The Jacques Barzun Award

In recognition of Dr. Jacques Barzun’s immense contributions to trans-cultural understanding and exchange between the United States and France, The Jérôme Lohez 9/11 Scholarship Foundation wishes to honor this great French-American scholar with the naming of The Jacques Barzun Award for Distinguished Contributions to Trans-Cultural Scholarly Exchange.
The Award is to be conferred once a year upon two institutions of higher learning, one French and one American, in recognition of their shared international dual-degree programs (master’s and doctoral levels), and/or for their joint research efforts. The purpose of this award is the encouragement of French-American educational exchange and scientific research collaboration, to foster French and American unity and cultural understanding.


About Dr. Jacques Barzun

Jacques Martin Barzun (1907-2012) was a French-born American historian of ideas and culture. He wrote on a wide range of topics, but is perhaps best known as a philosopher of education, his Teacher in America (1945) being a strong influence on post-WWII training of schoolteachers in the United States.

During seven decades, Barzun wrote and edited more than forty books touching on an unusually broad range of subjects, including science and medicine, psychiatry from Robert Burton through William James to modern methods, art, and classical music; he was one of the all-time authorities on Hector Berlioz. Some of his books — particularly Teacher in America and The House of Intellect — enjoyed a substantial lay readership and influenced debate about culture and education far beyond the realm of academic history. Barzun had a strong interest in the tools and mechanics of writing and research. He undertook the task of completing, from a manuscript almost two-thirds of which was in first draft at the author’s death, and editing (with the help of six other people), the first edition (published 1966) of Follett’s Modern American Usage. Barzun was also the author of books on literary style (Simple and Direct, 1975), on the crafts of editing and publishing (On Writing, Editing, and Publishing, 1971), and on research methods in history and the other humanities (The Modern Researcher, which has seen at least six editions).

Barzun was valedictorian of the Class of 1927 of Columbia College and was a prize-winning president of the Philolexian Society, a Columbia literary and debate club. He obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1932 and taught history there from 1928 to 1955, becoming the Seth Low Professor of History and a founder of the discipline of cultural history. For years, he, and literary critic Lionel Trilling, ran Columbia’s famous Great Books course. He was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1954. From 1955 to 1968, he served as Dean of the Graduate School, Dean of Faculties, and Provost, while also being an Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. From 1968 until his 1975 retirement, he was University Professor at Columbia. From 1975 to 1993, he was Literary Adviser to Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Jacques Barzun Statement