Signale is proud to announce that Matt Erlin’s Necessary Luxuries: Books, Literature, and the Culture of Consumption in Germany, 1770-1815 has been awarded the 2016 DAAD Book Prize of the German Studies Association. The prize recognizes Necessary Luxuries as the best book in Germanistik or Cultural Studies published in 2014 or 2015.
The jury’s commendation reads:
“Matt Erlin’s Necessary Luxuries: Books, Literature, and the Culture of Consumption in Germany, 1770-1815 is an engrossing, elegantly written, and carefully argued work. Erlin approaches ‘luxury’ as a Foucauldian field of discourse, and combines readings from the period’s economists, social theorists, and critics to flesh out the contours of the debate surrounding the term. Close readings of important novels show the ways in which they positioned themselves within this discourse as positive, even necessary, luxuries. The book elucidates an important moment in German culture – the end of the Enlightenment and the rise of consumer culture – with implications for other national cultures, as well as for our understanding of subsequent developments in Germany. As the Digital Age calls the significance of literature into question, Erlin’s approach prompts a useful rethinking of long-held assumptions.”
The 2016 Book Prize Committee was chaired by Kristin Kopp (University of Missouri, Columbia) and included Rachel Halverson (Washington State University) and Brent Peterson (Lawrence University). The DAAD/GSA Book Prize is funded through the North American office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
The first 20 books in the new Cornell Open program are now freely available in electronic form. These include three titles by Signale series editor Peter Uwe Hohendahl, published with Cornell University Press: The Institution of Criticism (1982), Building a National Literature: The Case of Germany, 1830-1870 (1989), and Reappraisals: Shifting Alignments in Postwar Critical Theory (1991). The initial Cornell Open selection also includes an important contribution to Warburg studies, Signale advisory board member Michael P. Steinberg’s translation of Aby Warburg’s 1923 lecture, Images from the Region of the Pueblo Indians of North America, published in 1988 with an interpretive essay by Steinberg.
“Cornell Open is the new global open-access portal for classic out-of-print titles from the distinguished catalog of Cornell University Press. Funded by the newly created Humanities Open Book Program, a collaborative effort between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Cornell Open offers for the first time electronically full open access to key titles in literary criticism and theory, German studies, and Slavic studies.” [read more]
Books in the Signale series are now to be available on an open access basis four years after publication. Signale has always made a portion of each book in the series available for free online – 50% of the text of most books is accessible as soon as they are published, in a read-only display. Now, Signale's publishers, Cornell University Press and Cornell University Library, are pleased to announce a new program that will provide open access to more of the Signale material and make the open content more useable. The program provides open access to fully-functional, downloadable PDFs of Signale books, in their entirety, after an interval of four years from their initial publication. John Griffith Urang’s 2010 book, Legal Tender: Love and Legitimacy in the East German Cultural Imagination, is the first Signale title to reach this four-year mark and thus the first to be opened in this way. See: http://signale.cornell.edu/books/18
While copyright restrictions will exempt certain books in the series, the open access program will apply to the vast majority of Signale titles over time.
Leslie Adelson and Jason Frank are the newest members of the Signale editorial board. Adelson is Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of German Studies at Cornell University and former director of Cornell’s Institute for German Cultural Studies. Her focal interests include German literature of the post-war and post-socialist eras, emergent literatures often associated with minority and migrant populations (especially regarding Jews and Turks), and postcolonial theories of difference and approximation. Adelson's current research pivots on storytelling and future-making in experimental prose by Alexander Kluge. Frank is a political theorist in Cornell’s Department of Government. His work focuses on democratic theory, American political thought, politics and literature, contemporary continental philosophy, and political aesthetics.
Adelson and Frank succeed Arthur Groos, Avalon Foundation Professor of the Humanities at Cornell, who stepped down from the Signale series board in the spring after more than five years of service.
Christopher D. Johnson, author of Memory, Metaphor, and Aby Warburg's Atlas of Images, recently gave a radio interview about Warburg's Atlas project. Johnson spoke with Thomas Hill, host of the program The Library Cafe on Vassar College radio WVKR (Poughkeepsie, New York). Listen to the conversation online: http://library-cafe.blogspot.com/2014/04/christopher-d-johnson.html
We are pleased to announce the publication of the latest title from Cornell’s Signale books, Berlin Coquette: Prostitution, New Womanhood, and Desire in the German Capital, 1890-1933, by Jill Suzanne Smith. Smith’s book combines extensive archival research with close readings of a broad spectrum of texts and images from the late Wilhelmine and Weimar periods to explore an unusually rich discourse around prostitution centered on the city of Berlin. This investigation recovers a surprising array of productive discussions about extramarital sexuality, women's financial autonomy, and respectability, all refracted through the image of the prostitute. Berlin Coquette is a tremendous addition to the Signale series and we expect the book to make a lasting impact in the fields of German studies, gender studies, urban studies, and beyond.
Jill Suzanne Smith is Associate Professor of German at Bowdoin College.
Isabel V. Hull, the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University and member of the Signale editorial board, has won the inaugural International Research Support Prize of the Max Weber Stiftung and the Historisches Kolleg. The president of the Max Weber Stiftung, Dr. Heinz Duchhardt, announced the jury's decision, calling Hull "a highly qualified and innovative historian as well as an outstanding intermediary between the scholarly cultures of the USA, Great Britain and Germany." Read more in the Cornell Chronicle and in the official press release (in German).
Now in its fifth year, Signale is pleased to launch a new website to showcase the work of our authors. As ever, visitors to the Signale site can find information about books in the series, purchase print or ebook editions, and read substantial portions of the books (about 50% for most titles) online free of charge. With the new website, we introduce the News feature you are reading now, where we will post new releases and other updates. To subscribe to these announcements, add our feed to your preferred RSS reader.
The new site draws on Lou Robinson’s striking design for the Signale book covers with their bright, unexpected colors and elements of architecture detail. The website was designed by Manolo Bevia and developed by Melissa Wallace and Jenn Colt-Demaree.
While we have a new look, Signale is still at the same address (http://signale.cornell.edu).
This fall, Signale launched its first multimedia project. Mnemosyne: Meanderings through Aby Warburg's Atlas is a freely-accessible, interactive web resource for exploring the fragmentary “atlas of images” left by German Jewish art historian Aby M. Warburg (1866-1929). The Mnemosyne website is a companion to Christopher D. Johnson’s 2012 Signale book Memory, Metaphor, and Aby Warburg’s Atlas of Images. The website was produced in collaboration with the Warburg Institute of the University of London, with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Cornell University's Grants Program for Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences.