The joint prize question of the Collegium Helveticum and the Zukunftskolleg invited the contributors to unravel ‘order’ and to show how it can be disrupted and what consequences may result from disrupted orders. It thereby sought to address the societal, political, economic, artistic and scientific scope of order and its disruption in the past, present and future.
Andrea Lailach-Hennrich (Alumna / Politics and Public Administration) wins the 2019 prize question with her essay on “Von der Aufklärung zur Utopie”. Her article offers interpretations of how our «being-in-the-world» are framed by given social orders. She argues that disrupting such structures can be seen as an act of enlightenment, insofar as these orders help to legitimize both power structures and inequality. It can thus contribute to a better understanding of the much-discussed tensions between the individual on one side, and – what we call in German – «die Mehrheitsgesellschaft» on the other. As the jury highlighted, Andrea’s contribution meets the standards of a philosophical essay and indicates the author’s academic background, but is still accessible to non-philosophers. Andrea won a prize money of 1.300€.
Jeff Kochan (Associated Fellow / Philosophy), became second in the year’s prize question. His piece of experimental poetry – the fractal poem „One seeks to find measures” disrupts the explicitly ordered metric feet and fixed line measures of English poetry that has prevailed for centuries. However, his poem also proves that today’s free verse is no more free – artistically – than the poetry of the past. Yet poetry has not, as a result, disintegrated into chaos. Indeed, one might argue. Perhaps free verse is not really free from constraint, but instead enabled by emerging, communal structures whose measures still remain obscure.
The prize question was a joint project by Collegium Helveticum and the Zukunftskolleg. The award ceremony took place on 21 November 2019.