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Prof. Dr. Beatrice Gründler from Freie Universität Berlin receives 2017 Leibniz Prize

Feb 27, 2017

Arabic Studies Scholar Beatrice Gründler Receives 2017 Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation

Arabic studies scholar Prof. Dr. Beatrice Gründler from Freie Universität Berlin has won a Leibniz Prize for 2017 from the German Research Foundation (DFG). Gründler was selected by the Joint Committee from among 134 nominees, as the DFG announced in Bonn. Prof. Dr. Ralph Hertwig, a cognitive psychologist and director of the Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, who is also an adjunct professor at Freie Universität, is another one of the ten winners, three women and seven men. The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is the most important research award in Germany. Each of the ten winners will receive 2.5 million euros in prize money to support their future research. The award ceremony will take place on March 15, 2017, in Berlin.

According to the DFG, Beatrice Gründler, was awarded the Leibniz Prize for her studies on the diversity of Arabic poetry and culture. Very early in her academic career, she turned to the medium of writing with its fundamental significance for Arabic traditions, for example in her book, The Development of the Arabic Script (1993). Based on her research, Gründler has "developed a complex history of the media of the Arabic world," that ranges from the introduction of paper to printing books and beyond. In this context, the DFG quotes Gründler herself, who spoke of an "Arabic book revolution." Furthermore, according to the DFG, in the pilot project Gründler has been working on since 2015, a digital critical and commented edition of "Kalila wa-Dimna," she succeeded in producing a complete presentation of the text as well as the history of the origin and reception of one of the earliest Arabic works of fiction and a central text in the Arabic tradition of fables. The DFG stressed that the encounters between Arabic and European traditions of knowledge that Gründler explores in her works are characteristic for her approach in general, which is part of what makes her research so important.

So far, 17 scholars and scientists from Freie Universität Berlin have won a Leibniz Prize.

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Further Information

Prof. Dr. Beatrice Gründler, Department of History and Cultural Studies, Freie Universität Berlin; Seminar for Semitic and Arabic Studies; Tel.: +49 30 838 60489, Email: beatrice.gruendler@fu-berlin.de