Dr. René Baston and Nina Goldt Scoop drupa Prizes 2020 and 2021

Dr. René Baston and Nina Goldt Scoop drupa Prizes 2020 and 2021

This year’s presentation of the drupa Prize gave double reason to rejoice: art historian Nina Goldt was recognised for her dissertation “Portrait à la mode. Das weibliche Figurenbild der École de Paris im Spiegel seiner Entstehungszeit” (The Female Figure Image of the École de Paris in the Mirror of its Period of Origin”) with the drupa Prize 2021. At the same time, philosopher Dr. René Baston received the drupa Prize 2020 for his dissertation “Implizite Vorurteile – eine philosophische Betrachtung” (Implicit Prejudices – a Philosophical Consideration).

The presentation had to be postponed due to the pandemic but could now go ahead. The award that comes with prize money of EUR 6,000 was presented by Wolfram N. Diener (President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf) and Prof. Dr. Anja Steinbeck (President of the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf) at a formal ceremony on 17 August 2021 in the Orangery of the Botanical Garden of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.

“The drupa Prize is an award and recognition for top performance in the humanities. Both dissertations were graded summa cum laude, and I congratulate Nina Goldt and Dr. René Baston most sincerely – it doesn’t get any better than that!” explained Wolfram N. Diener at the award ceremony.  “Messe Düsseldorf has been supporting young scientists from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities with the drupa Prize for over 40 years. This is a nice tradition that we want to continue in the future.”

In her dissertation Nina Goldt deals with the female figure image in the first third of the 20th century in Paris as the artistic centre of modern times. The Faculty Council of the Faculty of Humanities at Heinrich Heine University justifies her nomination for the drupa Prize saying that Goldt manages to present the changes in modernity as a visible indicator of the altered position of women in society in a highly vivid manner. Her work not only makes a substantial contribution to the gender discourse in modernity, but also provides new genre-specific insights into portrait research.

Dr René Baston’s dissertation provides a fascinating overview of the debate on implicit prejudice. He shows that discriminatory behaviour often happens unconsciously and makes this point with impressive examples. For instance, while the US has seen a significant decline in explicit racist beliefs, people of colour continue to be discriminated against in some areas. This implicit racism is explained in social psychology by implicit prejudice. Dr Baston’s work brings together findings from social psychology and philosophy. His convincing results have already found their way into the scientific discourse through publications in journals. 

Edward Frank

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