Pitzer Spotlights

2005-2006 Spotlight Archives

Professor Barry Sanders Awarded Fulbright to Greece

Professor of English and the History of Ideas Barry Sanders has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar grant for research in Greece.

Barry SandersAs a Professor of English and the History of Ideas, Barry Sanders has been contemplating the nature of cultural exchanges for a very long time. He thought and taught about ideas —the engines and material byproducts of culture — at Pitzer for about 33 years. Since announcing his retirement from Pitzer in May, life for Sanders has settled into a routine of leisurely coffees, writing and preparation for a Fulbright Senior Scholar grant for research in Greece.

"Greece in the spring is about the history of the commons," Sanders explains. “Not the parliamentary commons but the idea of the commons. This has been something that has interested me for a long time, the idea that came out of the Middle Ages when there was a common plot of land that belonged to nobody. It belonged to everybody in the safest place possible and that's the lockbox of the imagination. You could lay there in the shade, bring your animals to graze, raise some crops there and share them with your people. It's a key idea in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I'm interested in the commons and the sorts of ideas we all have in common, as in this country when we think about democracy and free speech and we have great fights over these things. I will be in Greece with about five or six people from other countries talking about what we have in common and the cultural appearance of the commons in other countries."

Sanders’ Fulbright presents the opportunity for him to take his passion for investigating human thoughts, feelings and understanding into a research arena where multiple scholars can uncover the things humans share in the internal machinery of the mind.