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Northwestern Establishes $5,000 Prize For Translators

Global Humanities Translation Prize recognizes underrepresented works
  • New $5,000 translation prize honors experimental, unheard voices
  • Winning work to be published by Northwestern University Press
  • Award co-created by Global Humanities Initiative and NU Press

EVANSTON, Ill.  --- Northwestern University's Global Humanities Initiative and Northwestern University Press have created the $5,000 Global Humanities Translation Prize for translators.

Northwestern University Press will publish the winning work, which will be selected annually by a rotating committee of distinguished international scholars, writers and public intellectuals.

The Global Humanities Translation Prize recognizes writing that strikes a nuanced balance of scholarly rigor, aesthetic grace, and general readability, especially those that introduce a wider audience to:

  • Underrepresented and experimental literary voices from marginalized communities
  • Humanistic scholarship in infrequently translated languages
  • Important classical texts in non-Western traditions and languages

The Global Humanities Initiative was co-founded in the fall of 2015 by Laura Brueck, an associate professor of Indian literature in the department of Asian languages and cultures, and Rajeev Kinra, an associate professor in the department of history in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern.

The initiative is supported by Northwestern’s Buffett Institute for Global Studies and Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

“Our goal is to bring much-needed attention not only to the rich humanistic traditions of the non-West, but also to the relevance of those traditions for global development and public policy,” Brueck said.

Added Kinra: “It places Northwestern University at the center of a vital international conversation about the continuing role of the humanities in building a more just, tolerant and humane 21st century.”

Founded in 1893, Northwestern University Press publishes works of enduring scholarly and cultural value, extending the university’s mission to a community of readers throughout the world. The Press has an international reputation for publishing translations of scholarly work, fiction, drama and poetry.

“The Press’s partnership with the Global Humanities Initiative is part of our long tradition of bringing exceptional translations of important works to an English-speaking audience,” said Jane Bunker, director of Northwestern University Press. “We expect that this award will bring a renewed measure of academic prestige to the craft of translation itself.”

Interested translators may apply for the inaugural award through August 1, 2016. For submission instructions, visit the Global Humanities Initiative website or email