Announcing the 2020 WCGS Book Prize Winner

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
WCGS Book Prize 2020 Winner seal

The Waterloo Centre for German Studies is pleased to announce the winner of its prize for the best first book published in 2020. Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement, by Tiffany N. Florvil and published by University of Illinois Press, was selected from a shortlist of six excellent academic monographs. The prize includes a cash award of CAD $3,000.

In selecting Mobilizing Black Germany as the winner, jurors called it an “immensely important book” that breaks new ground in German social history. Florvil traces the modern history of Black German women, their struggle against discrimination, their important role in the transnational Black women’s movement, and their significance for the development of German feminism in the last forty years. This book will become indispensable to German studies scholars while also providing more general audiences with an accessible introduction to a less familiar chapter of German history.

Tiffany Florvil is Associate Professor of History at the University of New Mexico, where she has been teaching since 2013. She earned her BA at Florida State University, her MA at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), and her PhD at the University of South Carolina. Her areas of interest include race and ethnicity, gender, identity formation, social and cultural movements, Black internationalism, intellectualism, diasporas, and emotions.

The Waterloo Centre for German Studies takes great pride in sponsoring an award that celebrates the dynamic and engaging scholarship occurring in all fields of German Studies. The prize is adjudicated by a jury of German studies scholars chaired by James M. Skidmore, Director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies. Members of the jury were Gary Bruce (University of Waterloo), Charlotte Schallié (University of Victoria), Kathryn Starkey (Stanford University), and Joachim Whaley (University of Cambridge). Over 20 books published in 2020 were nominated. In addition to Florvil’s book, five of the nominated books were named to a shortlist that illustrates the quality and range of German studies today:

  • Amstutz, Nina.  Caspar David Friedrich: Nature and the Self. (Yale University Press) 
  • Eicher, John P.R. Exiled Among Nations: German and Mennonite Mythologies in a Transnational Age. (Cambridge University Press) 
  • Eyerly, Sarah.  Moravian Soundscapes: A Sonic History of the Moravian Missions in Early America. (Indiana University Press) 
  • Fleischman, Thomas.  Communist Pigs. An Animal History of East Germany’s Rise and Fall. (University of Washington Press) 
  • George, Alys X.  The Naked Truth: Viennese Modernism and the Body. (University of Chicago Press) 

For inquiries, please contact the Waterloo Centre for German Studies (  For further information, please go to the  WCGS Book Prize page.