UChicago Humanities Professor Receives Honorary Doctorate from the Universite Jean Monnet
For his rigorous research illuminating French literature, theater, and history, promotion of the arts, and emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, Prof. Larry F. Norman received an honorary doctorate from the Université Jean Monnet de Saint Etienne on Dec. 7, 2022. This achievement comes in same year as Norman’s award-winning book The Shock of the Ancient: Literature and History in Early-Modern France (2011) was translated into French.
“From his historical research on theater and aesthetics in 17th-century France to his leadership in making the University of Chicago a global center for the arts, Larry Norman embodies the combination of rigor and openness that makes this institution great,” said Richard Neer, the Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, and the College and Director of Franke Institute for the Humanities. “His intellectual, professional, and personal generosity are inspiring, and this honor is richly, richly deserved.”
Composition in Color
To capture the essence of Augusta Read Thomas’ extensive body of musical work is as nuanced and colorful of an endeavor as the creative and technical process behind its composition. While language is similar to music in many ways—a means of communication, a form of expression—it often lacks that which is elusive and inexplicable about the means in which orchestral sound and contrapuntal rhythm can truly move one on a visceral level.
While defined in her own words as “highly notated, precise, carefully structured, soundly proportioned” with an organic self-propulsion and vibrant inner life—as if “overhearing a captured improvisation,” the nuanced work calls to mind expressive language like spontaneous, elegant, capricious, ardent, lyrical, and dynamic, informed by a process in which material and form has been sculpted, polished, chiseled, and formed.
A century ago, UChicago scholars argued a controversial idea: Western civilization had its roots in the ancient Middle East—not in Greece or Rome. Today, scholars at the OI and across the University continue shaping the study of the early civilization through archaeological work and their research on the world’s most ancient languages.
In 1919, UChicago Egyptologist James Henry Breasted formed the Oriental Institute (OI)—a world-renowned museum and interdisciplinary research center dedicated to the study of early civilizations in Western Asia and North Africa.
OI archaeologists carried out large-scale expeditions in modern-day Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Israel, unearthing massive temple complexes as well as objects of everyday life. For over 100 years, these items have helped researchers sketch a portrait of life in the some of the world’s oldest cities.
Janel M. Mueller, Formidable Intellect and Pioneering Figure at UChicago, 1938–2022
Janel Mulder Mueller, the William Rainey Harper Professor Emerita in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago and former dean of the Humanities Division, died Oct. 21 in Chicago. She was 83 years old.
The first woman to lead an academic division at UChicago, Mueller combined a formidable intellect with an awareness of her role as a pioneer in higher education.
“Janel’s teaching was rigorous and inspirational at all levels,” said UChicago colleague James K. Chandler, the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of English Language and Literature and Cinema and Media Studies. “She trained generations of young scholars in and beyond early modern studies who are now, in their turn, leaders in their fields.”