Past Winners

  • Biography
    Drew Gilpin Faust
    2018 Kluge Prize Winner
    Drew Gilpin Faust is President Emerita of Harvard University and the Arthur Kingsley Porter University Professor. As president of Harvard from 2007 to 2018, Faust expanded financial aid to improve access to Harvard College for students of all economic backgrounds and advocated for increased federal funding for scientific research. She broadened the University’s international reach, […]
  • Biography
    Jürgen Habermas
    2015 Kluge Prize Winner
    Born in Germany in 1929, Jürgen Habermas emerged as the most important German philosopher and socio-political theorist of the second half of the 20th century. He is among the world’s most influential living philosophers. His books, articles, and essays number in the hundreds, and he has been widely read and translated into more than 40 […]
  • Biography
    Charles Taylor
    2015 Kluge Prize Winner
    Born in 1931 in Montreal, Canada, Charles Taylor ranks among the world’s most wide-ranging and influential writers in contemporary philosophy. Known for his contributions to political philosophy, the philosophy of social science, the history of philosophy, and intellectual history, Taylor is the author of more than 20 books and more than 500 articles. His work […]
  • Biography
    Fernando Henrique Cardoso
    2012 Kluge Prize Winner
    Fernando Henrique Cardoso is one of the leading scholars and practitioners of political economy in recent Latin American history. His scholarly analysis of the social structures of government, the economy, and race relations in Brazil laid the intellectual groundwork for his leadership as president in the transformation of Brazil from a military dictatorship with high […]
  • Biography
    Peter Brown
    2008 Kluge Prize Winner
    As both scholar and teacher, Peter Brown has worked at the highest level of academic intensity and creativity for more than 40 years. His books have captivated thousands of readers, and his celebrated lectures and seminars have inspired students and younger scholars around the world. Brown has opened up our understanding of the world of […]
  • Biography
    Romila Thapar
    2008 Kluge Prize Winner
    The preeminent historian of early India, Romila Thapar opened the study of its rich, ancient civilization to habits of inquiry and conceptual frameworks arising out of the modern social sciences. She formulated new questions about the social development of nearly 2,000 years of Indian history and challenged existing historical paradigms from both the colonial era […]
  • Biography
    John Hope Franklin
    2006 Kluge Prize Winner
    John Hope Franklin’s pioneering and varied scholarly work transformed our thinking about American history and society and established African American history as an important area of academic study and popular understanding. Long before the “agency” of ordinary people became a touchstone of historical writing, Franklin demonstrated that black Americans were active agents in shaping their […]
  • Biography
    Yu Ying-shih
    2006 Kluge Prize Winner
    Yu Ying-shih has been described by his peers as the greatest Chinese intellectual historian of his 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 […]
  • Biography
    Jaroslav Pelikan
    2004 Kluge Prize Winner
    Jaroslav Pelikan single-handedly brought the Eastern or Orthodox tradition into the hitherto Western story of Christianity. The Orthodox tradition had been largely ignored or disparaged by those who saw Byzantine Christianity as a failure of intellectual creativity. In this and other respects, Pelikan recognized the significance of ignored and unstudied aspects of history. Pelikan also […]
  • Biography
    Paul Ricoeur
    2004 Kluge Prize Winner
    Paul Ricoeur believed in the duty to explain and to comprehend questions such as: What makes us human? Arguing against both the materialist and the idealist positions, he stressed active creative thought and its roles in memory, narrative, history, law, culture, and belief. In Ricoeur’s own words, his insights had to be “painfully won on […]
  • Biography
    Leszek Kolakowski
    2003 Kluge Prize Winner
    Leszek Kolakowski’s ideas informed the anti-totalitarian youth movement inside Poland, and he became an adviser and active supporter in exile of the Solidarity movement that challenged and began to unravel, in a non-violent way, the Soviet system in Eastern Europe. As one of the leaders of Solidarity put it, “This skeptical student of Enlightenment thought, […]