Grawemeyer Award Recipients in Louisville This Week

by Devin Katayama on April 9, 2012

The latest Grawemeyer Award winners will be in Louisville this week to accept their prizes and give free public talks.

The University of Louisville has handed out Grawemeyer Awards since 1985, when entrepreneur H. Charles Grawemeyer created the foundation to fund the awards.

The awards are given for music composition, world order, psychology and education. The university and the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary give a fifth award in religion. The idea behind the awards is to recognize ideas, not people, said Grawemeyer executive director Allan Dittmer.

“These ideas, and this is what Charley Grawemeyer had in mind, have the potential to have an impact and some of them have in their respective fields,” he said.

The public appearance by the winner is a requirement for the award. As such, the public must be able to understand the concept behind the winning idea, said Dittmer.

“Part of the selection process is to make sure that things are accessible to an audience beyond academics and professionals in that field,” he said.

The music award, which was the first award granted, is comparable to the Nobel Prize in its field, said Dittmer. Each recipient will also receive $100,000.

Below is the scheduled appearances from the winners. Click on the links to see stories by WFPL last year.

National Institute of Mental Health researchers Leslie Ungerleider and Mortimer Mishkin will speak April 10 at noon in 101 Strickler Hall, UofL. They won the psychology award for their “what and where” idea of how the brain works.

Stanford University education professor Linda Darling-Hammond will speak April 11 at 4:30 p.m. at UofL’s University Club. She won the education award for her book, “The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity will Determine Our Future.”

University of Pennsylvania history and American social thought professor Barbara D. Savage will speak April 11 at 7 p.m. in the seminary’s Caldwell Chapel. She won the religion award for her book, “Your Spirits Walk Beside Us: The Politics of Black Religion.”

Barnard College political scientist Severine Autesserre will speak April 12 at 1 p.m. in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library at UofL. She won the world order award for her book, “The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding.”

Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen will speak April 16 at 4 p.m. in Bird Recital Hall, UofL School of Music. He won the music composition award for “Violin Concerto.”

No reservations or tickets are needed for the talks held throughout the week.

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