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University, and the John Matthews Manly Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Chicago. Franklin authored 17 books including the groundbreaking "From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans" (1947), which sold more than three million copies. The seminal text is credited with legitimating African-American studies as a historical discipline. Franklin's comprehensive and scholarly survey of the African-American experience from the slave trade through the struggle for racial equality transformed understandings of major social phenomena in America, and empowered a wide range of alternate histories of other ethnic and minority groups that are common in today's times. Franklin also participated actively in the Civil Rights movement in addition to observing it. In 1953 he helped Thurgood Marshall and the Legal Defense Fund successfully reargue Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down the "separate but equal" doctrine and required the desegregation of schools in America. A decade later, Franklin joined the march on Selma, Alabama led by Martin Luther King Jr. Franklin received many honors throughout his life, including the Jefferson Medal (1984), the Charles Frankel Prize for contributions to the humanities (1993) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995). He received honorary degrees from more than 130 colleges and universities. In 1997 President Clinton appointed him as chair of the President's Initiative on Race.
-  Yu Ying-shih has been described by his peers as "the greatest Chinese intellectual historian of our generation." His knowledge encompasses nearly the entire span of Chinese history, from early times to the present and his work is read and discussed throughout the Chinese-speaking world. In addition, Yu is known as a vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party and champion of the pro-democracy movement in mainland China. The author of more than 30 books spanning 2,000 years of history, Yu's scholarly career in the United States began with a concentration on early and medieval Chinese history. His doctoral dissertation addressed the significant transformation of the ideal of longevity into the idea of immortality -- a subject of sustained interest in Chinese culture. The published study remains a classic account of a critical shift in religious thinking. In his first English-language book, he turned his attention to the Chinese hierarchical view of the world that framed martial and commercial expansion during the Han dynasty (203 B.C. to 220 A.D.). Yu's scholarly output can be loosely clustered under three headings: early and medieval Chinese history, intellectual and cultural history of the later imperial period (the Song, 960-1279; Ming, 1368-1644; and Qing, 1644-1911 dynasties) and studies of intellectuals and intellectual problems in the modern period. Yu is credited with rescuing the Confucian heritage from caricature and neglect and with stimulating younger scholars to rediscover the richness and variety of Chinese culture after the "cultural revolution." Yu is an emeritus professor of East Asian studies and history at Princeton University. During his academic career, which began in 1962, he has taught at three Ivy League universities (Princeton, Harvard and Yale) and the University of Michigan. He also served concurrently as president of New Asia College, Hong Kong, and vice chancellor of Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1973 to 1975.
Related Resources
John W. Kluge Center: https://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/
2006 Kluge Prize Winner John Hope Franklin: https://www.loc.gov/item/n79076628/john-hope-franklin-1915-2009/
2006 Kluge Prize Winner Yu Ying-shih: https://www.loc.gov/item/n81075681/yu-ying-shih-1930/
Running Time
1 hours, 7 minutes, 8 seconds
Language
English
Online Format
video
online text

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John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity. 2006. Video. https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-8170/.

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(2006) John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-8170/.

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John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity. 2006. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/webcast-8170/>.