AATSEEL
 
 

Book Prize Winners for 2000

Best Contribution to Language Pedagogy 2000:
Slava Paperno, for his achievements in computer- and video-assisted language teaching.
Over the years Slava has produced many of the truly innovative and imaginative materials in our field.  He is one of the Russian instructors in the forefront of using technology as an integral part of teaching, not simply as an add-on feature. We are recognizing him in particular for his achievements in computer-and video-assisted language teaching, with special recognition for his "12 Chairs Interactive" CD-ROM, and the documentaries "Children from Russia," "Michael and Svetlana," "Interviews from Russia," and "Life on the Atomic River." These materials, especially the films,  are truly trail-blazing because they successfully combine the authentic and the pedagogically valid. Students watch the films with interest and genuine pleasure without realizing that they are, to some extent, made specifically for teaching language and culture.  In a sense, the films can be called a new genre in language teaching: specially created authentic materials.

Best Book in Linguistics 2000:
Franks, Steven and Tracy Holloway King. A Handbook of Slavic Clitics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000
A Handbook of Slavic Clitics by Steven Franks and Tracy Holloway King is a comprehensive reference book as well as an insightful theoretical study. By showing that the clitic systems of a large variety of Slavic languages present intriguing problems for linguistic theory and that theory in turn reveals much about the structure of Slavic languages, it significantly contributes to a dialogue between Slavists and general linguists.

Best Book in Literary/Cultural Scholarship 2000:
Julie A. Buckler. The Literary Lorgnette: Attending Opera in Imperial Russia. Stanford University Press, 2000.
Julie Buckler has produced a brilliant analysis of how opera and opera-going in mid- to late-nineteenth-century Russia were reflected in Russian literature and shaped Russian "high" culture. Surveying theaters, singers, opera-companies, composers, fiction-writers, and memoirists in rich detail, Prof. Buckler time and again keeps a steady hand on her lorgnette, always striking an admirable balance between close reading of cultural minutiae and framing her project in the larger issues of social and literary theory. Delicious passages and insights abound: the vital semiotics of audience-seating in opera theaters; the burning of the Moscow Bolshoi as operatic spectacle; a wide-ranging chapter on Verdi's La Traviata in Russian criticism and fiction; scrutiny of the nineteenth-century divas as cultural texts; Bellini's aria "Casta diva" as Oblomov's aesthetic anthem; prose portraits written by Pauline Viardot herself; Turgenev's enraptured descriptions of Viardot-the-goddess. These passages are accompaniedby myriad references to much less well-known writers and singers who paint a memorable portrait of the operatic enterprise in Russia just as Russian music was rising to cultural preeminence. Dozens of superb illustrations complement the vividness of Prof. Buckler's narrative, and The Literary Lorgnette is a fine example of the rich book production values for which Stanford University Press is well known. This volume is a fine example of what is best in interdisciplinary Slavic studies today, and Julie Buckler deserves our heartiest congratulations.

Best Translation into English 2000:
Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Hass. Road-Side Dog, by Czeslaw Milosz. New York: Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 1998.
The partnership between Robert Hass and Czeslaw Milosz as translators of Milosz's poetry has grown and evolved for many years. In this collection, as in many previous collaborations, the two handle the translation of individual poems superbly, taking the English language to new heights of beauty and wit. Yet beyond this achievement, the two have over time managed to generate a recognizable and unique poetic voice in English. One is tempted to say that they have succeeded not only in translating Milosz's works, but his linguistic presence. With this prize, the Association recognizes this extraordinary achievement, as it is realized in this wonderful new collection of poetry.