The Dallas Institute of Humanities And Culture Awards Dr. Elizabeth Samet $50K Hiett Prize

Dr. Samet teaches literature at West Point, and has written two books on literature, obedience in American political life, and the education of soldiers. Here’s the full release:

the dallas institute NAMES ELIZABETH SAMET


dallas, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012: Dr. Elizabeth Samet, Professor of English at the United States Military Academy at West Point, is the 2012 recipient of the $50,000 Hiett Prize in the Humanities from The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.  The award, which recognizes an emerging leader in the humanities, will be presented to Dr. Samet at the Dallas Institute on October 19, when she will make a public presentation in the evening at 7 pm, with a reception planned for 6:30.

The Hiett Prize is among the nation’s most prestigious honors in the humanities.  The $50,000 annual award was created by The Dallas Institute in 2005 in collaboration with philanthropist Kim Hiett Jordan to recognize a person who has not yet reached his or her full potential, but whose work in the humanities shows extraordinary promise and is already making a difference in the way we think about the world. The purpose of the Hiett Prize is to encourage future leaders in the humanities—recognizing their achievement and their promise and assisting their work through a cash award. Overall, it represents the counterpart of lifetime achievement awards by aiming at the discovery of new talent in the humanities on its way toward full maturity.

Dr. Samet holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from Yale. Since 2007, she has been a full professor of English at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she has taught in various capacities for more than 15 years. Samet has written two books, Willing Obedience: Citizens, Soldiers and the Progress of Consent in America, 1776-1898 and Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point, which won numerous prizes upon its publication, She is currently awaiting the publication of another book, No Man’s Land, and has plans to write Crimes of Odysseus: Imagining Postwar America during the 2012-2013 school year, with the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Samet has also written articles and essays for numerous publications nationwide and has been a selected speaker at national and international conferences for more than 10 years.

“It gives us great pleasure to give this recognition to the work of Dr. Samet,” said J. Larry Allums Ph.D., executive director of The Dallas Institute. “Her experience at West Point, combined with her rich understanding of classic literature, gives her a unique platform to educate not only her students, but the public at large through her teaching and writing. We look forward to watching her career continue its unfolding.”

The Hiett Prize selection process occurs over several months each year. Applications from across the U.S. are evaluated during two elimination rounds before a winner is determined during a final round. Hiett judges are selected from among Fellows of the Dallas Institute, a distinguished group of scholars, teachers, writers, and public intellectuals in the humanities, arts, and sciences in both the U.S. and abroad.

Previous winners of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities include: Brad Gregory, Notre Dame University (2005); Hilaire Kallendorf, Texas A&M University (2006); Tiya Alicia Miles, University of Michigan (2007); David Greenberg, Rutgers University (2008); James E. McWilliams, Texas State University (2009); Mark Oppenheimer, freelance teacher and writer (2010), and Diana Senechal, Columbia Secondary School in New York City (2011).

The public presentation by Elizabeth Samet will take place on Friday, October 19, 7 – 8:30 p.m., with a reception at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for Dallas Institute members, $20 for nonmembers and $5 for teachers. For more information, please contact the Dallas Institute at 214.871.2440 or

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About the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization with a 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders.  Created in 1980, The Dallas Institute is a center for creative and intellectual exchange, providing enriching programs for the public that are grounded in the wisdom of the humanities, laying the foundation for Dallas to realize its full potential for cultural excellence.   The Dallas Institute is located at 2719 Routh Street, Dallas, Texas 75201.  For information, call (214) 871-2440, or visit