Dagmar von Hoff, full professor of Modern German Literature at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany, has received the Casimirus Magnus Medal from the Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz in Poland for the successful implementation of an academic cooperation project. With this important award, the Polish partner university honors those who make a contribution to the development of Bydgoszcz University and enhance its standing. The honor was bestowed upon professor Dagmar von Hoff for initiating and supporting the cooperative academic project entitled 'Transformations. New Perspectives in German Studies on Research and Teaching.' This externally funded three-year project aims at the promotion of young academics and results in the three conferences and two publications. The initiative also embraced a frequent exchange of the professors and doctoral candidates involved between Mainz and Bydogoszcz, the capital of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland.
'The award is also in recognition of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and its commitment to maintaining international relations in science and research,' added von Hoff. As a professor of German Literature, she focuses on German-related media sciences and the aesthetics of text-oriented media at the German Department of Mainz University. In collaboration with Professor Monika Szczepaniak from Kazimierz Wielki University, von Hoff also initiated the German Studies Institutional Partnership (GIP) program, which is financed from 2013 to 2015 by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funding from the German Federal Foreign Office.
The DAAD established its German Studies Institutional Partnership program to improve the standing of German language and German culture abroad and to support international teaching and research in German Studies. The focus of the Mainz-Bydgoszcz German Studies Institutional Partnership is to create a structured doctoral network and support doctoral studies at the international level as well as research activity and various forms of involvement in different cultural environments.
The cooperation between Mainz and Bydgoszcz creates best conditions for knowledge acquisition, particularly with regard to the ability to understand, analyze, and critically evaluate complex cultural contexts and their transformation. As the dean of Kazimierz Wielki University, professor Janusz Ostoja-Zagórski, emphasized in his laudatory speech, the key philological skills taught in the program are essential for the internationalization of research into this academic area and thus to the development of Bydgoszcz University. He continued to underline that international academic exchange serves to enhance the relevance of the humanities and makes them more visible.