Theodor W. Adorno Award

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The prize is presented to Judith Butler in 2012

The Theodor W. Adorno Award (Theodor-W.-Adorno-Preis) is a German award intended to recognize outstanding achievement in philosophy, theatre, music, and film. It was established by the city of Frankfurt in 1977 to commemorate the sociologist and philosopher Theodor Adorno, who had taught at the University of Frankfurt for twenty years. The award is conferred every three years on September 11, Adorno's birthday. The prize money is 50,000 Euro.


2012 award criticism[edit]

The 2012 award to Jewish academic Judith Butler has come under criticism from Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center office in Jerusalem, Dr. Efraim Zuroff,[2] and the German Central Council of Jews because of Butler's remarks about Israel and specifically her "calls for a boycott against Israel."[3] Butler responded saying that "she did not take attacks from German Jewish leaders personally."[4] Phyllis Chesler says that the Adorno Prize committee understands that Butler is "very high profile" and has "public anti-Zionist politics" which, according to Chesler, "constitute part of what the ‘new anti-Semitism‘ is about."[5] Gerald Steinberg said that giving the Adorno Prize to Butler is a "moral travesty."[5]


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