Martha C. Nussbaum Honored with the Norman Maclean Faculty Award

Martha C. Nussbaum Honored with the Norman Maclean Faculty Award

Martha C. Nussbaum

The following was published on the UChicago Law School website on February 20, 2024.

By Mark A. Cohen

Martha C. Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School and the Philosophy Department, is one of two University of Chicago scholars named a recipient of this year’s Norman Maclean Faculty Award.

The awards, established in 1997 and presented by the Alumni Association and Alumni Board, are named in honor of Professor Norman Maclean, PhD ’40, the critically acclaimed author of A River Runs Through It who taught at the University of Chicago for 40 years.

The other UChicago scholar receiving the award is John J. MacAloon, AM’74, PhD’80. In addition to the two faculty honorees, nine alumni were recognized with awards.

“Martha Nussbaum is a scholar of immense range and influence, and she is also an outstanding and dedicated teacher,” said Dean Thomas J. Miles. “I am thrilled that the Alumni Association and Board are recognizing her incredible impact on students – on both sides of the Midway – with this prestigious award.”

Nussbaum is a prolific scholar who has authored twenty-six books, including most recently Justice for Animals: Our Collective Responsibility. Her forthcoming book, The Tenderness of Silent Minds: Benjamin Britten and his War Requiem, will be released in fall 2024. She is currently at work a project about the relationship between opera and Enlightenment political thought, entitled: The Republic of Love: Opera, Breath, and Freedom. Nussbaum’s influence is evident in the well-deserved recognitions she has received. She delivered the 2016 Jefferson Lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities and won the 2016 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy. The 2018 Berggruen Prize in Philosophy and Culture, and the 2020 Holberg Prize. These three prizes are regarded as the most prestigious awards available in fields not eligible for a Nobel. Nussbaum is also a recipient of the 2018 Don M. Randel Award for Achievement in the Humanities, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the 2022 Balzán Prize in Moral Philosophy.

Nussbaum received her BA from NYU and her MA and PhD from Harvard. She has taught at Harvard University, Brown University, and Oxford University. From 1986 to 1993, while teaching at Brown, Nussbaum was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, a part of the United Nations University. She has chaired the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on International Cooperation, the Committee on the Status of Women, and the Committee for Public Philosophy. From 1999 to 2000, she was one of the three Presidents of the Association, delivering the Presidential Address in the Central Division.

Nussbaum is the fifth University of Chicago Law School faculty member and the second professor in the Philosophy Department to receive the Norman Maclean Faculty Award. The previous Law School recipients are Bernard D. Meltzer, AB’35, JD’37 (1997); Richard Epstein (2014); Geoffrey Stone, ’71 (2022); and David Strauss (2023).

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February 20, 2024