Ann-Christine Kinzer, PhD student in German and Comparative Literature, has been awarded the 2019 Graduate School Postgraduate Researcher Prize.
In 2018, the Graduate School introduced a series of annual prizes to recognise the excellence of its postgraduate researchers and the outstanding work carried out by academic and administrative staff members in support of postgraduate research and education. Ann is one of three prize winners in 2019 and will receive her award at a ceremony on 30 May.
Ann’s PhD thesis uses a comparative methodology to investigate the phenomenon of wandering in modern European literature. Defining wandering in Kantian terms as a kind of ‘purposiveness without purpose’ – as opposed to walking, which simply seeks to move from point a to point b – it argues that the practice arose in response to the Industrial Revolution, as writers and thinkers sought ways to resist the increasing instrumentalisation of time and space.
Over the last three years, Ann has made an exceptional contribution not only to the postgraduate culture of her discipline, but also to that of her School. She has contributed to numerous conferences and an exhibition, and has also been the leading influence behind the Skepsi group of postgraduates, selecting the topics for their conferences, organising the events themselves, and editing the subsequent proceedings. She has also been an invaluable assistant for the CHASE summer school, which ran successfully last year and is being repeated this summer. Ann’s most important contribution to our research culture, however, might well be her work on our impact case studies.
Professor Ben Hutchinson, School Director of Graduate Studies (Research) and Professor of European Literature, says: “Ann’s experience in helping to organise the event is proving invaluable as we prepare things again for this summer… She has engaged closely both with the individual case study leads (in UoA26) and with the central university REF team. Her efforts have been instrumental in improving both the quantity of the data and the quality of the narratives; one of the case studies on which she worked was even distributed across the university as a model of good practice… She is in many ways a model postgraduate student – industrious, ambitious, and resourceful – and I know that numerous colleagues could give glowing references about her contributions to their own activities”.