Mark Kingwell named fellow of prestigious Royal Society of Canada

Published: September 12, 2018

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Congratulations are in order for Professor Mark Kingwell, who joins 10 other U of T scholars in being named a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a prestigious body that recognizes outstanding scholarly, scientific, and artistic achievement. The honour is considered one of the country’s foremost scholarly accomplishments. Moreover, Professor Kingwell was also named a fellow of the UK’s Royal Society of Arts this year as well.

An alumnus of our department, having obtained his BA in philosophy in 1985 before completing his doctoral studies at Yale in 1991, Professor Kingwell’s work has spanned a diverse range of topics, from aesthetic theory to social and political philosophy.

A specialist in 20th century continental philosophy, Kingwell’s work has also contributed markedly to public discourse and efforts to broaden the scope of public philosophy. He is a contributing editor of Harper’s magazine in New York and a regular op-ed writer for the Globe and Mail. He also counts a number of national bestsellers among his books, including Glenn Gould (2009), a volume in Penguin Random House’s “Extraordinary Canadians” series.

“We live in an age where intellectual work is disparaged and science is questioned. Every one of us who works in this scholarly life wants to think we’re making some small contribution.”

Kingwell’s recent research investigates the “politics of boredom,” the notion of people being trapped into what he calls “addictive engagement” through digital platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. His work will be published next year in a book titled Wish I Were Here.

The Royal Society of Canada is “an engaged body of dedicated scientists, artists, writers and scholars, and I’m happy to be among them,” says Kingwell. “We live in an age where intellectual work is disparaged and science is questioned. Every one of us who works in this scholarly life wants to think we’re making some small contribution.”

The department warmly congratulates Professor Kingwell on this well-deserved honour!

Read more about Professor Kingwell in this U of T News article.