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Anita Traninger is awarded the Leibniz Prize for her internationally recognised studies in early modern Romance studies. These combine philology, rhetoric, history of science and media history in an innovative way, providing a whole new perspective on the dynamics of culture and knowledge transfer. In particular, her understanding of rhetoric as a historically variable ensemble of media-bound practices is groundbreaking in light of the traditional yet still widespread notion of rhetoric as a rigid set of rules. Based on a profound knowledge of historical texts and contexts, Traninger consistently questions the seemingly fixed epochal boundaries between Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. In her work, teleological models of history are replaced by networks and overlaps, in short: she provides concrete insights into the complexity of historical action in and with language. Traninger is one of the key international figures in the field of romance studies in a global context and has succeeded in reorganising the subject on an interdisciplinary basis.
Anita Traninger completed her studies and doctorate in Vienna before going to the Freie Universität Berlin, where she first became an assistant at the Institute for Romance Languages. She received her post-doctoral lecturing qualification in general and comparative literature and Romance philology in 2010. Guest lectureships and fellowships have taken her to Belfast, Harvard, Madrid, Oxford, Salamanca, Washington, Wolfenbüttel and Zurich. Since 2015, she has taught as a Professor of Romance Languages at the Freie Universität Berlin. Traninger is the spokesperson for the Cluster of Excellence “Temporal Communities. Doing Literature in a Global Perspective.”