Kate Petroff, a Doctoral Student in Philosophy, Earns Freund Prize

Kate Petroff

Spencer Caro, ’23, and Kate Petroff, a UChicago graduate student in philosophy, each have been awarded an Ernst Freund Fellowship in Law and Philosophy to develop novel interdisciplinary research projects. Caro will draw on philosophical ideas from epistemology as well as law and statistics to argue for higher standards for scoring consumers’ creditworthiness. Petroff will advocate for a clearer definition of human exploitation in hopes of closing a gap that has stymied efforts to deal with human trafficking.

The fellowship, designed to encourage advanced law and philosophy scholarship among graduate students, was established in 2016 after Professor Martha C. Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, donated a portion of the proceeds from her Kyoto Prize to the Law School and the University’s Department of Philosophy. The $5,000 award is typically given to either a law student or graduate student in philosophy, but this year the committee chose two recipients.

“We were delighted to have an unprecedented number of proposals, all of high quality, so the selection was difficult,” said Nussbaum, who was part of the selection committee, along with Brian Leiter, the Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence. “Fortunately, an additional gift made it possible for us to give two prizes, and these two really stood out.”

Three UChicago Humanities Scholars Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2022

The Division of the Humanities campus in the spring

Seven members of the University of Chicago faculty, including three in the Division of the Humanities, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

They include Profs. Christopher R. Berry, Raphael C. Lee, Peter B. Littlewood, Richard Neer (Art History), Sianne Ngai (English Language and Literature) and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, and Prof. Emerita Wadad Kadi (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations).

These scholars have made breakthroughs in fields ranging from condensed matter physics to biomedical engineering and the aesthetics of capitalism. They join the 2022 class of 261 individuals, announced April 28, which includes artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

Poet Claudia Rankine to Explore Meaning of Survival in UChicago Lecture Series

Claudia Rankine

Amid historic times, Claudia Rankine feels a deep sense of obligation. The celebrated poet and playwright is preparing to deliver a three-part lecture series at the University of Chicago during a pivotal moment: Russia has invaded Ukraine; the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world; and the United States, she said, still teeters between fascism and fragile notions of democracy.

What the U.S. people will choose next—electorally and beyond—is one of the central questions Rankine will explore in her upcoming talks. Starting April 6, her Berlin Family Lectures will focus on the meaning of survival, and what it means to continue living after crisis or catastrophe.

“All of us need to be doing whatever it is we know how to do to engage these questions,” said Rankine, professor of creative writing at New York University and the award-winning author of the poetry book Citizen, among many other works. “It’s about our lives, the lives of our children and our friends and family moving forward. These decisions about women’s bodies, voting and the ability to have as just a system as possible profoundly affect all of us.”

UChicago's Korngold Festival rediscovers composer who straddled two worlds: A Q&A with Prof. Philip V. Bohlman

Erich Wolfgang Korngold at work in his studio in 1935

Starting on April 1, the Korngold Festival at the University of Chicago will celebrate Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s music and discuss how his life and work show a transformational change from composing late-romanticism in classical music in Vienna to Hollywood film music in Los Angeles.

The 10-day festival, titled Korngold Rediscovered, features a myriad of events held at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on the Hyde Park campus. It includes musical performances, a symposium of lectures and panels, the American premiere of Korngold’s final opera, and a film screening, finally concluding with UChicago Presents’ performance of the French string quartet Quatuor Diotima on April 10. Ticket prices vary depending on each specific event. 

“Korngold was a very talented composer who could create songs, operas and concertos starting at the age of 11, but he was not considered a genius in Vienna,” said Philip V. Bohlman, the Ludwig Rosenberger Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music at UChicago. “Like Joseph Haydn, Korngold was groomed to be a musician from his earliest years. The most fascinating part of his life and work is how he makes the transition to America and to Hollywood film music.”

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