Philosophy alumna Karen Gover, '97, was named winner of the American Society for Aesthetics' 2011 John Fisher Memorial Prize, awarded bi-annually for an original essay in aesthetics. She is a philosophy professor at Bennington College.

Gover's winning essay, "Artistic Freedom and Moral Rights in Contemporary Art," concerns a recent controversy and lawsuit between Swiss installation artist Christoph Buechel and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA.

Along with the $1,000 prize, Gover's essay will be published this fall in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. The John Fisher Memorial Prize was created in memory of the late John Fisher, editor of JAAC from 1973 to 1988, "to foster the development of new voices and talent in the field of aesthetics."

Gover's honors essay at the University of Richmond was on aesthetics and she was one of two students that year to receive the David C. Evans Award for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship. After graduating from UR, Gover went on to earn her M.A. and her Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University. She has been on the faculty at Bennington College since 2005.

Bennington College contributed to this story.