Sociologist and political psychoanalyst Ashis Nandy was named the recipient of this year’s Hans Kilian Award.
The Hans Kilian Award is given to researchers whose outstanding scientific achievements provide insight into the historical and cultural existence of humankind and the constantly evolving human psyche, according to The Wire.
The award was instituted by the Köhler Foundation in Germany and named after social psychologist and psychoanalyst Hans Kilian. It is awarded every two years and was first awarded in 2011. The prize includes 80,000 euros.
“By awarding the Hans-Kilian-Prize 2019 to Ashis Nandy, the internationally renowned psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist and co-founder of postcolonial studies, the Köhler Foundation’s award committee honours an academic lifetime achievement which bridges diverse fields of social and cultural scientific research creatively and interdisciplinarily,” a press statement from the Köhler Foundation said.
Nandy was the director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies from 1992 to 1997. He received the prestigious Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2007 and was listed among the top 100 public intellectuals by the Foreign Policy magazine in 2008.
“Particular attention is paid to Ashis Nandy’s efforts to adapt genuinely Western traditions of thought, such as psychoanalysis, to a non-Western context in such a way that fruitful analyses of a non-Western society and its colonial as well as postcolonial experiences become possible,” the press release said.
The Köhler Foundation also acknowledged the work of Nandy as a “public and sometimes contentious intellectual” who is able to simulate political debates with his scientific work and criticism “in the spirit of Hans Kilian, after whom the prize is named”.