Make Film History More Inclusive. That's Jacqueline Stewart's Mandate at Academy Museum

Jacqueline Stewart by Joe Mazza, Brave Lux

Jacqueline Stewart was already one of the nation’s leading film scholars before she took the job of chief artistic and programming director at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Now she’s helming the presentation of perhaps the most significant museum dedicated to movies in the country.

While Stewart is on leave from the University of Chicago’s department of cinema and media studies, where she taught American film history, she will continue to appear on Turner Classic Movies, where she was the cable channel’s first Black host. She also participated in TCM’s series “Reframed Classics,” which recontextualized long-beloved movies now seen as problematic by some contemporary audiences, such as “Gone With the Wind” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

UChicago Scholar Receives ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowship

Michele Kenfack

For UChicago Humanities Teaching Fellow Michele Kenfack, the apocalypse means new beginnings, not destruction. Her scholarship delves into an apocalyptic pattern of renewal that she discovered among prominent Francophone novelists from Africa and the Caribbean.

As result of her work, Kenfack (PhD’20) recently received the American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellowship for 2021. She is one of 48 fellows and will pursue her postdoctoral work in comparative literature at Harvard University.

“Through a stunningly wide-ranging, interdisciplinary probing of apocalyptical fictions in the late 20th-century Francophone Sub-Saharan African and Caribbean literature, Michele Kenfack’s dissertation makes a groundbreaking contribution to the study of colonial and post-colonial traumas,” Larry Norman said.

In New Book, Prof. Martha Nussbaum Examines the Path Forward After #MeToo

Martha C. Nussbaum

As Prof. Martha C. Nussbaum watched the #MeToo movement emerge in a swirl of impassioned testimony several years ago, she was struck not only by the swell of attention being paid to stories of sexual violence and harassment but by the continued dearth of institutional accountability and the onset of “callout culture,” the increasingly common ritual of publicly shaming the accused.

The #MeToo revolution was important and long overdue, she would later write, but it wasn’t yet producing full justice. Nussbaum, the University of Chicago’s Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, was particularly dismayed by the ways in which three areas of employment—the federal judiciary, performing arts, and college sports—created “sweet spots” for abuse by elevating and protecting powerful men.

What the movement needed, she concluded, was a clearer and deeper understanding of the forces at play: the pride and greed that lead men to objectify women (and sometimes other men), the ways in which criminal and civil laws have evolved (and could continue evolve) to better address sexual assault and sexual harassment, and the dangers of allowing vengeful desires to impede true justice and reconciliation.

Michael Murrin, Leading Scholar of Allegory and 'Dracologist,' 1938-2021

Michael Murrin by Perry M. Paegelow, via Hanna Holburn Gray Special Collections Research Center

Michael Murrin, a leading scholar of the genres of epic, romance and fantasy in the Western literary tradition, died July 27. He was 83.

The Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, Murrin was a treasured member of the University of Chicago faculty for 50 years.

A specialist in the history of criticism and allegorical interpretation, Murrin traced the tessellations of reality and fantasy in medieval, Renaissance and early modern European literature. Throughout his career, he read original works in more than half a dozen languages—including Italian, Persian and Old Norse.

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