Martha C. Nussbaum Awarded 2021 Holberg Prize

Martha C. Nussbaum

Professor Martha C. Nussbaum, a philosopher whose prolific and influential contributions have made her one of the world’s leading public intellectuals, has been named the winner of the 2021 Holberg Prize—one of the largest international awards given to an outstanding researcher in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, law, or theology.

Nussbaum, the University of Chicago’s Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, is appointed in both the Law School and the Philosophy Department.

In giving the award, the Holberg Prize Committee cited the breadth and influence of Nussbaum’s work, as well as her “stupendous intellectual energy and productivity to address issues of major academic concern, as well as issues that have concrete economic, political, and legal impact.”

Art Historian Darby English on Why the New Black Renaissance Might Actually Represent a Step Backwards

Darby English

Darby English understands the power of art. The author of To Describe a Life: Notes from the Intersection of Art and Race Terror (2019) affirms its place in our lives during this period of social turmoil and incessant racial violence in America. Timely, poignant, and ruefully truthful, English’s work on African American art history and thought challenges us to remember the capacity art has to change not only our lives but the ways in which we see ourselves and the world at large.

Revered in the field as a thought-leader, the Cleveland-born scholar is currently the Carl Darling Buck Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago. In 2010, he received the University of Chicago’s Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the nation’s oldest such prize.

New Concert Series Weaves Together Music, Architecture for Online Audiences

During the November premiere of the SOUND/SITES concert series, pianist and UChicago artist-in-residence Clare Longendyke played music from Schumann and Debussy in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Image courtesy of UChicago Presents

While the past year has been challenging for musicians who normally perform before live audiences, it has also created opportunities for innovation.

One result is SOUND/SITES, a virtual concert series that combines music with architectural landmarks on the University of Chicago campus. A co-production of UChicago Presents and the Department of Music, the quarterly series offers a new way for artists and audiences to safely connect amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an avenue for interdisciplinary artistic exploration.

“We created this program at a time of empty communal spaces, so that these accomplished performers could fill them with music, showcasing the deep resonance between tradition and innovation that animates the University as a place of listening and learning,” said Prof. Berthold Hoeckner, chair of the music department.

Amid pandemic, UChicago scholar launches program for international artists

Ghenwa Hayek

Early last year, Assoc. Prof. Ghenwa Hayek signed on to become the interim director of the University of Chicago’s Gray Center. A month after she accepted the interim directorship, the COVID-19 crisis was officially declared a pandemic.

Uncertain times call for certain decision-making, and Hayek quickly embraced the challenge. The Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry has long convened scholars and artists in the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration—but without in-person events, it would have rethink the nature of its mission.

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