drupa Prize 2023 awarded to Acelya Bakir

Work on political communication during the Stalin era 

Winner of the drupa Prize 2023 Acelya Bakir

Historian Acelya Bakir has received the drupa Prize 2023 for her doctoral thesis on the political communication and mobilization during the Stalin era in the former Soviet Union. With this award, drupa honors and promotes outstanding young academics in the Philosophical Faculty at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf every year.

The drupa Prize comes with prize money of 6,000 Euros and was presented by Wolfram N. Diener, president & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, Erhard Wienkamp, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf, Martin Goch, chancellor of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and  Frank Meier, dean of Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, at a ceremony on 28 August 2023 at Messe Dusseldorf.

Andreas Plesske, spokesman of the Board at Koenig & Bauer and Chairman of the drupa committee, congratulated the prize winner on her performance in a personal video message.

The doctoral thesis rated  – See, Hear and Join in: The Media Staging of the Moscow Show Trials and the Mobilization Campaign in the Soviet Union, 1936-1938 – and was supervised by Prof. Beate Fieseler. Acelya Bakir pursued a particularly innovative approach in her studies. 

She placed the Moscow show trials center stage as a mobilization campaign for the first time and, hence, not only their staging in the court room but also the accompanying media mediation for the local population.  

Bakir’s thesis provides not only important and innovative insights into the political communication and mobilization during the Stalin era but also many an important impulse for better understanding the present, notes the Philosophical Faculty at Heinrich Heine University for her drupa Prize nomination.

Acelya Bakir was born in Krefeld in 1985. From 2005 to 2008 she successfully completed her Bachelor studies in History and German studies at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf obtaining her Master’s Degree in History in 2012. 

Every year since 1978, Messe Düsseldorf has presented the drupa Prize with a prize money worth 

6,000 Euros to an outstanding doctoral thesis produced in the Philosophical Faculty of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. 

The prize money serves to promote the publication and dissemination of an excellent thesis in the humanities. The drupa Prize is awarded each year by an expert panel composed of the president and vice-president of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), the Chairman of the drupa committee and the president & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.

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