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Trilling and Van Doren Awards

The winners of the Lionel Trilling Book Award and Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching are selected by the Academic Awards Committee of the Columbia College Student Council.

The Lionel Trilling Book Award

The Lionel Trilling Book Award is given to a member of Columbia’s faculty whose book was published in the previous year and upholds a level of excellence commensurate with the work of Lionel Trilling CC’25, GSAS’38. The award was established in 1976 in honor of Professor Trilling, a gifted and dedicated teacher who was deeply committed to undergraduate education, as well as a public intellectual known nationally for his scholarship and literary criticism, which appealed to a wide-audience.

2017 Winner: Elizabeth Povinelli, the Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology, for her book Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism. Read More

Past Winners of the Lionel Trilling Book Awards

  • 1976 - Edward W. Said (English and Comparative Lit.), Beginnings
  • 1977 - Fritz Stern (History), Gold and Iron: Bismark, Bleichroder, and the Building of the German Empire
  • 1978 - Morton Smith (History), Jesus the Magician
  • 1980 - Istvan Deak (History), The Lawful Revolution: Louis Kossuth and the Hungarians, 1848-1849
  • 1981 - Peter Pouncey (Classics), Necessities of War: A Study of Thucydides’ Pessimism
  • 1982 - Arthur C. Danto (Philosophy), The Transfiguration of the Commonplace
  • 1983 - Wm. Theodore deBary (EALAC), Neo-Confucian Orthodoxy and the Learning of the Mind-and-Heart
  • 1984 - W.T.H. Jackson (German, posthumous), The Hero and the King: An Epic Theme
  • 1987 - Carol Gluck (History), Japan’s Modern Myths
  • 1988 - Robert Murphy (Anthropology), The Body Silent
  • 1989 - Eric Foner (History), Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877
  • 1990 - Andrew Delbanco (English and Comparative Lit.), The Puritan Ordeal
  • 1991 - David Cannadine (History), The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy
  • 1992 - Caroline Walker Bynum (History), Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion
  • 1993 - Karl Kroeber (English and Comparative Lit.), Retelling: Rereading the Fate of Storytelling in Modern Times
  • 1994 - Edward W. Said (English and Comparative Lit.), Culture and Imperialism
  • 1994 - Diana Trilling (special award), The Beginning of the Journey; The Marriage of Lionel and Diana Trilling
  • 1995 - Robert Pollack (Biology), Signs of Life: The Language and Meanings of DNA
  • 1996 - Ann Douglas (English and Comparative Lit.), Terrible Honesty: The Mongrelization of Manhattan in the 20s
  • 1996 - Simon Schama (History), Landscape and Memory
  • 1997 - Ira Katznelson (History), Working Class Formation
  • 1998 - Robert Jervis (Political Science), System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life
  • 1999 - Robert Lieberman (Political Science), Shifting the Color Line: Race and the American Welfare State
  • 2000 - Hamid Dabashi (MEALAC), Truth and Narrative. The Untimely Thoughts of 'Ayn al-Qudat al Hamadhan.
  • 2000 - Brian Greene (Mathematics), The Elegant Universe
  • 2001 – Jonathan Crary (Art History), Suspension or Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture
  • 2002 – Nicholas B Dirks (Anthropology) Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India
  • 2003 – William V. Harris (History) Restraining Rage: The Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity
  • 2004 – Philip Kitcher (Philosophy) In Mendel's Mirror: Philosophical Reflections on Biology
  • 2005 – Alan D.E. Cameron (Classics) Greek Mythography in the Roman World
  • 2006 – Andrew Delbanco (English) Melville: His World and Work
  • 2007 – Sheldon Pollock (MEALAC) The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture and Power in Premodern India
  • 2008 – Joseph Massad (MEALAC) Desiring Arabs
  • 2009 – Mark Mazower (History) Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe
  • 2010 – Katharina Volk (Classics) Manilius and His Intellectual Background.
  • 2011 – James Shapiro (English & Comparative Literature) Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
  • 2012 – David Lurie (EALAC) Realms of Literacy: Early Japan and the History of Writing
  • 2013 – Boris Gasparov (Slavic Languages) Beyond Pure Reason: Ferdinand de Saussure’s Philosophy of Language and Its Early Romantic Antecedents
  • 2014 – Rashid Khalidi (History) Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. has Undermined Peace in the Middle East
  • 2015 – Zainab Bahrani (Art History and Archaeology) The Infinite Image: Art, Time and the Aesthetic Dimension in Antiquity
  • 2016 – Susan Pedersen (History) The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of the Empire

The Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching

The Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching has been awarded each year since 1962 in recognition of a faculty member’s humanity, devotion to truth and inspiring leadership. The award was established in honor of Mark Van Doren GSAS’21, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, novelist, playwright, critic, editor and biographer, as well as a renowned scholar and legendary teacher who inspired generations of Columbia students.

2017 Winner: Caterina Luigia Pizzigoni, associate professor of history for “Humanity, Devotion to Truth and Inspiring Leadership.” Read More

Past Winners of the Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching

  • 1962 – Frank Tannenbaum
  • 1963 – George Nobbe
  • 1964 – Moses Hadas
  • 1965 – Dwight C. Miner
  • 1966 – Lionel Trilling
  • 1967 – Frederick W. Dupee
  • 1968 – Howard M. Davis
  • 1969 – Ronald D. Breslow
  • 1970 – Charles Frankel
  • 1971 – James P. Shenton
  • 1972 – Alan F. Westin
  • 1973 – George Flynn
  • 1974 – Karl-Ludwig Selig
  • 1975 – Wallace Gray
  • 1976 – Joseph P. Bauke
  • 1977 – Robert F. Murphy
  • 1978 – Charles R. Dawson
  • 1979 – C. Lowell Harriss
  • 1980 – Robert L. Belknap
  • 1981 – Henry F. Graff
  • 1982 – Charles Hamilton
  • 1983 – Carol Gluck
  • 1984 – J. W. Smit
  • 1985 – Ainslie T. Embree
  • 1986 – Edward Tayler
  • 1987 – Carl F. Hovde
  • 1988 – Wm. Theodore deBary
  • 1989 – Kenneth Jackson
  • 1990 – Walter P. Metzger
  • 1991 – Joseph Rothschild
  • 1992 – Richard F. Kuhus
  • 1993 – Donald Hood
  • 1994 – Michael Rosenthal
  • 1995 – James Mirollo
  • 1996 – Fritz Stern
  • 1997 – Steven Marcus
  • 1998 – Sidney Morgenbesser
  • 1999 – Henry Pinkham
  • 2000 – Michael Stanislawski
  • 2001 – Kathy Eden
  • 2002 – Caroline Bynum
  • 2003 – Robert O'Meally
  • 2004 – Gareth Williams
  • 2005 – Andreas Huyssen
  • 2006 – Elizabeth Blackmar
  • 2007 – Samuel Moyn
  • 2008 – Andrew Nathan
  • 2009 – James Leighton
  • 2010 – Jenny Davidson
  • 2011 – Holger Klein
  • 2012 – Christia Mercer
  • 2013– Nicholas Dames
  • 2014 - Robert Friedman
  • 2015 - Austin E. Quigley
  • 2016 - Liza Knapp

Academic Awards Committee 2017-2018

Adam Elkhadem CC18 (Lionel Trilling Chair)
Anvita Budhraja CC18 (Mark van Doren Chair)
Veronica Brusilovski CC’18 (Internal Communications Chair)
Julian Yano CC’18 (External Communications Chair)
Zoey Chopra CC’18
Alangoya Tezel CC’18
Ayda Basaran CC’18
John Park CC’18
Andy Xie CC’18
Audrey Andrews CC’18