Emory Report

September 21, 1998

 Volume 51, No. 5

Scholar's speech to honor Chopp

Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, will speak on "Feminist Internationalism: In Defense of Universal Values" Sept. 28 to celebrate the appointment of Rebecca Chopp as provost.

Chopp received her doctorate from Chicago and is interested in Nussbaum's work. According to Susan Frost, vice provost for institutional planning and research, Nussbaum's scholarship embodies the spirit of community among disparate groups.

"When I called Martha to invite her to Emory, she was very happy to help us celebrate Rebecca's appointment," Frost said. "Her work is quite wide ranging, and I anticipate that her lecture would be of interest to everyone."

Nussbaum holds appointments in the law and divinity schools, as well as the philosophy department, at Chicago. From 1986 to 1993, she was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research in Finland, part of the United Nations University. She will publish her newest book, Sex and Social Justice, a collection of essays, in December.

"Women in much of the world lack support for fundamental functions of a human life," Nussbaum said in her Seely Lectures at Cambridge University this year. "Women have fewer opportunities than men to live free from fear and to enjoy rewarding types of love--especially when, as often, they are married without choice in childhood and have no recourse from a bad marriage."

Nussbaum also plans on publishing a book based on her Seely Lectures titled Feminist Internationalism, in which she outlines her ideas for a feminist approach to global politics.

"All too often women are not treated as ends in their own right; instead they are treated as mere instruments of the ends of others-reproducers, caregivers, sexual outlets, agents of a family's general prosperity," Nussbaum said.

Nussbaum is vice president of the central division of the American Philosophical Association, and member of the association's National Board and former chair of its committees on international cooperation and the status of women. Her dialogue, "Emotions as Judgments of Value," recently won the Philosophical Dialogues Competition sponsored by the European Humanities Research Centre at Oxford University.

"These [injustices] are not rare cases of unusual crime, but common realities," she continued in her Seely lecture. "According to the Human Development Report 1997 of the United Nations Development Programme, no country treats its women as well as its men, according to a complex measure that includes life expectancy, wealth and education.

"Women, in short, lack essential support for leading lives that are fully human. This lack of support is frequently caused by their being women. Thus, even when they live in a constitutional democracy such as India, where they are equals in theory, they are second-class citizens in reality."

Nussbaum's lecture will take place at 4 p.m. in Cox Hall's third-floor ballroom. The event is open to everyone in the Emory community.

-Michael Terrazas

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