History professor recipient of Schwartz Award at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Scott Breuninger, associate professor of history at The University of South Dakota, was named as the third recipient of the Truman and Beverly Schwartz Distinguished Faculty Award.

Breuninger’s research examines the development of Irish thought during the early Enlightenment and locates Irish thinkers’ work within the context of broader European and Atlantic trends. His recently published book, “Recovering Bishop Berkeley: Virtue and Society in the Anglo-Irish Context,” explores the role of Bishop George Berkeley in highlighting virtue and religion as solutions to the social and economic threats facing Britain and Ireland.

“The core of my argument is that during this period there was a distinctively ‘Irish’ Enlightenment and the ideas associated with this movement provided a way of conceptualizing society within a necessarily depoliticized program of national improvement,” said Breuninger, Ph.D. “In doing so, I suggest that Irish thinkers were among the first to address questions of human sociability, the formation of national identity, the duties of citizenship and economic development that proved central to later incarnations of the Enlightenment in Scotland, France and America.”

Breuninger teaches courses on British and Irish History, with broader interests in 18th century Europe, intellectual history and the Atlantic World. He received his bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. A photo of Scott is available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/Scott_Breuninger.jpg.

The Truman and Beverly Schwartz Distinguished Faculty Award is presented every third year to an outstanding tenured faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences who has demonstrated a truly exceptional level of creativity and productivity in scholarship, teaching and service and who shows great promise of continuing such achievement. The award winner must also demonstrate broad contributions to his/her profession, and demonstrate a strong contribution to a challenging and stimulating educational atmosphere at the university. The award consists of an annual allotment of around $4,000 per year for three years to further the scholarship, teaching and service of the honoree.