ESC Young Criminologist Award 2019 speech

On September 18th, Kjersti Lohne was awarded the ESC Young Criminologist Award. When giving thanks, Lohne both talked about the importance of receiving awards for young academics, but also about the importance of showing generosity in academia. With Lohne's permission we here publish her speech.

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Kjersti Lohne. Photo: UiO/Ystehede.

Dear European Society of Criminology – Dear Board, Award Committee, Organizers, Colleagues, dear friends: Thank you!

To be awarded the Young Criminologist Award took me by a complete and childish joy and surprise this summer. The article took me almost three years to write, so that hard work occasionally pays off is just – well: swell. I had just begun my annual leave when I found out, which gave me a chance to pause, to hold it still – if only for a moment – and to consider what it meant to me, what it meant for me, to be seen and recognized – honoured even – by the European Society of Criminology.  

Some of this is obviously vanity, as awkward as that feels to say aloud, but there was also another set of feelings: feelings of relief, that I – as a young scholar in a most competitive of industries – am somehow on the right track, and that I belong, maybe, to this scholarly community of criminologists in this room. Nominations and awards matter to young scholars – not because they stand for yet another set of quantitative markers in this fight for tenure or research grants, but because they inspire confidence and a sense of collegial support for the work one does, for the research one is engaged with – driven by – in this line of work that at times feels more like a line of living.

I therefore want to extend my sincere gratitude to the society at home in Oslo that nominated me, and from where I have my intellectual breeding: represented by my department head May-Len Skilbrei and former PhD supervisor Katja Franko. It’s not a given to be nominated – I know that is a privilege – I am well aware that there are a plethora of young criminologists equally if not more deserving that I am. To nominate does take an effort of will, and exactly because I feel so thankful to Skilbrei and Franko, I would like to use this opportunity to call on us all to be better at nominating one another, making each other more visible, more included, and especially those of us that stand out from the centre, the metropole, the norm – whether because of our gender, our ethnic identity, geographical location, or simply because of our engagement with criminological topics that somehow defy the mainstream.

And on that, I want to reiterate my thanks to Katja Franko, who since I first began looking into international criminal justice from a criminological angle – now well over a decade ago – was a supervisor who urged me on, and gave me the support I needed when, at that time, international criminal justice was certainly not a mainstream criminological topic. And for these reasons too, I am so truly honoured by the Award Committee Professors Kivivuori, Kalac, and Biljeveld – not only for instilling in me this recognition – but for recognizing international criminal justice too as an empirical research field relevant for criminology also at the national level. And for that, I am not only thankful, but also proud.

Thank you!

Published Sep. 25, 2019 1:33 PM - Last modified Sep. 25, 2019 2:16 PM