Cal Poly History Professor Earns International Book Prize

Molly Loberg
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly History Professor Molly Loberg was recently awarded the Hans Rosenberg Book Prize for her book titled “The Struggle for the Streets of Berlin: Politics, Consumption, and Urban Space, 1914-1945.” 

The Hans Rosenberg prize is presented each year by the Central European History Society for the best book in the field. Loberg accepted the award in January at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in New York City.

“The Struggle for the Streets of Berlin” focuses on the post-World War I metropolis and how political and commercial entities fought for the attention of the city’s crowds through advertisements, posters, parades and violence. Loberg was inspired to write the book after discovering a photograph of a 1920s Berlin street scene, including several posters plastered around and on top of each other, all competing for the attention of passersby. 

The prize committee praised Loberg’s new perspectives on Berlin’s iconic 1920s culture and her examination of subsequent Nazi uses of the city. The committee noted: “The Struggle for the Streets of Berlin” gains power from comparison to current-day struggles in other streets in cities all over the world.” Loberg’s book demonstrates how the modern city street “offers possibilities for both authoritarianism and anarchy” yet also exists as a “lived symbol of the relationship between citizens and the state.”  

Loberg has taught at Cal Poly since fall 2007 and is a Fulbright Scholar and a Humboldt Fellow. She has produced numerous acclaimed articles and presentations focusing on consumer culture and German history, among other subjects. In 2013, she earned the History Article Prize from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians for the best article by a woman historian in all fields for “The Streetscape of Economic Crisis: Politics, Commerce, and Urban Space in Interwar Berlin.”

Last quarter, Loberg spoke about “The Struggle for the Streets of Berlin” as part of the Kennedy Library’s Conversations with Cal Poly Authors series. The conversation can be heard here.

Contact: Keegan Koberl

February 12, 2020

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