Book Prize Winners for 2005
Best Contribution to Language Pedagogy 2005:
Janda, Laura A. and Stephen J. Clancy. The Case Book for Russian. Bloomington, Ind.: Slavica Publishers, 2002.
The Case Book (with CD) represents an innovative application of modern linguistic theory to pedagogy. The book identifies patterns of case usage in clearly defined networks, using easy-to-follow terminology. It is unlike any other textbook in its flexibility. Parts of this book can be used in any order to address specific case-related problems. It is applicable in a variety of levels and settings, and can easily combine with other textbooks. Most importantly, the book demonstrates the relevance and usefulness of serious up-to-date linguistics to language teaching.
Leighton, Lauren G. Modern Russian Culture: A Course of Ideas and Images, a multimedia course on CD-ROM and Video, DVD Conceptual design and programming by Slava Paperno. Ithaca, NY: Lexicon Bridge Publishers, 2004.
Modern Russian Culture represents the culmination of more than three years of intensive work by its author, Lauren G. Leighton. This impressive collection of six DVDs crafts 38 lectures around five classic themes of Russian culture and illustrates them with slides and video covering material from the 18th through the 21st centuries in Russia. More than just a series of lectures on Russian culture, Modern Russian Culture offers a multi-disciplinary wealth of authentic materials, including still photos, music, art, and hypertext to give the teacher and student the chance to explore Russia both in and out of classroom. The additional disc of reference materials can be incorporated into almost any curriculum in need of high-quality sound and image support. It is a tremendous resource for the teaching of Russian language and culture.
Best Book in Linguistics 2005:
Greenberg, Robert D. Language and Identity in the Balkans: Serbo-Croat and its Disintegration. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Language and Identity in the Balkans presents a compelling narrative, surveying the unique peculiarities of Serbo-Croatian language planning from its beginnings in the nineteenth century to the present. In contradistinction to the unifying processes that marked the formation of other European national languages, the impulse to create a Serbo-Croatian linguistic and national unity gave way to a continuous dialogue about fragmentation along ethnic and religious lines ending in the breakup of Yugoslavia and the emergence of new national standards - Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin. Greenberg's book synthesizes linguistic, legal, historical material and views the interplay among the sides from a non-partisan perspective. The detailed exposition and copious citation of relevant scholarly literature in many languages, together with the eminently readable text providing a masterful summation of a unique constellation of sociolinguistic phenomena, suggest that the book will become a classic reference for those who wish to study the dramatic rise and fall of the language-formerly-known-as-Serbo-Croatian.
Best Book in Literary/Cultural Scholarship 2005:
Lovell, Stephen. Summerfolk: A History of the Dacha, 1710-2000. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2003.
Summerfolk is an outstanding work of architectural, social, and cultural history, based on extensive archival research and interviews, and written in a clear and elegant style. Lovell tells the story of the development of the dacha, from its origins in the 17th century as a gift of land from the state, through its somewhat disreputable image in the later nineteenth century and the Soviet era of privileged settlements for the nomenklatura, ending with the red-brick palaces of post-Soviet Russia. At every step Lovell carefully situates the story of the dacha in its historical and social context. Despite the wealth of detail, the story is told with irresistible narrative drive. Summerfolk will be an indispensable resource for students of Russian architecture, literature, and culture. Summerfolk is a tour de force of synoptic scholarship and it represents cultural studies in its widest breadth. Who would have imagined the dacha was attached to so many architectural shapes, legal definition,demographic shifts, or contrary cultural values? Few of us would have, without Lovell's excellent guidance through the literary, visual, sociological, journalistic, and anthropological sources that so richly illuminate this uniquely Russian (and typically unstable) signifier. Summerfolk is both a history of the dacha and a history of something much larger, Russian culture itself, as reflected in the use of and discourse around the dacha.
Best Translation into English 2005:
Johnston, Bill. Dreams and Stones, by Magdelena Tulli. Archipelago Books, 2004.
In Dreams and Stones, Bill Johnston recreates Magdalena Tulli's lyrical yet labyrinthine prose in his own equally lyrical and labyrinthine yet wholly English style. In this remarkable translation, Johnston conveys a deeply felt sense of Tulli's fantastic organic image and spiraling story of an unnamed city that could be any city, while maintaining both Tulli's original tone and her tongue-in-cheek humor. It is as if translator and author were speaking with one voice. Archipelago Books has produced an elegant edition, aptly choosing Paul Klee's "Luftschloss" for the jacket. This translation will be invaluable in introducing Magdalena Tulli, one of Poland's leading authors, to students of literature in the United States.