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People - 09.12.2022 - 08:05 

Prof. Dr. Anna Elsner receives the Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize

Since 2009, the SNSF has awarded the Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize to outstanding young female researchers. Prof. Dr. Anna Elsner will receive the award on December 19 during a small ceremony at HSG.
Prof. Dr. Anna Elsner

The award ceremony in the Audimax is open to the public. Members of media and the public are welcome to attend: Monday, 19 December 2022, 7.15 to 7.45 p.m., followed by an aperitif.

The HSG literary scholar Anna Elsner will receive the Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize and its endowment of CHF 25,000 on December 19, 2022. "It is a great honour to receive this Prize," says Elsner. The prize's namesake, Marie Heim-Vögtlin, has a special role to play in the history of Switzerland and women's history: as the first female doctor in Switzerland, she embodied a modern woman who reconciled family and career. "The question of how working parents can master this balancing act still preoccupies us. I myself studied at a women's college (St. Hilda's College, Oxford), which had a strong influence on me, and it is a great cause of mine to support researching parents," explains the literary scholar.

Palliative care and euthanasia in French literature

"The award also has a special meaning for me because my research deals with the system of medicine and euthanasia." The concept of palliative care was developed in the late 1960s and is actually intended to make the dying process as comfortable as possible. Nevertheless, it has also been criticized. In her research, Elsner has dealt with the reappraisal of dying in French literature since the 1970s, where she came across very personal insights into the institutionalization of dying.

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The literature of dying

Prof. Dr. Anna Elsner has dealt with the reappraisal of dying in French literature since the 1970s, where she came across very personal insights into the institutionalization of dying.

"My research seeks to reappraise the role of palliative care in French literature since the 70's in France. I was able to show that literature from then on deals with dying in a new way. One's own dying becomes a personal project in many of these texts, as is the case in Ruwen Ogien's Mes Mille et Une Nuits (2017). Or else, the literary accompaniment of the dying of a loved one becomes itself a kind of palliative praxis." Criticism of modern medicine, however, plays a central role in all of these texts, says Elsner.

Contributing to the social debate on euthanasia

Another research project by Elsner was recently awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant award. "My team and I are exploring the role of texts and films in legislative processes related to assisted dying," Professor Elsner explains. The project, which focuses on several language regions and cultures as well as five different legal systems, aims to facilitate a nuanced contribution to societal debates on assisted dying.” The relevance of the project, which looks at and compares changes in legislative processes, is topical again right now, as French President Emmanuel Macron has convened a citizens' council on euthanasia on December 9, 2022. This could lead to a new law at the end of 2023. “We will closely follow this process and investigate in which form texts, films and mediatized individual cases will be included in the discussions."

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. Prior to her appointment at HSG, Elsner researched and taught at the Universities of Oxford and Zurich and at King's College, London. She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2011.

Events

Mon
19.12.
19:15
-
19:45
Public events

Award ceremony: Prof. Anna Elsner receives the Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize

Since 2009, the SNSF has awarded the Marie Heim-Vögtlin Prize to outstanding young female researchers. Members of media and the public are welcome to attend.
Speaker:
Location:
University of St.Gallen Room A 09-012 (Audimax)
Dufourstrasse 50B
9010 St. Gallen

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