First Ulrike Detmers Elizabeth of Bohemia and Herford Prize 2018

On 19 May 2018, two interrelated events were celebrated whose roots go far back in time – the royal wedding of Meghan and Harry and the fourth centenary of Elisabeth of Bohemia’s birth.

These two events have much more in common than one would expect at first glance: Elisabeth of Bohemia, also known as Elisabeth of the Palatinate and Princess Bishop of Herford, was the eldest daughter of Elisabeth Stuart and Frederick V, Elector Palatine. Together with her sister, Sophie of the Palatinate, she cultivated an extensive philosophical network. The two were also important key figures in European politics. As daughters of Elisabeth Stuart, they enforced the Act of Settlement, which secured the right of the Hanoverians to the throne of Great Britain, thus they also had direct connections to the English high nobility.

In this respect, there is not only a connection to the royal event in Great Britain, but also every reason to draw attention to the legacy of Elisabeth of Bohemia and Herford and to promote her achievements in a conference and with a prize.

Distinguished experts in philosophy highlighted Elisabeth’s work in the corresponding international conference ‘Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618-1680): Life and Legacy’ held at Paderborn University and in Herford, Germany on 18-20 May 2018, organized by Prof. Dr. Sarah Hutton (University of York, Great Britain), Prof. Dr. Ruth Hagengruber (Head of Philosophy and Director of the Project “Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists” (HWPS), Paderborn University, Germany), and Prof. Dr. Sabrina Ebbersmeyer (University of Copenhagen, Denmark).

Tim Kähler (mayor of Herford), Prof. Ruth Hagengruber (director of the Center HWPS), Prof. Lisa Shapiro (Simon Frazer University, Canada), Prof. Sarah Hutton (University of York, Great Britain), Prof. Dominik Perler (Humboldt University Berlin, Germany) (f.l.t.r.)

For the very first time, during the festive conference day in Herford’s City Hall, on Saturday, 19 May 2018, the “Elisabeth of Bohemia and Herford Prize”, endowed with 3000 euros and donated by the local entrepreneur Prof. Dr. Ulrike Detmers, was awarded to Prof. Dr. Lisa Shapiro (Simon Frazer University, Canada) for outstanding achievements in recognition of the work on the regional closely connected Princess. Prof. Shapiro published the first English edition of Elisabeth’s letters to Descartes The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes in 2007.

(JL, JH)

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