José Medina and Deborah Tuerkheimer awarded Ver Steeg Fellowship

May 30, 2019 | By Hilary Hurd Anyaso

José Medina and Deborah Tuerkheimer are the recipients of the 13th annual Dorothy Ann and Clarence L. Ver Steeg Distinguished Research Fellowship Award.

José Medina, the Walter Dill Scott Professor of Philosophy in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and Deborah Tuerkheimer, the Class of 1940 Research Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, are the recipients of the 13th annual Dorothy Ann and Clarence L. Ver Steeg Distinguished Research Fellowship Award. 

The Ver Steeg Fellowship supports research and scholarship by tenured Northwestern professors whose work enhances the national and international reputation of the University, and carries an award of $40,000 per award recipient. 

“Through their brilliant research, both José and Deborah forge new knowledge and approaches to crucial questions of injustice, violence, race and gender,” said Provost Jonathan Holloway, whose office bestows the Ver Steeg Fellowship annually. “As globally renowned scholars, they are pushing boundaries in their fields and in society.” 

Medina is a leading philosopher of his generation. His work focuses on the intersections of critical race theory, gender theory, political philosophy, communication theory and social epistemology. 

His scholarship explores how social perception and the social imagination contribute to the formation of vulnerabilities to different kinds of violence and oppression, and how different kinds of activism (including what he calls “epistemic activism”) can be mobilized to resist racial and sexual violence and oppression.

His books include “The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and Resistant Imaginations” (Oxford University Press; recipient of the 2013 North-American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award), and “Speaking from Elsewhere” (SUNY Press, 2006). His most recent co-edited volumes are “The Handbook of Epistemic Injustice” (Routledge, 2017), “Cosmopolitanism and Place” (Indiana University Press, 2017), and “Theories of the Flesh: Latinx and Latin-American Feminisms, Transformation, and Resistance” (Oxford University Press, in press). 

“I am truly honored to receive this distinguished award for excellence in research, and I hope my scholarship will continue to contribute to Northwestern’s outstanding national and international reputation for research excellence,” Medina said.

Tuerkheimer is one of the nation’s leading legal scholars, distinguished by her tremendous contributions to criminal law, evidence and feminist theory. An elected member of the prestigious American Law Institute, Tuerkheimer is serving as a consultant on reforms to the Model Penal Code in the area of Sexual Assault and Related Offenses, and as an advisor to the Project on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct on Campus.  

A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Tuerkheimer publishes widely in leading media outlets and law reviews. Her groundbreaking first book, “Flawed Convictions: ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ and the Inertia of Justice” (Oxford University Press, 2014), explored the shifting science around diagnosing child abuse, and the ways in which a scientific consensus can impact, and distort, the legal process. 

“I am most grateful to the Ver Steeg family for its extraordinary support of scholarship,” Tuerkheimer said. “The award will help facilitate my continued research and writing aimed at improving our societal responses to sexual misconduct. It is a privilege to be working to advance this conversation, particularly in the #MeToo era when so much is in flux.” 

The Ver Steeg Fellowship was established and endowed by the late Clarence L. Ver Steeg and his wife, Dorothy. Clarence Ver Steeg was a faculty member in the department of history from 1950 to 1992 and served as dean of The Graduate School from 1975 to 1986.

Administered by the Office of the Provost, the fellowship is the first endowed award for excellence in research by a faculty member. A complete list of recipients can be found on the Office of the Provost website.