The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has awarded the 2014 Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for History (USD 200,000) to Aleida Assmann, Professor of English Literature at the University of Konstanz (Germany).
Professor Assmann is receiving the prize for her ground-breaking contribution to the study of the ‘cultural memory’ of nations and other types of human communities.
Aleida Assmann was born in Bethel, near Bielefeld (Germany), on 22 March 1947. She studied English and Egyptology at the universities of Heidelberg and Tübingen and obtained her PhD in both disciplines in 1977. In 1993, Assmann became professor of Anglistik en Allgemeine Literaturwissenschaften at the University of Konstanz (Germany). She has travelled abroad frequently for guest professorships, for example at Rice University (Houston), Princeton, Yale and the University of Chicago in the United States, and the University of Vienna in Austria.
She has published hundreds of essays, books and collections of articles on English literature, cultural memory and ‘remembrance’. She is member of the Academies of Science in Brandenburg, Göttingen and Austria, and received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo in 2008.
In 2009, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society presented Assmann with a Max Planck Research Award (€ 750,000). In 2011, she received the Ernst Robert Curtius Prize for essays from the University of Bonn Society.