Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel prize in literature in 1993, has been named the 1996 Jefferson lecturer, the highest honor the federal government bestows for intellectual achievement.
Morrison was chosen by the National Council on the Humanities, an advisory panel to the National Endowment for the Humanities. The lectureship carries a $10,000 stipend, and the lecture is often published."Toni Morrison's message is a message for our time," said endowment chairman Sheldon Hackney in announcing her selection. The lecture will be delivered March 25 at the Kennedy Center.
Among the 24 previous Jefferson lecturers were writers Walker Percy, Saul Bellow, Robert Penn Warren and Lionel Trilling, historians Barbara Tuchman, C. Vann Woodward and John Hope Franklin, philosopher Sidney Hook and psychologist Erik Erikson.