The German Quarterly has awarded the 2021 Max Kade Prize to Patrizia C. McBride, professor of German studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, for her article “The Edge of the Page: Alfred Polgar, the Feuilleton, and the Poetics of the Small Form.”
“The article examines the work of Viennese essayist Alfred Polgar, who developed a unique writing style in response to the rise of mass journalism in Germanophone Europe,” McBride said. “Polgar used his mordant journalistic pieces to inform and mobilize readers around hot-button issues but also combat the pernicious disinformation that ran rampant in the press of his day.”
The German Quarterly is the premier academic journal for Anglo-American German studies; the Max Kade Prize recognizes the year’s best article.
"I’m humbled and overjoyed by this distinction. The article is closely related to my book-in-progress, which examines the challenges faced by book culture in the first part of the 20th century, as film and the photographic press eroded the book’s traditional role as the foremost narrative and educational medium. Focusing on the German case, I show that both modernist and avant-garde writers transformed the book into a powerful tool that helped literary writing withstand the competition of journalism and advertising," said McBride, who serves as senior associate dean for social sciences and interdisciplinary programs and director of the Institute for German Cultural Studies.
McBride’s research encompasses modern German-language literature and culture, with emphases on modernity and modernism, Austrian literature and culture (particularly that of Vienna), and theories on philosophy and politics. She has written two books, “The Void of Ethics: Robert Musil and the Experience of Modernity” (Northwestern University Press, 2006) and “The Chatter of the Visible: Montage and Narrative in Weimar Germany” (The University of Michigan Press 2016). “The Chatter of the Visible” won an honorable mention for the 2018 Scaglione Prize for Studies in Germanic Languages and Literatures from the Modern Language Association.
Jonathan Mong '25 is a communications assistant for the College of Arts & Sciences.