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Queen’s German professor receives top new research award


Friday December 02, 2005, KINGSTON, Ont. – A Queen’s University German Language and Literature professor is the 2005 winner of one of Canada’s top new awards for up-and-coming researchers.

Jill Scott, who came to Queen’s in 2001, receives the SSHRC Aurora Prize, awarded annually by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The prize is valued at $25,000, to be used for research, training or other academic activities.

Entitled “A Poetics of Forgiveness: Literary Responses to Loss and Wrongdoing”, Dr. Scott’s research program is a comparative study of German and Anglo-American works, with the aim to develop models of mourning and forgiveness specific to the study of literature. She will analyze 20th-century literary works, determining the techniques and strategies used to express mourning and/or forgiveness, and will compare literary modes of communicating the anxieties of loss.

By combining fields such as comparative literature and German studies with feminist theory, history and psychology, she unearths original ideas and timely topics that are just as relevant to popular audiences as they are to the academic community.

“My work considers the fact that in a post 9/11 era, mourning dominates the collective consciousness,” says Dr. Scott. “Yet despite the mourning, monuments and memorials, the question to ask is: ‘Is there room for working with forgiveness?’ Looking at how forgiveness is dealt with in fiction and poetry gives us a unique insight into how we—as a society—may be able to move beyond the current cycle of suffering and revenge.”

Launched in 2003, the Aurora Prize is awarded to a researcher who has demonstrated excellence, originality and talent in research; has proposed an innovative and compelling program of research with the potential to enrich Canadian society; and has demonstrated exceptional ability and commitment in communicating the results of his or her research to both the academic and other communities.

Also recognized at the SSHRC award ceremonies was Richard Lipsey, a professor emeritus of Simon Fraser University, who received the $100,000 SSHRC Gold Medal for his groundbreaking work in theoretical and applied economics. Valerie Henitiuk of Edmonton was named most outstanding SSHRC postdoctoral fellow and Michael Levi, a PhD student currently studying at King’s College London, received the William E. Taylor Fellowship.

SSHRC is a federal government agency that funds university-based research and graduate training through national peer-review competitions. SSHRC also partners with public and private sector organizations to focus research and aid the development of better policies and practices in key areas of Canada’s social, cultural and economic life.


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