UChicago Humanities Professor To Be Honored as Commandeur by the French Government

Arnold I. Davidson (left) and Pierre Hadot photo by Diane Brentari

By Sara Patterson

For his exceptional contribution to teaching and promoting French thought and culture, Arnold I. Davidson has received the rank of Commandeur in the Ordre des Palmes académiques and will be honored at the French Consulate in Chicago in the fall of 2021. This achievement is the highest-ranking academic honor of the French Republic and is available to both French and international academics who make major contributions to French national education and culture.

“Throughout his career, Arnold has thoroughly immersed himself in French culture and thought without regard to disciplinary boundaries,” said Anne Walters Robertson, Dean of the Division of the Humanities. 

Eight UChicago Faculty Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

University of Chicago campus

Eight members of the University of Chicago faculty 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. Zeresenay Alemseged, Benson Farb, Jeffrey Hubbell, Karin Knorr Cetina, Anup Malani, Angela Olinto, Eric Santner and Amie Wilkinson.

These scholars have made breakthroughs in fields ranging from human evolution and cancer immunotherapy to cosmic rays and geometric group theory. They join the 2021 class of more than 250 individuals, announced April 22, which includes artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

Humanities Alum Receives 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction

Kate Zambreno

Kate Zambreno (AM’02) crosses the boundaries between nonfiction and fiction with remarkable ease. She is the author of eight books, most recently the novel Drifts to be published in paperback in May 2021 and her study on Hervé Guibert, To Write as If Already Dead, forthcoming in June. Zambreno received a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction and is at work on an essay collection, The Missing Person.

“From the start, Kate Zambreno was a creative, experimental, and rigorously focused thinker whose writing refused conventional academic modes of reference and explanation, but which also tried to connect to people’s ordinary lives, fantasies, desires, and habits,” said Lauren Berlant, the George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English at the University of Chicago. 

What Words Cannot Express: Ian Bostridge on the Power of Music

Ian Bostridge by Sim Canetty-Clarke

What can music express that words cannot? This question intrigues esteemed tenor Ian Bostridge, whose “idiosyncratic vocalism, intense theatricality, and extreme musicianship” place him at the top of his field.

These queries make up the subject of a series of virtual lectures — and a virtual performance — that Bostridge will give at the University of Chicago this month. In a free, probing three-part lecture entitled “Musical Identities,” Bostridge examines the deeply communicative means of music to capture the otherwise indescribable phenomena of life: identity, existence, and death.

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