WCGS Book Prize

The Waterloo Centre for German Studies promotes research into any and all aspects of the German-speaking world. As part of this mandate, the WCGS encourages the communication of research findings to both academics and the broader public. The Waterloo Centre for German Studies Book Prize has been established to recognize first-time authors whose scholarly work provides a substantial contribution to our understanding of any aspect of German-speaking society.

Present and Past Winners

2022 Winner - Sara Blaylock

Golden leave surrounding the year 2022 as logo for the winner of the Book Prize

Parallel Public: Experimental Art in Late East Germany (MIT Press) by Sara Blaylock has been awarded the Waterloo Centre for German Studies Book Prize for first books published in 2022. The prize consists of a cash award of CAD $3,000 and an invitation to speak at the 2024 conference of German Studies Canada, the association of German studies scholars in Canada.  

2022 Shortlist

Black and white image of person holding old video recorder.

Sara Blaylock. Parallel Public: Experimental Art in Late East Germany. (MIT Press) 

In Parallel Public, Blaylock describes how some East German artists made their country's experimental art scene a form of (counter) public life, creating an alternative to the crumbling collective underpinnings of the state (The MIT Press).

Hundreds of people in rows.

Sebastian Huebel. Fighter, Worker, and Family Man: German-Jewish Men and Their Gendered Experiences in Nazi Germany, 1933–1941. (University of Toronto Press)

When the Nazis came to power, they used various strategies to expel German Jews from social, cultural, and economic life. Fighter, Worker, and Family Man focuses on the gendered experiences and discrimination that German-Jewish men faced between 1933 and 1941 (University of Toronto Press).

Pride colours lighting up monument.

Samuel Clowes Huneke. States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany. (University of Toronto Press)

States of Liberation tells the remarkable story of how the two German states persecuted gay men – and how those men slowly, over the course of decades, won new rights and created new opportunities for themselves in the heart of Cold War Europe (University of Toronto Press).

People in a confined space talking with each other.

Kyrill Kunakhovich. Communism's Public Sphere: Culture as Politics in Cold War Poland and East Germany. (Cornell University Press) 

Under communist regimes that banned free speech, political discussions shifted to spaces of art: theaters, galleries, concert halls, and youth clubs. Kyrill Kunakhovich shows how these venues turned into sites of dialogue and contestation (Cornell University Press).

Numerous people protesting.

Lauren Stokes. Fear of the Family: Guest Workers and Family Migration in the Federal Republic of Germany. (Oxford University Press) 

Beginning in 1955, West Germany recruited millions of people as guest workers from Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and especially Turkey. Fear of the Family illuminates how racial, ethnic, and gender difference have been inscribed in the neoliberal West German welfare state (Oxford University Press).

Abstract forest and bridge painting book cover.

Karolina Watroba. Mann’s Magic Mountain: World Literature and Closer Reading. (Oxford University Press) 

This is the first study of Thomas Mann's landmark German modernist novel Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain, 1924) that takes as its starting point the interest in Mann's book shown by non-academic readers (Oxford University Press).

Learn about previous WCGS Book Prize Winners and Finalists

Click through each year to learn more about that year's Winner and Finalists.

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