Martha Nussbaum Honored by Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences

Martha Nussbaum Honored by Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences
Lynn Safranek
Law School Office of Communications
November 20, 2009

The University of Chicago Law School is proud to announce that Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, has received the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences' 2009 "Arts & Sciences Advocacy Award."

The award honors an individual or organization demonstrating exemplary advocacy for the arts and sciences, flowing from a deep commitment to the intrinsic worth of liberal arts education.

Professor Nussbaum, a member of the CCAS, was selected for her academic agility in a variety of disciplinary fields - from philosophy, law and feminism to politics and economic life - and her prolific scholarship. She has authored 14 books, edited another 13 and has four more in progress.

"As a professor, her prize-winning work has brought her belief in the importance of liberal education for citizenship and justice to thousands of classroom discussions, dorm room debates, and academic evaluations, shaping current discourse on social justice and democratic theory," said CCAS President Denise A. Battles, Dean of Natural & Health Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado.

Professor Nussbaum is considered one of the world's foremost philosophers, applying her influential voice to the areas of women's rights in developing countries and worldwide, animal rights law and the power of liberal arts education.

"A liberal arts education is the best preparation for being an informed and active citizen in a democracy. It cultivates the capacities to engage in respectful, critical dialogue, to imagine a wide range of human situations, and to understand the history, cultures, and problems of nations other than our own," Nussbaum said. "It's difficult for democracies to thrive without being able to rely on these capacities. In our times of financial strain, many people think of the liberal arts as useless frills, which we can pare away without harming our nation. They are wrong."

In addition to her post at the Law School, Professor Nussbaum is appointed in the Philosophy Department and Divinity School. She is an Associate in the Classics Department and the Political Science Department, a Member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Board Member of the Human Rights Program. She is the founder and Coordinator of the Center for Comparative Constitutionalism.

Professor Nussbaum accepted the award at the CCAS Annual Meeting in Baltimore. With approximately 1,600 members at nearly 500 higher education institutions, the CCAS is the largest association of arts and sciences deans.

"Martha Nussbaum exemplifies the best of liberal learning," Battles said. "Her lifetime of work has highlighted the importance of ideas in civic life and public policy and has strengthened the importance of the arts and sciences both within and outside the academy."


Martha Nussbaum