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News | Thursday, 1 September 2016

Sinologist Lena Henningsen is the 2016 winner of the Early Career Award

Dr Lena Henningsen of the Institute of Chinese Studies at Freiburg University and member of the Young Academy has won the Leopoldina Early Career Award 2016, which is worth €30,000 and is funded by the Commerzbank Foundation. The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina chose the sinologist for her outstanding research into present-day Chinese culture as well as her commitment to intercultural dialogue and to promoting a differentiated image of China. Lena Henningsen will be presented with the Early Career Award at the Leopoldina Annual Assembly on Friday, 23 September.

Lena Henningsen (born 1978) has held a junior professorship at the Institute of Chinese Studies at Freiburg University since 2012. Her research interests include the literature, society, and popular and consumer culture of present-day China. In addition, Henningsen conducts research into popular Chinese literature in the 20th and 21st centuries, intellectual property, creativity, imitation and plagiarism in China, as well as Chinese music. Her PhD focused on the topic of intellectual property and the question of creativity, authenticity, imitation and plagiarism in Chinese contemporary literature. Prominent examples are the Chinese versions of the famous Harry Potter novels written by British author J. K. Rowling.

“Lena Henningsen is an outstanding young sinologist and has already received a number of distinctions for her innovative ideas in the transfer of knowledge to the wider public as well as for her research,” said the jury in its laudatory speech. “All of her activities in science and science policy are conceived and developed within the framework of intercultural dialogue.” Henningsen regularly holds public lectures and translates Chinese literature in her efforts to promote a more differentiated image of China. For more than a decade, the young scientist has also been actively engaged in promoting China-related topics in schools.

The Leopoldina Early Career Award presented by the Commerzbank Foundation has been awarded every two years since 2010 and is presented to the winner at the Leopoldina Annual Assembly. The award honours scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the particular theme of that year’s Leopoldina Annual Assembly. “Early career” achievements include any research carried out up to ten years after obtaining a doctorate. The prize is endowed with €30,000, provided by the Commerzbank Foundation.

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