2018 ESST European Undergraduate Essay Prize


The winner of the 2018 ESST Prize is Jan Kleinheinrich from Maastricht University for his essay ’Towards an Oligoopticon’. In an original and engaging fashion Jan’s essay addresses the contemporary socio-technical dynamics of surveillance in a globalized world pre-occupied with digital innovation. While arguing the continuing relevance of Bentham’s model of the Panopticon for analysing surveillance in cities and the workplace, the essay also successfully charts the proliferation of new surveillant forms and practices through digital media. These transformations are rewardingly captured through the notion of the oligoopticon pointing to how thanks to digital mediation powers of surveillance are not only more extensive today but also more broadly distributed. 

The ESST Undergraduate Essay Prize is an annual prize of 500 € awarded to the best-submitted paper on some aspect of science, technology and society relations. The aim of the prize is to attract further aspiring young students to the interdisciplinary fields of Science and Technology Studies and Innovation Studies. Undergraduates from all fields of study attending any European university are eligible to apply.

The members of the 2018 Prize Committee are:
▪ Aleksandra Derra, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
▪ Tone Druglitrø, University of Oslo
▪ Mark Elam, University of Gothenburg (Chair)

How to apply:
Applications should consist of a cover sheet (see below) completed and scanned, and a double-spaced pdf copy of the student essay. Essays should be between 2,000 and 3,000 words (in English). Applicants may not submit more than one piece of work. Applications should be emailed to Mark Elam (mark.elam@gu.se), the 2018 ESST Prize Coordinator. E-mail your essay by 27th July 2018 and expect confirmation of its acceptance within a week.

Download the Cover sheet

Past Winners:
▪ 2017 Kevin Walton, University College Dublin
▪ 2016 Oscar Emil Clemmensen, IT University of Copenhagen
▪ 2015 Robin Schormans, Maastricht University
▪ 2014, Sidsel Thaarup, IT University of Copenhagen
▪ 2013, Frederick Thielen, Maastricht University
▪ 2012, Alina Marktanner, Maastricht University
▪ 2011, Miklós Horváth, Eötvös Loránd University