2010 Prize awarded to Jean Starobinski, Doctor of Medicine and Letters, humanist from Geneva
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 6pm, Victoria Hall, Geneva
In awarding the 2010 Prize to Jean Starobinski, the Fondation pour Genève has decided to honor “one of the great humanists of this century”. It took into consideration the influence of his public activities as well as that of his books.
Jean Starobinski holds a doctorate in literature with a thesis on Jean-Jacques Rousseau and a doctorate in medicine. He has taught at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Geneva, while pursuing research in the field of medical history. An internationally renowned literary critic, his books have been translated into some fifteen languages. His work has focused on a broad field of human experience, between artistic creation and inner suffering.
He devoted particular attention to the art of the eighteenth century, to which he dedicated his Invention de la Liberté published in Geneva in the collection “Art, Idées, Histoire” by Albert Skira. Portrait de l’Artiste en saltimbanque was published by the same editor. More recently, Jean Starobinski has published other texts in Geneva, with Zoé and La Dogana. As president of the Société Jean-Jacques Rousseau, he and his colleagues oversaw the publication of the Annales Jean-Jacques Rousseau by the Geneva publisher Droz. He collaborated in the edition of the complete works of the “citizen of Geneva”, in five volumes, in the Pléiade collection, notably by prefacing and annotating the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and the Essay on the Origin of Languages.
For twenty-nine years, Jean Starobinski was the president of the prestigious Rencontres Internationales de Genève. They allowed the public to listen to conferences and debates on the problems of the present time, on the scale of Europe at their beginning in 1946, and then of the world. Georges Nivat, who until recently was president of the Rencontres Internationales, has ensured that all the volumes of proceedings published over the years are freely accessible on the Internet.