2017 Winner

Alice WeinrebThe winner of the inaugural WCGS Book Prize has been announced. Alice Weinreb of Loyola University is the winner for her book Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany, published by Oxford University Press.

Prof. Weinreb examines how hunger has been a central motivating force in German politics throughout the 20th century.  By focusing on hunger’s role in German society, Prof. Weinreb demonstrates “the fluid relationship between state power and food provisioning.” If governments control the food supply, they can also control the populaces they govern, and Prof. Weinreb uses Germany as a case study to illustrate this important point.

Jury members singled out Prof. Weinreb’s book for its crisp writing, its wealth of detail, and the wide variety of sources consulted. The book is “a page-turner, with fascinating facts running counter to modern stories about the past on every page.” Exploring the topic from World War I to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, “this book uncovers the intricacies of the relationship between food and power, showing food and hunger as instruments of power.” The jury concluded that this book will likely become one of the standard works on postwar German history.

Alice Weinreb's Modern HungersWCGS book prize 2017 winnerThe jury was chaired by James M. Skidmore, Director of the Waterloo Centre of German Studies, who notes that the prize was established “to raise awareness, within academia and the broader public, of the engaging and dynamic knowledge being produced by newer German Studies scholars.” He was joined by jurors Karin Bauer (McGill University), Ann Marie Rasmussen (University of Waterloo), Ritchie Robertson (University of Oxford), and Karina Urbach (Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton).

On Thursday, March 28, 2019 Professor Weinreb gave a talk on her book at Conrad Grebel Chapel in Waterloo.

Here are some pictures of the lecture and professor Weinreb receiveing her award:



Prof. Weinreb’s book was selected from a shortlist representing the excellent work being done in German studies today. Learn more about the other finalists below.

The WCGS Book Prize shortlist demonstrates the rich and diverse nature of German studies scholarship today. The Waterloo Centre for German Studies congratulates the authors on their fine achievement.