Norman Golb, Dead Sea Scrolls Contrarian, Is Dead at 92

Norman Golb, University of Chicago Archives

The first scholars to examine the Dead Sea Scrolls theorized that they were the work of the Essenes, a small ascetic Jewish sect living in the nearby settlement of Qumran who, in their messianic beliefs and monastic sensibility, probably exerted a strong influence on another breakaway group, the early Christians.

But Norman Golb, a maverick professor at the University of Chicago, took issue with that thesis, and in time he galvanized a few other scholars to question it as well.

Prominent Alumnus Inspires New UChicago Humanities Endowment in Islamic Studies

Jonathan A. C. Brown

Renowned for educating scholars in Islamic studies, UChicago has luminary professors, such as Professor Emeritus Fred M. Donner and Professor Emerita Wadad Kadi, to serve as its teachers and mentors. Now one of their protégés, Jonathan A. C. Brown (PhD’07), has emerged as a prominent voice in this field.

In honor of Brown, a new $100,000 endowment in Islamic Studies has been established in the Division of the Humanities at UChicago. While the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations will manage the Jonathan A. C. Brown Islamic Studies Research Award Fund, annual applications are open to both UChicago master’s degree and PhD students researching Islamic studies across many disciplines.

Humanities Lecturer to Receive Prestigious Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

Kay Heikkinen

Humanities Lecturer Kay Heikkinen thrives on the challenges of translating Arabic novels into English. “It’s like playing music: you have a score and you bring it to life,” said Heikkinen, the Ibn Rushd Lecturer of Arabic in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) at UChicago. “Many people do not realize that the translation of a literary work requires an artistic sense and imagination. It’s not mechanical.”

In recognition of her translation of the Arabic novel Velvet (2019) by Huzama Habayeb into English, Heikkinen will receive the 2020 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation from the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature and the Society of Authors on Feb. 11. “Without translations, we don’t talk to each other,” Heikkinen said. “Even the best literature in another language is invisible to us unless it’s translated.”

Pope.L's New Exhibition at Neubauer Collegium Is Shaped by COVID-19

Pope.L, Praises, 2020, Courtesy of the artist

The Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society has opened My Kingdom for a Title, a new solo exhibition featuring work by Pope.L, an acclaimed artist and scholar in the University of Chicago’s Department of Visual Arts.

On display through May 16, this is the first exhibition to be organized at the Neubauer Collegium gallery since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global health crisis has unavoidably cast a shadow over the show’s conception and development; it contains allusions to the COVID crisis with a degree of directness that is unusual in Pope.L’s work, which is often elusive and ambiguous.