Professor of Language and Culture Studies Thomas Harrington recently received the Batista i Roca Prize, awarded annually by the Institute for the Foreign Dissemination of Catalan Culture, for his “work in favor of the Catalan presence in the world and the dissemination of Catalan culture and the Catalan national reality overseas.” Harrington is one of 10 people from around the world chosen to receive this year’s prize.
Harrington was in Barcelona on November 14 to receive the award, which was presented by the vice mayor of the city, Gerardo Pisarello. The award ceremony took place in the Saló de Cent (Hall of One Hundred) at City Hall, from which the Council of One Hundred, one of Europe’s oldest parliaments, governed Barcelona between 1373 and 1714.
Harrington said it was a moving experience “to be honored in that historic place for, in effect, having been lucky enough to be able to pursue my academic passion, which has led to amazing friendships, which have led to more academic interests and passions.” While accepting the award, he spoke about memory and its essential role within societies, as well as “the extraordinary way Catalans have had of retaining a clear sense of who they are against tremendous odds through the centuries.”
The day before the award ceremony, honorees were feted in the Catalan Parliament and at the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat. Harrington said, “Since the Middle Ages, Montserrat has been the place where written Catalan culture has always been preserved in the face of numerous attempts to abolish its official role in society.”
A Trinity faculty member since 1997, Harrington received an A.B. from College of the Holy Cross, an M.A. from Middlebury College, and a Ph.D. from Brown University. Read more here about Harrington’s most recent book, The Alchemy of Identity, and other highlights of his scholarship.
Written by Kathy Andrews