Congratulations to Robert Darnton and Teofilo F. Ruiz, Penn Press authors and 2011 National Humanities Medalists. The National Endowment for the Humanities created the National Humanities Medal to honor "individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities." President Barack Obama presented the awards to Darnton, Ruiz, and other honorees at a White House ceremony yesterday.
Darnton, author of The Devil in the Holy Water, or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon, received a medal for his commitment to making knowledge accessible to everyone. "An eminent cultural historian and librarian, Dr. Darnton has illuminated the world of Enlightenment and Revolutionary France, and has pursued his vision for a national library of digitized books," said the president.
Teofilo F. Ruiz, author of Crisis and Continuity: Land and Town in Late Medieval Castile, received a medal for his outstanding scholarship in history. The president praised Ruiz for "deepening our knowledge of medieval Spain and Europe, and exploring the role terror has played in society for centuries."
After the ceremony, the medalists attended a reception with President Obama and Michelle Obama.