Rachel Barney Wins 2023 Dean’s Research Excellence Award

Published: January 9, 2024

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Rachel Barney, internationally recognized as one of the world’s most innovative and creative researchers on ancient Greek philosophy, has received a 2023 Dean’s Research Excellence Award from the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto. Launched last year, the Dean’s Research Excellence Awards recognize faculty members with research achievements cited as having had a sustained influence in their chosen disciplines. The prizes further aim to help accomplished mid-career researchers compete successfully in national award competitions.

Barney’s research ranges from the early sophists to the late Neoplatonic commentator Simplicius, but her work focuses on Plato. She currently has two book projects underway. The first, How to Know Everything: Protagoras and the Origins of Philosophical Argument, gives a new account of one the most important figures in ancient Greek thought, the sophist Protagoras. The second book project explores the political thought of Plato’s Republic, a tome Barney believes is rich in ideas that might serve us well in 21st-century political discussions, for example, Plato’s discussion of human irrationality; his theory of justice; his insistence on the necessity of separating wealth and political power; and his emphasis on the political importance of culture and ideology.

Alongside Barney, five other U of T scholars also received a Dean’s Research Excellence Award: Young-June Kim (Physics), Carl Knappett (Art History), Kyros Kutulakos (Computer Science), Jennifer Murphy (Chemistry), and Lynette Ong (Political Science).

Heartfelt congratulations!