Last Thursday (28 November 2019), four nominees taught mini lectures and competed for the title Faculty of Arts Lecturer of the Year 2019. The competition was fierce, but in the end, it was Lars Rensmann who won the jury prize.
Prof. dr. Lars Rensmann is Professor of European Politics and Society, director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics, and the Chair of the Department of European Languages and Cultures. He received his PhD from the Free University of Berlin, Germany in 2002. Prior to joining the UG, he served as the Chair of the Department of Political Science and International Affairs at John Cabot University in Rome (2012-2016) and as Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (2006-2011). Educated in Germany and the United States, Lars has been teaching in six countries over the span of two decades (Germany, Austria, the USA, Israel, Italy, and now the Netherlands). Groningen is thus the final destination of a very international career.
Lars moved to Groningen and joined the Faculty in 2016 partly because of its international character and global aspirations, and because it is the closest, he ever lived to his hometown Dortmund since he left it 30 years ago. He was also drawn to Groningen because of the opportunity to help shape a new chair group, on European politics and society, and a newly created program, European Languages and Cultures. He has held or holds many other appointments at universities around the globe, including Yale University, the University of California at Berkeley, Haifa University, the University of Potsdam, the University Vienna, and the University of Munich. Among other things, he now serves on several editorial boards of international journals and as an expert advisor to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.
Lars was always interested in politics, but also in political theory and philosophy since he was a young teenager. Studying political science was, therefore, a logical choice for him (the alternative would have been to step in his fathers’ footsteps and become a sports journalist, as sports is something he also deeply cares about). Throughout his career, he always pursued a double-track: as a political theorist and a comparative political scientist working on European and global politics.
His hobbies include travel, writing, books in general and novels in particular, and the arts. He also loves watching football as a scholar and fan, rooting for Borussia Dortmund and AS Roma. And he eventually even started to do research and publish on politics and sports, combining two of his passions, which led to publications like Gaming the World: How Sports are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture (Princeton UP, 2010, with Andrei S. Markovits).
You can take a look at Lars' mini lecture entitled 'The Politics of Climate Change in Europe: From Protest to Effective Policy (...or rather not)?'
Good teachers are the key to good education. Each year, students at the Faculty of Arts benefit from the talents of inspiring, helpful and enthusiastic lecturers. That is why we annually present the Lecturer of the Year Award.
The Faculty of Arts finalists for 2019 are:
· Prof. dr. Merel Keijzer, Professor of English Linguistics and English as a Second Language
· Prof. dr. Lars Rensmann, Professor of European Politics and Society
· Dr. Jacqueline Klooster, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classical Studies
· Lukas Linsi, PhD, Assistant Professor of International Political Economy (who won the public vote)
The winner will serve as an ambassador for good teaching and education at the University of Groningen and will represent the Faculty at the University Lecturer of the Year Awards on 29 January 2020. The University Lecturer of the Year will receive a prize of € 5.000, donated by the COWOG Fund, a work of art, and an invitation to develop and give a course unit for the Honours College. The two runners-up will each receive € 2.500.
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