The $73,000 award is given in recognition of an internationally known professor's lifetime achievements in research. The foundation seeks scholars and scientists whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.
Awardees are invited to carry out research projects of his or her choosing in cooperation with specialist colleagues in Germany.
German scholar Markus Asper, a professor of Greek at the Humboldt University of Berlin, nominated Clay for the award. She will study the Greek writers Homer and Hesiod at Humboldt during the upcoming academic year.
Clay's work focuses on ancient Greek poetry and problems of interpretation. Her latest book, "Homer's Trojan Theater," was published last year. Its accompanying website maps the battlefield and characters' actions in the "Iliad." She is now working on "Mapping the Catalogue of Ships" from the same work of Homer's, with the help of the U.Va. Scholars' Lab.
"It is a great honor for a classicist – or indeed, for any scholar in the humanities – to be selected as a Preisträger by the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung," Classics chair John Miller commented in an email. "It's my impression that this particular prize goes most often to colleagues in the sciences. The selection of Jenny Clay for this award testifies to the worldwide impact of her writings and ongoing scholarly projects. Jenny has contributed mightily to improved understanding of a broad array of topics within Greek and Roman antiquity."
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is an organization for German foreign cultural and academic exchange to promote international scientific cooperation. Every year, the foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time working in Germany. The foundation maintains a network of more than 25,000 "Humboldtians" from all disciplines in more than 130 countries worldwide, including 48 Nobel Prize winners.
— by Anne Bromley