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21st Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University has awarded the Twenty-First Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship to Susan Neiman, for her book Learning From the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2019.


Professor Susan Neiman is  the director of the Einstein Forum in Berlin. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, she studied philosophy at Harvard and the Free University of Berlin. Neiman was professor of philosophy at Yale University and Tel Aviv University before moving to the Einstein Forum in 2000. Professor Neiman specializes in moral and political philosophy, and she is the author of numerous books, including: Slow Fire: Jewish Notes from Berlin (1992)The Unity of Reason: Rereading Kant (1994)Evil in Modern Thought (2002)Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists (2008); and Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age (2014).

Learning from the Germans drives an urgently needed perspective for a country to see its wrongdoings. Professor Neiman draws upon her experiences growing up during the civil rights era in the US South and a Jewish woman living much of her adult life in Berlin to write her book on assessing the past and present in order to create a better future. She uses philosophical reflection, personal stories, and interviews with both Americans and Germans who are grappling with the evils of their own national histories. As Americans become increasingly polarized, Learning from the Germans observes the work contemporary Americans are doing to confront their history of racial violence, and asks what we can learn from the Germans in the wake of white nationalist attacks, ongoing debates about reparations, and controversies concerning Confederate monuments in the US.

Martha Minow, 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University, writes in a review: “As a learned and passionate guide, Susan Neiman draws on her long-term immersion in German history and her knowledge of American (especially Southern) racism to address vital questions. Packed with stories about individuals and communities dealing with the legacy of racial violence, Learning from the Germans identifies constructive steps for addressing the past and the present to make a different future.” The Glasscock Book Prize Selection Committee remarks that: “Learning from the Germans is a nuanced reflection on race relations, guilt, forgiveness, personal, and national growth, all woven into a hopeful argument for humanism as a way forward from our troubled times.” The book is listed as a 2019 Editor’s Choice by The New York Times and has been given a starred review by Publishers Weekly.

Professor Neiman will be visiting Texas A&M, virtually, during the first week of March 2021 to receive the award and participate in campus and community events in celebration of the prize. Details about book prize events will appear on the Glasscock Center’s website: https://liberalarts.tamu.edu/glasscock/ 

 


The Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship was endowed in December 2000 by Melbern G. Glasscock, Texas A&M University Class of ‘59, in honor of his wife. Together, among many other generous gifts to Texas A&M University, they provided a naming endowment for the Glasscock Center in 2002. Click here for a history of the Prize.