Research - 11.01.2022 - 00:00 

Anna Elsner receives ERC Starting Grant

The research project "Assisted Dying in European Writing and Visual Culture: Reciprocal Interactions between Law, Medicine and the Arts since 2000 (ASSISTED)" by Anna Elsner is supported by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The funding amounts to 1.5 million euros over the next 5 years.

11 January 2022. Anna Elsner's research project deals with assisted dying. The aim is to analyse the role of texts and films in legislative processes and to show how these set in motion processes of social change in relation to dying. The focus on interactions between law, medicine and contemporary culture will bring together previously disparate lines of research on assisted dying into a comprehensive and innovative field of research in the Medical Humanities. It could show that cultural production is more than aesthetics, but can bring about substantial social and, as a result, legal changes by addressing existential questions.

Contribution to social debates on assisted dying

"My team and I want to explore the role of texts and films in legislative processes related to assisted dying," says Professor Elsner. "The project, which focuses on several language regions and cultures as well as five different legal systems, should thus enable a differentiated contribution to social debates on assisted dying. I am extremely pleased that I can count on an ERC Starting Grant for this. This funding will allow me to implement this research project comprehensively."

Anna Elsner has been Assistant Professor of French Literature and Culture at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS-HSG) at the University of St.Gallen since September 2020. Her research focuses on 20th/21st century French literature and philosophy and on medical humanities - literature and medicine, film and media studies, and philosophy of medicine and medical ethics. Before her appointment at the HSG, Anna Elsner did research and taught at the Universities of Oxford and Zurich and at King's College in London. She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2011.

ERC Starting Grants
ERC Starting Grants are among the most prestigious and competitive research grants in the world. Submitted research projects undergo international peer reviews, and both the project and the principal investigator must prove themselves to be excellent in order to receive the highly competitive support of an ERC Starting Grant. With 24% more applications, competition for Starting Grants was particularly fierce in this round: less than 10% of the projects submitted are eligible for funding.

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