American Philosophical Society
Member History

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1Name:  Dr. Tzvetan Todorov
 Institution:  CNRS, Paris
 Year Elected:  1998
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  402. Criticism: Arts and Letters
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1939
 Death Date:  February 7, 2017
Tzvetan Todorov was a Bulgarian born historian, cultural critic and essayist who lived in France from 1963 until his death February 7, 2017, in Paris at age 77. After his pioneering early work on literary theory, he chose to explore issues of human diversity, of universalism vs. relativism and of human behavior in extreme situations. He did this with erudition, balance, and a sense of compassion - not to mention extraordinary productivity. Dr. Todorov published more than 30 books, including The Poetics of Prose (1971), Introduction to Poetics (1981), The Conquest of America (1982), Mikhail Bakhtin: The Dialogical Principle (1984), Facing the Extreme: Moral Life in the Concentration Camps (1991), On Human Diversity (1993), Hope and Memory (2000), and Imperfect Garden: The Legacy of Humanism (2002). He was a member of the Conseil National des Programmes au Ministère de l'Education Nationale and has served as visiting professor at several universities, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and the University of California, Berkeley. His honors include the prizes Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1991), Charles Veillon (1998), Nonino (2002), Spinoza (2004), Grinzane Cavour (2007) and Prince of Asturias (2008); he also was an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He was a Doctor honoris causa of the Universities of Sofia, Liège, Mannheim and the American University in Paris, a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Todorov held the title of Directeur de recherches honoraire at CNRS, Paris at the time of his death.
Election Year
1998 (1)