Profs. John MacAloon and Martha Nussbaum to receive 2024 Norman Maclean Faculty Award

Honor recognizes scholars’ contributions to teaching, student life at UChicago

Profs. John J. MacAloon and Martha C. Nussbaum are the recipients of this year’s Norman Maclean Faculty Award, which honors their extraordinary contributions to teaching and student life within the University of Chicago community.

Established in 1997, the awards are named in honor of Prof. Norman Maclean, PhD’40, the critically acclaimed author of A River Runs Through It, who taught at UChicago for 40 years. The awards are presented by the Alumni Association and the Alumni Board, which have also recognized nine other recipients of the 2024 Alumni Awards for their professional achievements and service on behalf of the University.

Learn more about this year’s Norman Maclean Faculty Award honorees:

John J. MacAloon is a professor emeritus in the Division of the Social Sciences and the College and director emeritus of the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences. An anthropologist and historian, he has focused on cultural performance theory and the modern Olympic movement and Olympic Games. A pioneer of global Olympic studies and international team ethnography who has advised many Olympic organizations, he was awarded the Olympic Order for his scholarship, diplomacy and activism. His books include This Great Symbol: Pierre de Coubertin and the Origins of the Modern Olympic Games and Bearing Light: Flame Relays and the Struggle for the Olympic Movement.

MacAloon, AM’74, PhD’80, came to UChicago in 1969 as a doctoral student in the Committee on Social Thought. In 1974 he began teaching Self, Culture and Society and taught in the Social Sciences Core throughout his nearly five decades as a College faculty member, winning a Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and editing the book General Education in the Social Sciences: Centennial Reflections on the College of the University of Chicago. In 1990 he took over as director of MAPSS and led the transformation of that program into one of national significance in graduate education, influencing a generation of beginning graduate students through his teaching in the MAPSS core course, Perspectives in Social Science Analysis.

Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Law School and Department of Philosophy, and she is an associate member of the classics department, political science department and the Divinity School. A leading scholar and public intellectual, she writes about ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, political philosophy and the nature of the emotions. Her more than 25 books include The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy, Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of the Emotions, Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, and Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach. Her most recent book is Justice for Animals: Our Collective Responsibility.

Nussbaum has taught at the University of Chicago since 1995 and won the Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in 2002. She has won numerous other prizes and awards, including the 2016 Kyoto Prize, the 2018 Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture, the 2017 Don M. Randel Award for Humanistic Studies from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the 2021 Holberg Prize, the 2022 Balzan Prize, and the 2022 Order of Lincoln from the State of Illinois. She has received 66 honorary degrees from universities in the United States and abroad.