Two UChicago Humanities Scholars Receive the International Balzan Prizes

Martha C. Nussbaum and Philip V. Bohlman

UChicago Prof. Philip V. Bohlman and UChicago Prof. Martha C. Nussbaum were awarded the International Balzan Prizes for their seminal and sustained contributions respectively to ethnomusicology and music research and wide-ranging philosophical topics.

The annual Balzan Prizes honor “scholars and scientists who have distinguished themselves in their fields on an international level.” Bohlman has received the first Balzan Prize in ethnomusicology—a relatively new field—and only one of five awards in music scholarship ever granted. Of the four Balzan Prizes awarded in 2022, UChicago faculty received an unusually high 50 percent share.

Franklin D. Lewis, Prolific and Dedicated Scholar of Persian Literature, 1961-2022

Franklin D. Lewis

Franklin D. Lewis, a distinguished scholar of Persian literature at the University of Chicago for nearly 20 years, passed away on Sept. 19 in Chicago after a long illness. He was 61 years old.

Throughout his prolific career, Lewis published multiple books and articles. According to his colleagues, his masterpiece was Rumi: Past and Present, East and West, The Life Teachings of Jalāl al-Din Rumi (2008), which reassesses all previous research on the life of Persian’s foremost Sufi poet and navigates the complex history of the poet’s later reception worldwide.

“The book will serve as a touchstone for any future research on Rumi and has been translated into Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and Danish,” said Paul Losensky, professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. “Frank’s work, however, went beyond the mystical poets. His articles and chapters contribute to collected volumes and offer insights into other major figures in the classical tradition such as Ferdowski, Sa’di, and Hāfez.”

Prof. Kenneth Warren to Address How Unprecedented Income Inequality Affects Literature in Humanities Day Keynote

Kenneth W. Warren

How do novels mirror society? Prof. Kenneth W. Warren’s scholarship addresses the relationship between literature and the public sphere, particularly African American literature during the Jim Crow era.

The author of a number of transformative books about literature, Warren said since the 18th century, novelists have wrestled with the question of whether the idea of character—both as a moral quality and a representation of individuality—can withstand the pressure of extreme wealth.

Warren will further that conversation Oct. 15 in his keynote address during Humanities Day—a revered tradition since 1980 that highlights UChicago research to the public and underscores the power of art, literature, philosophy, music, linguistics, media, and languages.


Summer Reading Recommendations from UChicago Faculty

Award-winning UChicago scholars select books for summer reading.

Long summer days can offer the perfect opportunity to try a new book. Whether you’re hoping to learn more about the world around us—or trying to dive into a fictional one—University of Chicago faculty members have a recommendation for you.

The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution by Dan Hicks

Recommended independently by literary scholar Julie Orlemanski and art historian Megan Sullivan