Press release 120/21 - 30.11.2021

Mit ihnen reden, nicht über sie

Augsburger Wissenschaftspreis für interkulturelle Studien 2021 verliehen

The Augsburg Science Prize for Intercultural Studies 2021 goes to Dr Laura Otto (University of Bremen) for her dissertation on young refugees. Jennifer Adolé Akue-Dovi (University of Hamburg) receives the sponsorship award for her Master's thesis on racist stereotypes in children's media. A special prize, unique this year, will be awarded to Dr Nora Haakh (Free University of Berlin). Together with the Forum for Intercultural Living and Learning (FiLL eV) and the City of Peace Augsburg, the University of Augsburg awarded the prizes on 30 November.

The main prize goes to Dr Laura Otto for her doctoral thesis “Unaccompanied, minor, refugee?! Fixations, ambivalences and negotiations of 'adult minors' in the European border regime using the example of Malta ”. Otto thus makes a contribution to intercultural coexistence in our societies. “We talk too often about rather than with young refugees. I asked myself how they experience their arrival in Europe, what future plans they have and what the reality of their lives is like, ”explains the award winner. Her research, in which she takes into account the perspectives of both refugees and non-refugees, makes an important contribution to looking at this contact zone and the negotiations that take place within it. Her work allows us to understand which dynamics are important in these situations and how social cohesion and intercultural togetherness can be promoted.

Laura Otto completed her doctorate at the University of Bremen in 2019; her work was published by Campus Verlag in December 2020 under the title “Young Refugees at the Border. An Ethnography on Age Negotiations”. Since April 2021 she has been a Research Fellow in the Research Training Group Practicing Place at the KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, while her post-doc research is funded by the DFG at Goethe University Frankfurt.

Dr. Laura Otto Privat

Racism in children's radio plays

The jury of the Augsburg Science Prize for Intercultural Studies is making a sponsorship award to Jennifer Adolé Akue-Dovi for her Master's thesis “How children and young people of colour perceive the reproduction of stereotypes in children's radio plays. An empirical study of the radio drama series TKKG from a critical race perspective.” Akue-Dovi deals here with one of the challenges of the German migration society - the reproduction of racist prejudices and stereotypes in current children's and youth media. With her empirical study, she would like to contribute to the expansion of a critical race examination of language and the worldviews associated and conveyed with it in current children's and youth media. This triggers awareness-raising and education and creates ideas to protect young listeners from learning and reproducing racist knowledge and prejudices through children's and youth media. Ideally, this will lead to a discrimination-sensitive reflection on the content and a critical approach to these media, which, in the best case, will lead to the revision and deletion of critical passages and terms.

Jennifer Adolé Akue-Dovi studied at the University of Hamburg. She plans to explore the topic of her Master's thesis in greater depth in further publications and a subsequent dissertation. The University of Hamburg will also establish the critique of racism as part of teacher training, educational science and multilingualism research in its courses.

Jennifer Adolé Akue-Dovi Privat

Special prize for the cultural sector

For the first time and uniquely, the jury will award a special prize this year to promote culture in these difficult times. The award goes to the excellent dissertation “Majnun and Layla in the Contact Zone: Transfers from Arabic into German in contemporary theatre" by Dr Nora Haakh (Free University of Berlin). With her doctorate, she builds a bridge between Islamic and theatre studies, seeking strategies of translation and understanding between social areas, disciplines, languages ​​and horizons.

Nora Haakh is a cultural scientist, theatre producer, visual performer and lecturer. She works as a freelance dramaturge with numerous translocal artists on concept and text developments. At the same time, she completed her doctorate as part of a cluster of excellence at the Free University of Berlin. Her first monograph based on her Master’s thesis is currently being prepared for publication. Since 2020 she has been teaching theory / dramaturgy at the school of Design HAW Hamburg.

Dr. Nora Haakh Kimi Palme


Augsburg Science Prize for Intercultural Studies

The Augsburg Science Prize for Intercultural Studies, which was awarded for the first time in 1997 on the initiative of the founder of FiLL e. V., the entrepreneur and later Augsburg Peace Prize winner Helmut Hartmann, honours outstanding achievements by young academics whose research deals with the intercultural reality in Germany and the related issues and challenges. The competition is open to all academic disciplines and aims to award prizes in a special way for interdisciplinary and innovative qualification theses. The award of the prize is intended to provide incentives for thematically relevant research and to promote intercultural issues in particular. Linked to this is the concern that academia should provide research results that contribute to a better understanding of a society characterised by “diversity” and the forms of organisation that are becoming necessary here. By awarding prizes to excellent young academics, the importance of intercultural studies for peaceful coexistence in open societies is emphasised, and academic development is supported and advanced with this in mind.