Acclaimed American essayist and novelist Jonathan Franzen will be the 2020 recipient of the Utah Award in the Environmental Humanities.
Franzen’s environmental essays have stirred audiences on the subjects of climate mitigation, the importance of birds, interspecies ethics and human resilience in a changing world. Jonathan Franzen has been an outspoken voice for the environment in his fiction and nonfiction across five novels and five works of nonfiction including “The Corrections,” “Freedom” and “The End of the End of the Earth.” In 2010, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine.
“Bringing a writer of Jonathan Franzen’s status to campus is a rare opportunity for our students and for the broader community,” said Jeffrey McCarthy, director of the Environmental Humanities Program. “We are especially excited to underline the important environmental contributions Franzen has made with his essays and his novels. This award is the world’s first prize in the field of environmental humanities. It celebrates our recipients while putting their goals in the spotlight. It also puts the U on a national stage and further distinguishes our Environmental Humanities Graduate Program.”
The Utah Award in the Environmental Humanities celebrates environmental leadership and expression. The $10,000 award honors those who solve the planet’s environmental problems using tools of the humanities, such as creative expression, scholarly research, popular art forms and advocacy.
The Environmental Humanities Graduate Program at the University of Utah invites the public to celebrate Franzen’s environmental accomplishments on March 4, 2020, at the Nancy Tessman Auditorium at the Salt Lake City Main Library at 7 p.m.