The 2021 Holberg Prize and Nils Klim Prize Laureates have been selected


The Holberg Board has decided who will be awarded the Holberg Prize and the Nils Klim Prize in 2021. They have also decided to establish a nomination pool for each of the Prizes.

Several important decisions have been reached over the last weeks. Both the Nils Klim Committee and the Holberg Committee held their closing deliberations in late January and the Holberg Board met virtually on 2 February to make the final decision on who should receive the Holberg Prize and the Nils Klim Prize in 2021. 

The 2 February meeting was the first occasion for Kjersti Fløttum to chair the selection of laureates after she ucceeded Sigmund Grønmo as Chair of the Holberg Board on 1 July 2020. Fløttum is Professor in French linguistics, and also a member of the board of the University of Bergen.

The other members of the Holberg Board are Knut Olav Åmås, executive director of the Fritt Ord Foundation, Lise Rye, professor of Contemporary European History at NTNU, Hans Petter Graver, professor at the Department of Private Law at UiO, Siv Ellen Kraft, professor in Religious Studies at UiT, and Torkild Hovde Lyngstad, professor at the Department of sociology and social geography at UiO. 

Final deliberations in the Holberg Committee

The Holberg Committee, from the left: Mary Beard, University of Cambridge, Committee Chair, Graeme Turner, University of Queensland, Heike Krieger, Freie Universität Berlin, David Nirenberg, University of Chicago og Maurice Crul, Vrjie Universiteit Amsterdam. Crul has been a deputy member of the committee for Cui Zhiyuan in 2020/21.

On January 29, the Holberg Committee me virtually for their final assessment of the shortlist candidates. Due to the pandemic and related uncertainty the Holberg Board decided to also include the 2020 nominations for consideration this year. Consequently, the committee has had a particularly challenging job in choosing only one candidate to recommend, with nearly twice as many nominations to consider, and many excellent scholars on the shortlist.

They were however able to reach a unanimous decision in the end, and hand on a clear reccomendation to the Holberg Board.

Announcement and Celebration

Academic director of the Holberg Prize, Ellen Mortensen, has been in touch with the laureates to convey the good news. They are both very happy and looking forward to attending the Holberg Week in Bergen in the beginning of June, either virtually or in person, depending on developments with the corona pandemic.

The Holberg and Nils Klim Laureates will be announced on Friday 5 March, 15:00 CET. This year the event will be virtual. The streaming will be available to watch on the Holberg Prize website and on Youtube.