News

New Book Explores 'Concept of the Ordinary'—100 Words at a Time

Lauren Berlant photographed by Whitten Sabbatini for The New Yorker

Prof. Lauren Berlant is a renowned thinker, one who has earned acclaim not only as a leading voice in the study of gender and sexuality, but as an incisive cultural critic. Still, the University of Chicago scholar considers herself first and foremost a teacher—a collaborative spirit whose classroom is driven by the interactions between diverse ideas. That same curiosity is what undergirds her new book The Hundreds, a collection of experimental poems written with longtime collaborator Kathleen Stewart, a professor of anthropology at the University of Texas.

Humanities Scholar Receives the 2019 Tagore Memorial Prize

Dipesh Chakrabarty

Rabindranath Tagore has greatly influenced Dipesh Chakrabarty’s scholarship, especially Tagore’s 1941 essay “The Crisis of Civilisation.” When the UChicago professor received the 2019 Tagore Memorial Prize from the Government of West Bengal for his collection of essays, The Crises of Civilization: Exploring Global and Planetary Histories (Oxford University Press, 2018), Chakrabarty recognized the honor and the irony of getting a prize named after one of his intellectual muses and the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.

Division of the Humanities' Department of Art History Announces $1 Million Endowment for Art Conservation Courses

Caroline Longo, students in Suzanne Deal Booth Seminar "The Material Science of Art," prepares to use x-radiography to examine The Penitent St. Jerome at the Smart Museum of Art.

The University of Chicago’s Department of Art History has received a $1 million gift from activist for cultural heritage protection, philanthropist, and Napa Valley vintner Suzanne Deal Booth for the funding of art conservation courses and internships. The endowment builds upon the efforts of a five-year conservation teaching collaboration implemented by the Department in the spring of 2018. The generous donation from Deal Booth assures the perpetuity of the piloted initiative’s courses and opportunities for students, funding art conservation and conservation science course offerings on campus as well as an annual undergraduate internship in the field. The endowment marks UChicago as one of the few national institutions to offer regular art conservation and conservation science courses at the college level within a liberal arts institution.

David Bevington, Preeminent Shakespeare Scholar, 1931-2019

David Bevington

Prof. Emeritus David Bevington, the extraordinarily prolific editor of Shakespeare’s full canon and author of seminal books about English Renaissance playwrights, died peacefully at home in Chicago on Aug. 2. He was 88 years old. Remembered by friends and family as a vibrant, generous and intellectually inquisitive man, the longtime University of Chicago professor possessed an infectious enthusiasm for the works he taught. He lived life with boundless energy—teaching, writing, hosting social events and playing chamber music with friends until just before he died.

Two Division of the Humanities Faculty Members Receive Named Professorships

UChicago Campus Photo by Drone Media Chicago

Thirteen University of Chicago faculty members have received named professorships or were appointed distinguished service professors. László Babai, Joy Bergelson and Anil Kashyap received distinguished service professorships while Eric Budish, Ronald Burt, Christopher Faraone, Nick Feamster, Zhiguo He, Boaz Keysar, Catriona MacLeod, Brent Neiman, Haresh Sapra and Azeem Shaikh received named professorships. In the Division of the Humanities, Christopher A. Faraone has been named the Edward Olson Professor in the Department of Classics and the College, and Catriona MacLeod has been named the Frank Curtis Springer and Gertrude Melcher Springer Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies and the College.

Kenneth Northcott, UChicago Scholar, Translator, and Actor, 1922-2019

Kenneth Northcott

Prof. Emeritus Kenneth Northcott lived a vibrant existence, which was often filled with drama—in the classroom, on the stage, and in the British Intelligence Corps after World War II. A renowned University of Chicago scholar of Germanic studies, actor, and translator of significant authors, Northcott passed away June 4 in Chicago at age 96. “Northcott stood out for his brilliance as a teacher, translator, and actor and for his warmth and outgoing personality,” said Françoise Meltzer, the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature, the Divinity School, and the College.

Academy Honors UChicago Scholar Who Identified Historic On-Screen Kiss

Allyson Nadia Field

The following was published in UChicago News on June 10, 2019.

Six months ago, a 29-second silent film captured the public imagination, sparking passionate responses from director Barry Jenkins, actress Viola Davis, and other Hollywood stars and black celebrities. As the earliest-known depiction of African American affection, Something Good-Negro Kiss was inducted into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry—preserving the images of two black performers joyfully kissing and holding hands. Now, the University of Chicago scholar who identified and dated the 1898 film has been honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Allyson Nadia Field has been named an Academy Film Scholar, a program founded in 2001 to promote film scholarship. An associate professor in UChicago’s Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Field will receive a $25,000 grant to support a new book, Minstrelsy-Vaudeville-Cinema: American Popular Culture and Racialized Performance in Early Film.

Prof. Lauren Berlant To Receive Norman Maclean Faculty Award

Lauren Berlant photographed by Whitten Sabbatini for The New Yorker

Prof. Lauren Berlant and Prof. Emeritus Karl Freed will receive this year’s Norman Maclean Faculty Award, which the Alumni Association presents annually during Alumni Weekend. Established in 1997, the awards are named in honor of Prof. Norman Maclean, PhD’40, the critically acclaimed author of A River Runs Through It who taught at UChicago for 40 years.