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Professor of History Dr. Lloyd Kramer is awarded the 2018 Johnson Prize

November 20, 2018 |

Dr. Lloyd Kramer, 2018 Johnson Prize recipient (center) and his team at the Carolina Public Humanities.


Dr. Lloyd Kramer, Director of Carolina Public Humanities and Professor in the Department of History at UNC-Chapel Hill, is the 2018 recipient of the George H. Johnson Prize for Distinguished Achievement by an IAH Fellow.

Presented by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, where Kramer served as Associate Director from 1992 to 2002, the Johnson Prize is a lifetime achievement award.

“It was 1986 when Lloyd accepted the position of assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina,” said George Johnson. “Today he is a professor of history, a noted and widely respected historian and author, speaker, and leader of a major initiative for the University throughout the state, and my good friend.”

The IAH began granting the award in 2008 to honor George Johnson, one of the Institute’s greatest ambassadors, as well as highlighting commendable contributions by UNC faculty in the arts, humanities and qualitative social sciences. The biennial award provides the recipient $7,500 and banquet in his/her honor. Janet and George Johnson hold this award in high regard, especially for a colleague and close friend like Kramer.

“I am deeply honored to receive the George Johnson Prize for Distinguished Achievement by an IAH Fellow. An honor like this—which could go to so many qualified people—therefore comes as a surprise but also as an affirmation that what we do can make a difference,” said Kramer.

When Kramer first arrived at the Institute, he received the mentorship from Ruel Tyson, the Institute’s founder. Kramer spoke that his experiences at the IAH deeply influenced much of his work in the humanities at UNC, such as gaining new insights into the intellectual power of the humanities, the value of intellectual institutions and communities, and the pleasures of interacting with people both inside and outside the University who constantly bring new perspectives to the table.

“The IAH was for me something like what Ernest Hemingway said about Paris: It was a moveable Feast,” said Kramer. “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. Drawing on this idea, and also my love of Paris, I want to say: If you were lucky enough to be an IAH Fellow as a young faculty person, then wherever you go for the rest of your academic life, it stays with you, for the IAH is a moveable feast.”

Kramer was presented the award at Hyde Hall on Friday, Nov. 2, with friends, family and colleagues from across the University to celebrate his accomplishments.

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