The Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship


About the Award

The Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa Professorship is awarded annually to scholars in the field of philosophy, without restriction to any one school of philosophical thought. The professorship recognizes not only distinguished achievement but also the recipient’s contribution or potential contribution to public understanding of philosophy. Established in 1983, the endowment honors Patrick Romanell (ΦBK, Brooklyn College), H.Y. Benedict Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso, and his wife Edna Romanell. 

This Professorship offers an exceptional opportunity for Phi Beta Kappa chapters to show appreciation for faculty in philosophy from their own institutions and to foster wider public dialogue on important philosophical questions.

Stipend Details

The professorship carries with it a stipend of $7,500, which will be awarded in addition to the recipient’s regular salary. The professorship is not renewable. The recipient will be expected to give a series of three special lectures during the year of the professorship. The lectures are to be given at a Phi Beta Kappa chapter sheltering institution and must be open to the general public as well as to the academic community.


The winner of the Professorship has the opportunity to prepare their lectures for publication in a monograph series that the Oxford University Press has created featuring Phi Beta Kappa Romanell Lectures. 

The Oxford University Press: Romanell Lectures

All Talked Out: Naturalism and the Future of Philosophy by J.D. Trout

Tragic Failures: How and Why We are Harmed by Toxic Chemicals by Carl F. Cranor
What do Philosophers Do? Skepticism and the Practice of Philosophy by Penelope Maddy

Nomination Process

Professorship nominees do not have to be members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, but all nominations must be submitted to the national office by a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Each chapter is invited to submit one nomination per year.  

For all nominations, use this form.

Please note: This is a 3-year rolling application. If your nominee is not selected, he/she will go back into the candidate pool for the following two years.

Chapter Obligations

The nominating chapter, should its nominee be selected as the Romanell Professor, is responsible for scheduling, organizing, and publicizing the lecture series. This includes any necessary communications with the Romanell Professor, Department of Philosophy, and/or the sheltering institution. The Phi Beta Kappa National Office will assist in publicity for the event(s) and will compensate the Chapter with $1,000 to offset cost for the lecture series.
image description

Nominations are OPEN.


The 2017-2018 Winner

The 2017-2018 Winner

Dr. Marianne Janack is the John Stewart Kennedy Professor of Philosophy at Hamilton College, where she teaches philosophy of science and mind, feminist philosophy and philosophy and literature. Her three lectures include The Charges Against Philosophy, Philosophy as Literature/ Literature as Philosophy and Loneliness, Escape, Entertainment, and Writing. Learn More.

Staff Contact

Please email Jen Horneman at with any inquiries or call (202) 745-3287


For basic information on all of the National Phi Beta Kappa Awards, download this information sheet.