Laura Letinsky's Food Photography Featured in the 'New York Times'

Laura Letinksy, Professor in Visual Arts and the College, was recently featured in the New York Times discussing her work as it relates to "the problem of the illusion of perfection." Letinksy's food photography, which depicts meals and place settings in varying states of chaos and has been featured in magazines such as Bon Appétit and Martha Stewart Living, departs from the "perfectionist aesthetic" that viewers might expect designers such as Martha Stewart to promote. From the article:

Ms. Letinsky, who grew up in Manitoba, said her interest in food sprouted from her fascination with still lifes, which she said were overlooked and considered as “B movies” of their time. Her book Hardly More Than Ever, which features photographs taken from 1997 to 2004, presents images of scattered cake crumbs; rinds of a blood orange whose juices have caked onto porcelain; and a chocolate bunny whose turquoise wrapping has been peeled off and his head bitten off. They are incomplete stories, and viewers are left longing to meet Ms. Letinsky’s missing revelers. “I want the pictures to have a kind of tension,” she said.

Read the article here. Letinsky's latest exhibition of photos will run at the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York City until October 20.

Clifford Ando Receives Research Prize

Clifford Ando, Professor of Classics and the College, has received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Winners of the €45,000 prize are invited to spend a year collaborating with a colleague in Germany. Ando is an expert on law, religion and government in the Roman Empire and plans to collaborate with Jörg Rüpke, a professor of comparative religion at the University of Erfurt’s Max Weber Kolleg.

From the article:

During his stay at the University of Erfurt, Ando plans to finish Roman Social Imaginaries, a book exploring cognition and metaphor in Roman social thought. In collaboration with Christopher Faraone, the Frank Curtis Springer and Gertrude Melcher Springer Professor in the Humanities and the College, and Chicago's Center for the Study of Ancient Religions, Ando and Rüpke are also organizing a conference on the notion of public and private in ancient Mediterranean law and religion.

More about the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation can be found here.

Three Faculty Members Recognized With Named Professorships

Thirteen University of Chicago faculty members were recognized for their outstanding service with named professorships, including three from the Division of the Humanities.

  • Frances Ferguson was named the Ann L. and Lawrence B. Buttenwieser Professor in English Language and Literature and the College. Her research interests include 18th- and 19th-century literature, as well as 20th- and 21st-century literary theory. Ferguson, who comes to the University from Johns Hopkins University, is currently at work on a project that explores the rise of mass education and how it affects our conception of both individuals and society.
  • David J. Levin has been appointed the Addie Clark Harding Professor in Germanic Studies, Cinema and Media Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, and the College. His latest book, Unsettling Opera: Staging Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Zemlinksy, (University of Chicago Press, 2007), explores how radical stagings impact one’s understanding of classic operas. Levin, an expert on German opera, theater, cinema and performance theory, serves as executive editor of Opera Quarterly and as the director of the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.
  • Eric Santner, was named the Philip and Ida Romberg Distinguished Service Professor in Germanic Studies and the College. Santner is a leading scholar of German literature, history and culture, and works at the intersection of literature, political theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis and religious thought. His most recent book, The Royal Remains: The People’s Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2011.

Read faculty biographies and learn about all of the named professorships here.

Martha Nussbaum to Speak on Religious Intolerance, Oct. 9

Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law, Philosophy, Divinity, and the College, will give a talk Tuesday, Oct. 9 as part of the World Beyond the Headlines lecture series, a project of the Center for International Studies. The talk will focus on her book The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age, which explores how fears about terrorism in the United States and Europe have spiraled into irrational suspicion of Muslims in the West, and will take place at the International House from 6:30-8 p.m.

From the Center for International Studies' website:

What impulse prompted some newspapers to attribute the murder of 77 Norwegians to Islamic extremists, until it became evident that a right-wing Norwegian terrorist was the perpetrator? Why did Switzerland, a country of four minarets, vote to ban those structures? How did a proposed Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan ignite a fevered political debate across the United States? In The New Religious Intolerance, Martha C. Nussbaum surveys such developments and identifies the fear behind these reactions. Drawing inspiration from philosophy, history, and literature, she suggests a route past this limiting response and toward a more equitable, imaginative, and free society. Nussbaum challenges us to embrace freedom of religious observance for all, extending to others what we demand for ourselves. With this greater understanding and respect, Nussbaum argues, we can rise above the politics of fear and toward a more open and inclusive future.

More information about The New Religious Intolerance can be found here and here.

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