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New Humboldt Laureates at LMU

München, 05/12/2016

Professor Helen Gilbert (University of London, UK) has been awarded a Carl Friedrich von Siemens Research Award by the Humboldt Foundation. Gilbert’s host at LMU is Professor Christopher Balme, Director of the Institute for Theatre Studies at LMU. She is joined at LMU by Professor Frank Griffel (Yale University, USA), winner of the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, and Professor Dominic Scott (Oxford University, UK), who has received a Humboldt Research Award. Griffel and Scott will be hosted by Professor Peter Adamson and Professor Christoph Rapp, respectively, of the Faculty of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science and the Study of Religion.

Helen Gilbert
Helen Gilbert is an internationally known scholar of the theatre, who has made a name for herself primarily with her publications on post-colonial theatre and indigenous performance practices. Her monograph on "Postcolonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics" (1996), written in collaboration with Joanne Tompkins, has become a standard work in its field. Gilbert‘s research interests encompass the work of artists from many parts of the world, with a certain focus on contemporary theatre in Canada and Australasia. Among her most significant publications are titles such as "Performance and Cosmopolitics: Cross-Cultural Transactions in Australasia" (which she co-authored with Jacqueline Lo, 2007) and "Sightlines: Race, Gender and Nation in Contemporary Australian Theatre" (1998). In the years 2009-2014 she headed a research project on ‘Indigeneity in the Contemporary World’, for which she received one of the European Research Council’s highly endowed Advanced Investigator Grants. In the course of her stay at the Institute for Theatre Studies, she plans to develop a project entitled “Indigenous Performance in the Age of Environmentalism” in collaboration with the Rachel Carson Center at LMU.

Helen Gilbert studied at the University of British Columbia, Canberra College of Advanced Education and the University of Queensland, where she obtained her PhD in 1994 and later worked as a lecturer. In 2002 Gilbert became an Associate Professor in the School of English, Media Studies & Art History at the University of Queensland. In 2005 she was appointed Professor of Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway University in London.

Frank Griffel
Frank Griffel is one of the world’s leading experts on the life and work of al-Ghazali, one of the most significant and influential Islamic philosophers and theologians who ever lived. His ground-breaking study of al-Ghazali‘s philosophical theology, published in 2009, transformed the prevailing view of al-Ghazali’s attitude to the natural sciences. Many Western scholars have regarded al-Ghazali – and with him the great majority of Islamic theologians since his time – as an opponent of the study of natural science. Griffel’s work showed that al-Ghazali not only did not deny the existence of causal connections, but developed the idea of secondary causality, which is based on the proposition that God acts in the world through the beings he has created. Griffel’s research has made significant contributions to the current reassessment of post-classical Islamic philosophy and theology, which is among the most striking developments not only in the field of Islamic Studies, but also for the history of philosophy as a whole. In the earlier phase of his career, Frank Griffel had studied perceptions of what constituted apostasy in Islam during the period prior to 1200 and their impact on the practice of philosophy. While he is at LMU Griffel will extend his historical studies into a somewhat later period, and will work on a new book on Islamic philosophy and theology during the 12th century, when the outlines of post-classical Islamic philosophy emerged.

Frank Griffel studied Philosophy, Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies in Göttingen, Damascus, Berlin and London, obtaining his doctorate from the Free University of Berlin in 1999. After a brief spell as a Research Fellow at the Oriental Institute founded by the German Association for the Study of the Orient (Deutsch-Morgenländische Gesellschaft) in Beirut, he moved to Yale University in New Haven (USA), where he is now Professor of Islamic Studies. He currently serves as Chairman of the Council on Middle East Studies (CMES).

Dominic Scott
Dominic Scott is a leading international specialist in Classical Philosophy, and has published some of the most influential and widely read studies of central texts in the surviving corpus of Greek and Roman philosophy. His work on classical epistemology is especially noteworthy, and his “Recollection and Experience” is an indispensable reference for scholars in the field. In addition to an erudite and complex commentary on “Meno”, which is perhaps the most frequently taught of Plato‘s dialogues, Scott has also published studies devoted to other prominent figures in Ancient Philosophy – particularly Aristotle – which have appeared in journals such as the “Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society” and “Oxford Studies in Philosophy”. In addition to his scholarly publications, Scott is committed to increasing public awareness of the results and broader significance of research in the Humanities in general and Philosophy in particular. In this context, he has collaborated closely with the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK and has set up a Forum for Philosophy in Business. During his time at LMU Scott intends to work on two books, one devoted to Plato and the other to Aristotle.

Dominic Scott did his undergraduate studies and obtained his doctorate at Cambridge University, before taking up a post as Lecturer there. In 2007 Scott was appointed Professor of Philosophy at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (USA).

Further information on the Humboldt Foundation and the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation.
Further information on the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award.