Rolf Kentner Dissertation Prize

Nov 7, 2023

The Rolf Kentner Dissertation Prize awards outstanding work in the field of American studies. It is sponsored by one of the HCA’s most active benefactors, Rolf Kentner, honorary chairman of the Schurman Society for American History, and endowed with € 1.000.

Aim of the Prize

Submissions should be dissertations completed at a German university in the fields of American literature and culture, geography, history, art history, political science, religious studies, sociology, and constitutional law. Dissertations have to be unpublished at the time of submission, and can be either in German or English. It is possible to submit completed dissertations even though the doctoral examination has not yet taken place (but will take place in the near future). The dissertation should not be older than two years.

Selection process

A multidisciplinary and international panel will select the winner. The award ceremony takes place annually in October at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies where the recipient is expected to give a talk on his/her work.


The application must include (electronic version):

  • One copy of your dissertation (German or English)
  • Abstract of your dissertation (in English only; two pages max.)
  • Two letters of recommendation (German or English; e.g. supervisors’ reports on dissertation)
  • CV (in English only)

Please submit the application as one PDF file. Please send your application as a PDF file to

Current edition: The application deadline for the 2024 Rolf Kentner Dissertation Prize isMarch 31, 2024. The award ceremony will take place in the fall of 2024.


  • 2023: Julia Lange (University of Hamburg).
  • 2022: Helen Gibson (Free University Berlin).
  • 2021: Natalie Rauscher (Heidelberg University).
  • 2020: Juliane Hornung (Köln University).
  • 2019: Maria Sulimma ( Duisburg-Essen University).
  • 2018: Jonas Anderson ( München University LMU).
  • 2017: Annika Elena Poppe (HSFK Frankfurt).
  • 2016: Birte Wege (Free University Berlin).
  • 2015: Tom Kaden (Leipzig University).
  • 2014: Juliane Braun (Würzburg University).
  • 2013: Jasper Trautsch (Free University Berlin).
  • 2012: Leonard Schmieding (Leipzig University).
  • 2011: Frank Usbeck (Leipzig University).
  • 2010: Daniel Stein (Göttingen University).