Friederike Danebrock’s Thesis on Frankenstein bags the drupa Prize

Award comes with a prize money of Euro 6,000

drupa Prize winner
drupa Prize winner Friederike Danebrock together with Wolfram N. Diener, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf and Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf. ©Hojabr Riahi

Germany’s Friederike Danebrock has been awarded the drupa Prize 2022 for her thesis ‘Frankenstein. On Making Fiction’.

The award, that comes with a prize money of Euro 6,000, was presented by Wolfram N. Diener, president and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, Erhard Wienkamp, managing director at Messe Düsseldorf, and Prof. Anja Steinbeck, rector of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, at Messe Düsseldorf on 29 August 2022. 

drupa supports outstanding young scientists from the Faculty of Philosophy at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf with this award every year.  

Andreas Pleßke, CEO of Koenig & Bauer AG and Chairman of the drupa committee, said n a personal video message: “I congratulate Friederike Danebrock cordially on receiving the drupa Prize 2022 and endorse this excellent decision. I am very happy that drupa also extends its activities beyond the print industry by promoting special talents of the Faculty of Philosophy with our Prize.”

Friederike Danebrock’s thesis, which was awarded “summa cum laude” and supervised by Prof. Dr. Roger Lüdeke as her doctoral supervisor, is dedicated to Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (1818) and selected adaptations. 

The world-famous story of the young Swiss man Viktor Frankenstein, who creates an artificial human being, is one of the best-known examples of the horror genre influencing literature and popular culture alike.

Friederike Danebrock starts from the observation that the “Frankenstein complex” – the collection of adaptations and rewritings grouped around Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein – is characterized by a remarkable coincidence of theme and practice: we are dealing with a story about reproduction that is itself extraordinarily reproductive. The central character – the monster – and the story in which it appears are subject to the same existential process.  

Her award-winning work is convincing because of its very innovative approach to cultural theory developing a theory of aesthetic fiction by incorporating different disciplinary approaches, stated the Faculty of Philosophy at Heinrich Heine University explaining the reasoning for her nomination for the drupa Prize. 

Danebrock was born in Cologne in 1985. After business management training in a publishing house, she studied German Language and Literature and English at the University of Cologne from 2008. 

Ever since 1978, Messe Düsseldorf has awarded the drupa Prize, which comes with Euro 6,000 prize money, for an outstanding thesis written in the Faculty of Philosophy of Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. The prize money is used for the publication and dissemination of award-winning work in the humanities. The drupa Prize is awarded by a panel of experts comprising the Rectorate and Vice Rectorate of Heinrich Heine University (HHU) Düsseldorf, the Chairman of the drupa Committee and the CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.

The next drupa will be held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre from 28 May to 7 June 2024. 

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