The Ernst-Robert-Curtius Prize is a lifetime achievement award that recognises outstanding essay writers. It is endowed with 8,000 euros. The award is in honour of the German essay, which, in analogy to its equivalents in English and Romance literature, it seeks to establish and promote as an independent literary form. Besides linguistic aspects, the prize is based on the theories of the great Romance philologist Ernst Robert Curtius as well as the ideal of promoting a unified Europe and international understanding inside and outside German language borders.
Professor Aleida Assmann, Department of Literature (with Art and Media Studies)