3rd Walter Benjamin Memorial International Essay Writing Prize 2017

Publish Date: Jan 25, 2017

Deadline: Jun 30, 2017

About the prize

Rules that will govern the 3rd Walter Benjamin Memorial International Prize, to be called by the MUME Consortium in 2017, with the support of Girona Provincial Council

The prize, based on the cross-disciplinary nature of the Jewish-German author’s work, mainly aims to support the theoretical task undertaken by professionals linked with the study of art, photography, architecture, city planning, cinema, philosophy, history, literature, sociology, and so on. In all cases, priority will be given to projects that incorporate issues concerning the history and memory of the twentieth century. The prize will be held every two years.

1. Specific rules. Prize for an unpublished essay.

1.1. Given that Walter Benjamin was one of the twentieth century’s writers who best developed the essay form and gave it a renewed and powerful dimension, we are proposing a line of support for a fundamental writing genre that will help us better understand our recent past and the contemporary world. An unpublished essay is defined as any study on areas such as art, photography, architecture, city planning, cinema, philosophy, history, literature, sociology, and so on. Works will be considered that capture and are inspired by the polyhedral nature of the thinking and writing of Walter Benjamin and which, at the same time, focus on subjects relating to the history and memory of the twentieth century. 

1.2. The work must have a minimum of 210,000 characters with spaces (100 pages) and may not exceed 525,000 characters with spaces (250 pages).

1.3. The successful author will receive the amount of 4,500 Euros. The awarding of this amount and all aspects relating to copyright – and publication terms and conditions if applicable – of the work will be formalised with the signing of a publishing agreement/contract at the same time as the winning essay is announced.

1.4. Should the Jury consider it fitting, the successful work may be published within a year in a co-publication between the MUME Consortium and the Walter Benjamin Chair, Memory and Exile at Girona University. The initial language of publication will be Catalan. Should the Jury deem it appropriate, in certain cases the Catalan publication may include translation into any of the following languages: German, English, Spanish, French or Italian.

1.5. The author will be owner of the original text of the successful essay and may use it freely for its publication and dissemination purposes, providing that he/she respects the first option to publish held by the MUME Consortium and Girona University.

1.6. In any event, logos assigned to the MUME Consortium, Girona University and Girona Provincial Council must appear in the publication. There will also be explicit mention of the essay having been awarded the WALTER BENJAMIN MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL PRIZE.

2. General submission rules

2.1 The prize, which is awarded internationally, is open to everyone interested in the themes mentioned in these rules.

2.2 Participants must submit three paper copies and one in digital format of the unpublished essay.

2.3 Participants will provide, along with the documents or materials relating to the work or project submitted, the following data: name, surname(s), ID or passport number, postal address, telephones, e-mail and professional curriculum, and a brief summary of the essay (15 lines). In addition, participants must include an attested photocopy of the identity document

2.4 Essays must be sent by registered post to or submitted for registration at MUME, Carrer Major, 43-45, 17700 La Jonquera, specifying WALTER BENJAMIN MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL PRIZE.

2.5 Essays may be submitted in Catalan, Spanish, French and English. If the original text is in another language, the corresponding translation into one of the above languages should be included.

2.6 The admission schedule will be from 1 to 30 June 2017, both inclusive.

2.7 The Jury’s decision, which will be announced in September 2017 in the framework of the events related to the annual commemoration of Walter Benjamin's death.

2.8 The Jury will comprise the Chairperson, the members of the Prize Jury, and the secretariat, whose members may not cast a vote.

2.9 Participation in the call for this prize implies acceptance of these rules and of the Jury’s decision. It also involves acceptance of any changes that may subsequently occur as a result of factors outside the control of the organisation.



President of the MUME Consortium

Members of the Prize Jury

Francesc Abad (visual artist), Xavier Antich (UdG), Jordi Llovet (UPF), Pilar Parcerisas (exhibition curator, art critic and member of CONCA), Àngel Quintana (UdG), Erdmut Wizisla (Walter Benjamin Archive, Berlin), Jörg Zimmer (UdG, Walter Benjamin Chair, Memory and Exile)

Coordination and Secretariat

Jordi Font (Director of MUME)

Maximiliano Fuentes (Director of Walter Benjamin Chair, Memory and Exile, UdG).

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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