This year’s Hiett Prize will go to Mark Oppenheimer, the author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture, and Wisenheimer: A Childhood Subject to Debate. Oppenheimer is also a lecturer at Yale and a creative writing teacher at Wellesley. The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture will present the award Oct. 19.
The annual prize is presented by the Dallas Institute to a writer-scholar in the humanities who has demonstrated great promise — and it’s intended to encourage and assist the winner for any future accomplishment.
A cash award of $50,000 provides the encouragement.
A full bio follows:
2010 Hiett Prize Winner Mark Oppenheimer
Mark Oppenheimer is a freelance writer, an editor, a lecturer in the English and Political Science departments of Yale University, and a teacher of creative writing at Wellesley College. He earned his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Yale University in 2003, receiving the John Addison Porter Prize for Best Dissertation in the Humanities. Dr. Oppenheimer is author of three books: Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture, Thirteen and a Day: The Bar and Bat Mitzvah Across America, and, most recently, Wisenheimer: A Childhood Subject to Debate. He presently writes a biweekly “Beliefs” column for The New York Timesand, in addition to publishing personal essays and book reviews, writes also for The New York Times Magazine, Slate, Mother Jones, Tablet, and many other publications. He is an editor of The New Haven Review, an occasional commentator on NPR, and the current coordinator of the Yale Journalism Initiative. His ongoing scholarly work is currently focused on three book projects: the dynamics of community in urban neighborhood settings, specifically his own neighborhood on West Rock Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut; a cultural study of Scientology; and a biography of English philosopher and just-war theorist G.E.M. Anscombe.
Dr. Oppenheimer’s New Haven household includes his wife, three daughters, dog, and two cats.