Erasmus Prize for the Liberal Arts and Sciences
The Erasmus Prize for Liberal Arts and Sciences, funded by the Sparkasse Freiburg-Nördlicher Breisgau, distinguishes research work that, in treatment of its topic, considers questions of epistemology and/or history of science in an exemplary manner. The Prize underscores the epistemological focus of the Liberal Arts and Sciences study concept at University College and comes with an endowment of 5000 Euro. The highlight of the Erasmus Prize award ceremony is the annual "UCF Lecturer" by a prominent guest speaker.
Prof. Dr. Margret Wintermantel, President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), gave the UCF Lecture 2016. Her keynote speech was on “Internationalization of Higher Education – Opportunities and challenges”.
The Erasmus Prize 2016 was awarded to Dr. Cristina Espinosa for her PhD thesis “Apart from Nature or a Part of Nature? Discourse Analyses of the Politics of Redefining the Relationship between Humans and Nature.” The dissertation was submitted to Prof. Dr. Michael Pregernig at the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources of the University of Freiburg.
In her dissertation, Dr. Espinosa analyzes the definition and redefinition of the relationship between humans and nature in the context of political initiatives and processes at various levels, from the local to the global. Her work exemplarily integrates approaches from the natural and the social sciences, and has a dedicated focus on epistemological questions.
FLTR: Prof. Dr. Michael Pregernig (Supervisor of Dr. Espinosa), Herr Erich Greil (Deputy Chairman of the Board, Sparkasse Freiburg-Nördlicher Breisgau), Dr. Cristina Espinosa (Prize Winner), Prof. Dr. Margret Wintermantel (President of the DAAD), Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer (Rector of the University of Freiburg), Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Gehrke (UCF Director of Outreach) (Photo by Patrick Seeger)
The UCF Lecture 2015 was given by Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Barner. Prof. Barner is Chairman of the Board of Boehringer Ingelheim and President of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. His keynote lecture was on "Hochschul-Bildung und Beschäftigungsfähigkeit heute und morgen".
The Erasmus Prize 2015 was awarded to Dr. Susanne Gundermann for her PhD thesis "English-Medium Instruction: Modelling the Role of the Native Speaker in a Lingua Franca Context". The dissertation lies at the interface between linguistics and epistemology. By using ethnographic methods of field research in English language teaching situations at the University of Freiburg, the importance and role of Native Speakers of English as a language of instruction and as a lingua franca was investigated.
FLTR: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Christian Mair (Supervisor of Dr. Gundermann), Herr Marcel Thimm (Chairman of the Board, Sparkasse Freiburg-Nördlicher Breisgau), Dr. Susanne Gundermann (Prize Winner) Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Barner (President of the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft), Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer (Rector of the University of Freiburg), Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Gehrke (UCF Director of Outreach) (Photo by Patrick Seeger)
Prof. Moreno Ocampo, former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in Den Haag, held the UCF Lecture in 2014. His keynote speech focused on the importance of globally-oriented higher education. At the same event, Prof. Harm Hospers, then Dean of University College Maastricht, was appointed as Honorary Professor of the University of Freiburg.
The Erasmus Prize 2014 was awarded to Dr. Martin Brösamle for his PhD thesis "Sketches of Wayfinding Design", investigations on architectural processes. His thesis sheds light on the interface between behavioral science and design in general and between cognitive science and architecture in particular. The dissertation was submitted to Prof. Dr. Gerhard Strube at the Institut für Informatik und Gesellschaft, Abteilung Kognitionswissenschaften.
For the UCF Inauguration and the first Erasmus Prize award ceremony in 2013, Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, gave the keynote speech. Prof. Rheinberger is former director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and gave his talk on interdisciplinarity in teaching and research.
The Erasmus Prize was awarded for the first time on June 24, 2013 and on the occasion of the University College Freiburg Inauguration in the Sparkasse Freiburg-Nördlicher Breisgau. The prize was presented to Michael Schonhardt for his Master's thesis "Ortus ventorum sunt comfi phylosophorum. Untersuchungen zum Umgang mit Wissen im Prämonstratenserstift Arnstein an der Lahn im frühen 13. Jahrhundert" ("Inquiries into Knowledge Practices at the Premonstratensian Arnstein Abbey in the Early 13th Century") in which he explores the medieval, monastic book and knowledge culture using state-of-the-art science studies approaches. Shortly after having received the prize, Michael Schonhardt started his PhD project "Tradition and Reception of Theoretical Knowledge about Nature in the 12th Century" under the supervision of Prof. Birgit Studt, Chair of Medieval History.
FLTR: Marcel Thimm (Chairman of the Board, Sparkasse Freiburg-Nördlicher Breisgau), Prof. Dr. Birgit Studt (Supervisor), Michael Schonhardt (Prize Winner), Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Gehrke (UCF Director of Outreach), Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer (Rector of the University of Freiburg)
Erasmus of Rotterdam, after whom the prize is named, was one of the most important representatives of European Humanism in the sixteenth century. He emphasized the value of humanistic education and learning, forces that he saw as fostering peace and tolerance. Many characteristics of his work are recovered in the concept of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Freiburg, which draws on humanistic educational principles, is inspired by Dutch study programs, and encourages transcending boundaries. And, Erasmus of Rotterdam has a special connection to Freiburg: Towards the end of his career, he worked and lived in the Haus zum Walfisch, a building that today houses the donor institution of the Erasmus Prize – the Sparkasse Freiburg-Nördlicher Breisgau.