I’m sitting here reading the German on-line press, preparing my review of one paper’s treatment of the last Bush-Kerry debate (including quite a novel twist; I think you’ll be amused after a little while, when that weblog entry appears right above this one). But I feel moved in the meantime to let you know what I’m listening to on the Internet at the same time, namely Rosenkjærsprisen 2003 (4) on the first Danish public radio station, P1. As the P1 website explains, the “Rosenkjær Prize” is a 25,000 Danish kroner award (= €3.380) given each year by Danish Public Radio to a leading academic or cultural figure who is distinguished by his or her ability to explain complicated material in language (Danish language, that is) that the common man can understand. In exchange for the money, and the honor, that figure assumes the obligation to in fact deliver a series of lectures on his/her subject of expertise, on the public P1 radio channel of course.
What that means tonight is that I am sitting here listening on the Internet radio to an old man going on and on, talking at length in Danish with a voice that fortunately does exhibit some pretty good modulation. Except that this old man is last year’s Rosenkjær Prize-winner, historian Søren Mørch, delivering a lecture entitled The World As It Is that is basically a treatment of 20th-century cultural history. (That “(4)” in the program title means that tonight’s presentation is the fourth over-all, in a series of six. The P1 website already has the first in the series available for listening; I assume that the rest will be added to this on-line archive in time.) (more…)