Conferment of the Hans Kilian Award 2011
Professor Hartmut Böhme becomes the first awardee
Hartmut Böhme, Professor of cultural theory and history of mentality at the Humboldt University of Berlin is the first awardee of the Hans Kilian Award of Merit. The Award amounting to 80.000 Euros was conferred on the scholar on May 6, 2011 at the Technical University of Darmstadt. The Hans Kilian Award, which was established by the Köhler Foundation at the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, honours outstanding scientific achievements in the study field of the historical and cultural existence of mankind and the corresponding alteration of the human psyche.
The main areas of Hartmut Böhme's academic interests include history of nature and technology in the intersecting fields of philosophy, arts, and literature as well as historical anthropology with a particular focus on history of body. In their conclusive report, the Jury emphatically commended Professor Böhme's academic achievements with the following statement:
"In his numerous interdisciplinary works, Hartmut Böhme gave a vigorous expression to his steady interest in psychological and especially psychoanalytical issues, forms of thinking and research. His major publications on history of culture and mentality as well as on history of ideas and concepts underscore the importance of psychoanalysis as a social and cultural science. Historical, sociological and cultural perspectives have for many years been a distinguishing feature of the awardee's academic writings. One recent example is Böhme's seminal studies on fetishism and its meaning in modern times. With his interdisciplinary research works on topical phenomena under the perspective of psychology and psychoanalysis, Hartmut Böhme advocates the very stances that are essential for the scope of the Hans Kilian Award.
Professor Böhme's other remarkable merits include his exemplary commitment to the introduction and institutionalisation of interdisciplinary research in university teaching. Not least, the Award honours his continuous collaboration in those study groups that strive to re-establish psychoanalysis as a vital part of the present-day international, dynamically developing social and cultural sciences.
The Jury believe that the first awardee shall forward the social and cultural sciences' interest in psychological and psychoanalytical issues, which should further be differentiated within the framework of outstanding interdisciplinary research. If the ensuing results are not only discussed in academic lectures but also received by broad public, then one important future-oriented objective of the Award and its first conferment can be considered accomplished."
The ceremony was inaugurated by the welcome address of the TU Darmstadt's vice president Professor Petra Gehring. After the speech by the Chair of the Hans Kilian Award's Board Dr Heinz-Rudi Spiegel, Dr Lotte Köhler held a lecture on life and academic career of the Award's eponym Professor Hans Kilian.
Subsequently, in his laudatory speech in honour of the awardee, the member of the Award's Board Professor Jürgen Straub (Ruhr University of Bochum) acclaimed the range and scope of Professor Böhme's scientific research in the field of transdisciplinary cultural psychology and history. The ceremony was closed with the awardee's lecture "The dismembering act. A pictorial and psychological history of anatomy".
During the festive reception following the conferment, the guests also had an occasion to visit the bookstalls displaying books by Hartmut Böhme, academic publications sponsored by the Köhler Foundation as well as numerous scientific manuscripts published by Psychosozial Verlag. On the occasion of the Hans Kilian Award 2011, Psychosozial Verlag had published a book with selected articles by Hans Kilian and academic comments on his life and works (Kulturelle Evolution und Bewusstseinswandel [Cultural Evolution and Transition of Consciousness], in German; eds: Lotte Köhler, Jürgen Reulecke, Jürgen Straub; Gießen 2011).
In the name of the Hans Kilian Award Board we would like to thank all our guests, whose participation in the ceremony greatly contributed to the cordial atmosphere of the evening and helped to make the award conferment a very special academic event.