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Princess of Asturias Awards 05/04/2023

Nuccio Ordine, Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities

Philosopher, writer and expert in literary theory, he is recognized worldwide as one of the leading experts on Renaissance thought and literature, and, specifically, on the figure of Neapolitan humanist Giordano Bruno 


Italian lecturer, writer and philosopher Nuccio Ordine has been bestowed with the 2023 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities as announced today by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award.

The Jury for the Award –convened by the Princess of Asturias Foundation– was chaired by Víctor García de la Concha and composed of Luis María Anson Oliart, Rosa María Calaf Solé, Irene Cano Piquero, Gabriela Cañas Pita de la Vega, Adela Cortina Orts, Miguel Falomir Faus, Gloria Fernández-Lomana García, Taciana Fisac Badell, Alma Guillermoprieto, Catalina Luca de Tena y García-Conde, Marchioness of Valle de Tena, Enrique Pascual Pons, Carmen Riera I Guilera, Elena Sánchez Caballero, Diana Soresen and Alberto Anaut González (as acting secretary).

This candidature was put forward by Sandra Ollo Razquín, editor-in-chief of the Acantilado Editorial publishing house.

Nuccio Ordine was born on 18th July 1958 in the Calabrian town of Diamante (Italy). He graduated in Modern Literature from the University of Calabria’s Faculty of Philosophy and Letters in 1982 and earned his PhD in Literary Sciences: Rhetoric and Techniques of Interpretation in 1987. He lectures in Italian Literature in the Department of Humanistic Studies at the university in his home region and has been visiting professor at American universities such as Harvard, Yale and New York, and European universities such as the EHESS and ENS, both in Paris, the Warburg Institute in London, the Max Planck Society (2013 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation) in Berlin and the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Germany).

Philosopher, writer and expert in literary theory, he is recognized worldwide as one of the leading experts on Renaissance thought and literature, and, specifically, on the figure of Neapolitan humanist Giordano Bruno. One of his outstanding books on this subject is Giordano Bruno and the Philosophy of the Ass (English translation, 1996). Author of numerous essays on the Cinquecento and in the field of literary theory and aesthetics, he has published numerous articles in both individual and collective works. In his books L'utilità dell’inutile: Manifesto [The Utility of the Useless. Manifesto] (2013), and Classici per la vita: Una piccola biblioteca ideale [Classics for Life. A Small Ideal Library] (2016), works with which he managed to reach the general public, he reflects on the peripheral situation of the humanities in today’s world and vindicates them as necessary disciplines in the civic formation of the human being and in the creation of fundamental critical thinking for development and social well-being. A staunch defender of education not based on the trend towards pragmatism, he advocates instilling in students the pleasure of and curiosity for knowledge. According to his view, a broad base of general culture constitutes the best tool for young people to be able to successfully face the variables of the labour market in the future. He delves deeper into this line of thought in his book Gli uomini non sono isole. I classici ci aiutano a vivere [Men are not Islands. The Classics Help Us Live] (2018), in which he offers his proposal of essential books from world literature.

He is an honorary member of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium and a founding member of the Italian Association for Theory and Comparative History of Literature. In addition, he chairs the Centro Internazionale di Studi Telesiani, Bruniani e Campanelliani (Cosenza, Italy) and sits on the executive board of the Italian Institute of Philosophical Studies. He has been an advisor to the publications Albertiana and Journal de la Renaissance, and co-directs the Giordano Bruno and Biblioteca Italiana collections at Les Belles Lettres publishing house in Paris, and Sileni, Theatrum Sapientiae and Umbrae idearum for various publishing houses in Italy, in addition to other collections in different countries, such as Russia, Romania and Brazil. He is a regular contributor to the Corriere della Sera newspaper. In addition to those already mentioned above, his book Tres coronas para un rey. La Empresa de Enrique III y sus misterios [Three Crowns for a King. The Endeavour of Enrique III and its Mysteries] was published in Spanish in 2022.

Holder of honorary degrees from the Brazilian universities of Rio Grande do Sul, Caxias del Sur and Porto Alegre, the University of Valparaíso (Chile), the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), the Pontifical University of Comillas (Spain) and the Sello Ateneo of the University of Urbino (Italy), he is Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2018), Knight and Commander of the Order of the Academic Palms (2009 and 2014) and Knight of the Order of the French Legion of Honour (2012). He has received the Siracusa Philosophy Award (Italy, 2007), the Il Sogno di Piero Award from the Urbino Academy of Fine Arts (2015), the Liberpress Prize for Literature (Gerona, Spain, 2019), the Special Prize from the Carical Foundation (Italy, 2020) and the International Prize for Humanism and Renaissance of the Egyptian Lyceum Museum (León, Spain, 2021), among many others.

As stated in the Statutes of the Foundation, the Princess of Asturias Awards are aimed at rewarding “the scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions or groups of individuals or institutions”. In keeping with these principles, the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities is to be granted to “the work of fostering and advancing the sciences and disciplines considered humanistic activities or any activity related to social communication in any of its forms.”

This year, a total of 45 candidatures comprising 16 different nationalities were put forward for the Communication and Humanities Award.

This is the second of the eight Princess of Asturias Awards to be bestowed in what is now their forty-third year. Previously, the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts was granted to American actress Meryl Streep. The corresponding Awards for Social Sciences, Sports, Literature, International Cooperation, Technical and Scientific Research, and Concord shall be announced in the coming weeks (in the preceding order).

As is customary, the presentation of the Princess of Asturias Awards will take place in October in a solemn ceremony presided over by TM The King and Queen, accompanied by TRH Leonor, Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofía of Spain.

Each Princess of Asturias Award comprises a Joan Miró sculpture representing and symbolizing the Award, a diploma, an insignia and a cash prize of fifty thousand euros.

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