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The Holberg Prize names OUP author Marina Warner as 2015 Laureate

The Holberg Prize names OUP author Marina Warner as 2015 Laureate

13 March 2015

It was announced this week that author, scholar, and critic Marina Warner was named 2015 laureate by the Holberg Prize, the largest annual international prize in the arts and humanities, social science, law or theology. Warner will receive the financial award of £380,000 at the University of Bergen on 10 June.

Warner received the honour for her work on the analysis of stories and myths and how they reflect their time and place.

“I have tried to explore long-lasting but often disregarded forms of expression such as popular stories and vernacular imagery in order to understand the interactions of culture and ethics,” said Warner. “The prize gives me and my fellow researchers wonderful, surprising encouragement in this endeavour, which lies at the heart of arts and humanities scholarship.”

Warner has published more than a dozen books, including her most recent work Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale published by Oxford University Press.

“As a story-teller and novelist in her own right, Marina Warner recognizes and celebrates the alternative forms of knowledge to be found in narrative,” said Chair of the Holberg Academic Committee Mary Jacobus. “In work that is at once dazzling and accessible, she ranges across the fields of comparative literature, mythography and folklore, popular culture and translation, the encounter of east and west, the study of art, symbols, and objects, the history of science, and the role of women.”

Warner has had a diverse 30-year career as an independent writer and scholar. She has won numerous international literary accolades including the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Warner has also received more than 10 honorary doctoral degrees from institutions throughout the UK, including Oxford University, King’s College London, and the University of Exeter. Her academic career has included teaching and research positions at Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford, Princeton, and NYU Abu Dhabi, where she is a visiting professor. She is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Warner is exploring the possibility of spending the prize money on cultural preservation amongst refugees and migrants.

Find out more about the Holberg Prize here.