Anita Traninger Receives the Leibniz Prize 2023 from the German Research Foundation

Researcher at Freie Universität Berlin is one of ten scholars honored with the award / Winners receive 2.5 million euros for research

Anita Traninger, professor of Romance languages and literatures with a focus on rhetoric at Freie Universität Berlin, received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2023 by the German Research Foundation (DFG) on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. The award ceremony took place at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The honor comes with 2.5 million euros to be used by the recipient to support their research. The DFG Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is considered the most important research award in Germany. This year, ten researchers were named prizewinners.

The DFG highlighted Professor Traninger’s international acclaim in the field of early modern Romance studies. Her work connects literature, rhetoric, the history of knowledge, and the history of media in an innovative manner that opens up new perspectives regarding the dynamics of cultural and knowledge transfer. The DFG writes of Professor Traininger, "In particular, her understanding of rhetoric as a historically variable ensemble of media-bound practices is groundbreaking in light of the traditional but still widespread notion of rhetoric as a rigid set of rules. Against a background of profound knowledge of historical texts and contexts, Traninger consistently challenges the seemingly fixed epochal boundaries of antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the early modern period. In her work, teleological models of history are replaced by networks and entanglements; in short, she makes the complexity of historical action in and with language concretely tangible. Traninger is one of the key international figures in Romance studies in a global context who has succeeded in repositioning the field in an interdisciplinary way."

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is the most important research award in Germany. The Leibniz Program, established in 1985, aims to improve the working conditions of outstanding researchers, expand their research opportunities, relieve them of administrative tasks, and help them employ particularly qualified early career researchers. Prizewinners are first chosen from a slate of nominations put forward by third parties; the joint committee selects the actual prizewinners based on a recommendation from the selection committee for the Leibniz Program.

Over the last thirty-seven years, nineteen researchers from Freie Universität Berlin have received the Leibniz Prize.