Franz Steiner Prize Award 2006

Oct 26, 2006

Prize Ceremony in Neues Schloss, Stuttgart | Conveners: Ulrich Bachteler (James F. Byrnes Institute), Christof Mauch (GHI), Thomas Schaber (Steiner Verlag)

Co-sponsored by the GHI, Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart, Landesregierung Baden-Württemberg, James F. Byrnes Institute/Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum Stuttgart, Verband der deutsch-amerikanischen Clubs (Region Schwaben), and Franz Steiner Verlag.

Event Report

On the occasion of German-American Day 2006, the Franz Steiner Prize for Transatlantic History was awarded for the first time. The award ceremony featured a concert in the White Room of Stuttgart's Neues Schloss in Stuttgart. The Schloss's White Hall, filled to capacity, provided a festive setting for the event. The introduction and words of greeting (the American embassy was represented by John M. Koenig) were followed by the first part of the concert, featuring jazz interpretations of Mozart sonatas. Following this, Christof Mauch presented his introduction. Like the colorful facets of the chandeliers in the White Room, he noted, the German-American relationship reflects a fascinating history, which either glitters or is rather dark according to the angle from which it is viewed. Friendship and skepticism have been constant companions of transatlantic relations.

Thomas Schaber introduced the work of the prizewinner, Daniel Siemens of the history department of Humboldt University, Berlin. Siemens received the prize for his dissertation 'A Popular Expression of Individuality': Kriminalität, Justiz und Gesellschaft in der Gerichtsberichterstattung von Tageszeitungen in Berlin, Paris und Chicago, 1919 bis 1933. The members of the German-American award committee included the director of the GHI as chair, the head of the Steiner Verlag, and several professors from Germany and the United States. Herr Schaber noted that the committee had faced a difficult task evaluating the works submitted. Nevertheless, the committee was able to agree on the prize- winner fairly quickly. Schaber explained that the Franz Steiner Prize is awarded for an outstanding unpublished scholarly manuscript in the field of transatlantic relations or research on North America from the early modern era to the present. The prize is jointly sponsored by the GHI and the Franz Steiner Verlag, one of Germany's leading academic presses.

After brief words of thanks by the prizewinner, the students of the State University for Music and the Visual Arts of Stuttgart continued the concert. The memorable evening ended with a reception in the foyer of the White Hall.

Ulrich Bachteler