Martha Nussbaum to visit Brown for a week

March 11, 2013  |  Media Contact: Courtney Coelho |  401-863-7287
Martha Nussbaum - “One of the most thoughtful contributors to the discussion of the renewed importance of ethics and humanist reflection” returns to Brown for a week-long residency.
Martha Nussbaum “One of the most thoughtful contributors to the discussion of the renewed importance of ethics and humanist reflection” returns to Brown for a week-long residency.
Noted University of Chicago philosopher and former Brown professor Martha Nussbaum will return to campus for a week-long residency that includes seminars, workshops, and a public lecture on Tuesday, March 19.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Noted philosopher Martha Nussbaum, a former professor of philosophy, classics, and comparative literature at Brown, will return to campus for a week-long residency from March 18-21, 2013. Currently on the faculty at the University of Chicago, Nussbaum will present several workshops and talks on her current work to faculty and graduate students during her visit.

On March 19, Nussbaum will deliver a lecture on “Religious Pluralism and Self-Examination: Countering Cultures of Fear.” Looking at cases such as the national political debate that was ignited over a proposed Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan, 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 toward a more equitable, imaginative, and free society. This lecture is free and open to the public. It begins at 5 p.m. in Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 001.

“I am excited about returning to Brown. I think it's now the top philosophy program for moral and political philosophy, so I look forward to getting tough criticism of my work from faculty and graduate students. I also love the independence and ambition of Brown undergraduates and look forward to interacting with them,” Nussbaum said.

“Martha Nussbaum has been one of the most thoughtful contributors to the discussion of the renewed importance of ethics and humanist reflection on important questions facing society,” said Kevin McLaughlin, dean of the faculty. “The Humanities Initiative at Brown is delighted to be able to sponsor her return to Brown, where she spent some of her most productive years.”

Nussbaum’s residency is sponsored by the Humanities Initiative, the Department of Philosophy, the Cogut Center, the Program for Ethical Inquiry, and the Political Philosophy Workshop.

Martha Nussbaum

A noted and well-published philosopher, Nussbaum is currently the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School at the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the faculty at Chicago, Nussbaum taught at Brown from 1984 to 1995, and has also taught at Harvard and Oxford. Specializing in several areas of philosophy, including ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, political philosophy, feminism, and ethics, including animal rights, Nussbaum has authored and edited of a number of books, including The Fragility of Goodness (1986), Sex and Social Justice (1998, with Juha Sihvola), The Sleep of Reason (2002), Hiding From Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law (2004), Animal Rights (2004, co-editor with Cass Sunstein), and Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (2006).

Nussbaum received her bachelor’s degree from New York University and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Harvard. Nussbaum is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected 1988) and the American Philosophical Society. In 2008, she was elected a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. She is a founding president and past president of the Human Development and Capability Association and a past president of the American Philosophical Association, Central Division. Nussbaum has received numerous recognitions and awards for her work, including the Ness Book Award of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Grawemeyer Award in Education, the Association of American University Publishers Professional and Scholarly Book Award for Law, the A.SK award from the German Social Science Research Council for her contributions to social system reform, and the American Philosophical Society’s Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence.

She has received honorary degrees from 37 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe, including Grinnell College, Williams College, The College of William and Mary, The University of St. Andrews (Scotland), the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), the University of Toronto, the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), the New School University, the University of Haifa, Ohio State University, and Georgetown University.

Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews, and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call (401) 863-2476.