University of Chicago’s Martha Nussbaum to Receive the 2021 Holberg Prize

Martha C. Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, has been named the winner of the 2021 Holberg Prize — one of the most prestigious international awards given to an outstanding researcher in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, law, or theology. Dr. Nussbaum is scheduled to receive the award – worth approximately $705,000 – during a ceremony at the University of Bergen in Norway.

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.”

Graeme Turner, chair of the Holberg Prize Committee, added that “Professor Nussbaum’s writing is always scrupulous about arguments, perceptive about human emotions and vulnerability, and attentive to the realities of human situations, social interactions, and the many forms of dependence and interdependence that can arise within them. Her influence and impact extend well beyond her own disciplines, and she has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the task of distributing the benefits of academic knowledge to a wider public.”

A member of the University of Chicago faculty since 1995, Dr. Nussbaum has written 26 books. Her most recent book Citadels of Pride: Sexual Abuse, Accountability, and Reconciliation (W.W. Norton & Co., 2021) will be released in May. In addition, she has published about 500 articles and edited 26 books. Her books have been translated into two dozen languages.

Professor Nussbaum is a graduate of New York University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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