Dr Gottfried Wagner launches this year’s Munton Medallion


The importance of challenging your own beliefs and prejudices, and the need to create ‘cross-generation dialogue’ were discussed by Dr Gottfried Wagner during his visit to the University of Lincoln to launch this year’s Munton Medallion - the undergraduate award for an appreciation and understanding of personal ethics.


Internationally-recognised stage director, historian and great-grandson of composer Richard Wagner, Dr Gottfried Wagner has been active since 1991 in the post-Holocaust dialogue. As well as meeting groups of students for question and answer sessions, being interviewed by the media and having a tour of the city of Lincoln, Dr Wagner delivered this year’s Munton Medallion Lecture entitled:  After Auschwitz: What can Germans and Jews say to one another? The Case of Gottfried Wagner and Abraham Peck.


He said: “The lecture looks at the consequences of racial hatred and how we can look at the problems of the past and learn from them. Every generation has its own problems so I try to use the right language to engage young people in discussion and make history individual to them, rather than abstract. I take the young generation very seriously – they have good questions and are essential to making the monologue a dialogue.”


The lecture launched the third year of the Munton Medallion award, following previous distinguished speakers: Professor A.C. Grayling, the philosopher (2006) and Professor Lord Robert Winston, medical academic (2007). The award is open to all undergraduates of the University of Lincoln and Salve Regina University, Rhode Island, USA. The winner will be announced in 2009.


The Munton Medallion, named after the late Geoffrey Munton, a Lincolnshire businessman, was designed by internationally-renowned sculptress Jane McAdam Freud.


Last year’s award, which had the theme of: Personal ethics versus self interest in the wider society, was won by University of Lincoln Media Production graduate Danny Bartlett. His interactive audio book featured interviews with a Harvard professor and an author on the subject of self-interest. Danny gave a vote of thanks at the lecture and hoped to inspire this year’s participants. He said: “As well as being a great experience, having this award on my CV set me apart from other job applicants and demonstrated more in-depth understanding of wider issues in addition to my academic achievements.”


The University’s Pro Vice Chancellor (University Development) Dr Frances Mannsaker said: “Danny’s exciting and imaginative work captured the essence of what the Medallion is all about.”


For more information visit www.themuntonmedallion.lincoln.ac.uk and www.gottfriedwagner.com


Below L-R: Danny Bartlett, Dr Wagner and Sally Munton