Two Humanities Scholars to Receive 2024 Quantrell Awards

UChicago campus in the spring quarter

The transformative education offered at the University of Chicago begins in the classroom, with the teachers who inspire, engage and inform their students.

UChicago annually recognizes faculty for their incredible teaching and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students through the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Awards, believed to be the nation’s oldest prize for undergraduate teaching; and the Faculty Awards for Excellence in PhD Teaching and Mentoring, which honor faculty for their work with graduate students.

Learn more about this year’s recipients below:

Quantrell Awards: Fred Chong, Anton Ford, Michele Friedner, Nicholas Hatsopoulos and Chris Kennedy

W. Ralph Johnson, pre-eminent UChicago critic of Latin poetry, 1933‒2024

W. Ralph Johnson, the John Matthew Manly Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, 1993-2024, Photo courtesy of the University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center

Prof. Emeritus W. Ralph Johnson, a distinctive critic of Latin poetry and the renowned University of Chicago author of multiple books on Latin and comparative literature, passed away on April 13. He was 90.

Through his scholarship, Johnson showed an uncanny ability to draw the reader into the text by his own deep appreciation of both the author’s and the reader’s concerns. Many of his colleagues believed that he achieved the highest level of literary criticism for Latin scholars of his generation, and said he helped make UChicago the “crucial center of classical studies that it is today.”

Two Humanities scholars elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2024

Spring arrives at the University of Chicago quadrangles.

Six members of the University of Chicago faculty, which include two from the Division of the Humanities, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. They include Profs. Diane Brentari, Bonnie T. Fleming, Chuan He, Erik Hurst, Deborah L. Nelson and Amir Sufi.

These scholars have made breakthroughs in fields ranging from linguistics to particle physics to fundamental biology. They join the 2024 class, announced April 24, which includes 250 artists, scholars, scientists, and leaders in the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

UChicago scholar wins National Book Critics Circle Award

Tina Post, assistant professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, Committee on Theater and Performance Arts, and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at UChicago

Asst. Prof. Tina Post’s scholarship delves into racial performativity, especially the ways that Black Americans present their racial identity. For her distinctive perspectives about blackness and expressionlessness, Post recently received the National Book Critics Circle Award in the category of Criticism for her first book, Deadpan: The Aesthetics of Black Inexpression (2022). The National Book Critics Circle recognizes outstanding writing and cultivates a national conversation annually about its winners’ work.

It is unusual that scholars receive such a nationally prominent award for their first books. This award comes after Post received the Association for the Study of Arts of the Present Best Book Prize for Deadpan in December 2023.

“At the broadest level, I want to complicate how blackness is interpreted,” Post said.