Alice Goff, Department of History, named a 2020 Recipient of the Berlin Prize

May 15, 2020 (last updated on October 5, 2020)

Announcements| History| Faculty

Alice Goff Alice Goff

Alice Goff, a historian of modern Germany, has been named a recipient of the 2020 Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin.

Goff’s research and teaching center on the history of art and politics, museums, cultural preservation, and the history of the humanities in German states in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

During her semester-long fellowship at the Academy in Fall 2020, Goff, an assistant professor in the Department of History, will be working on her book manuscript, “The God Behind the Marble,” a history of the idea that a work of art can create a modern liberal society. Goff tracks the development of this idea in German political thought during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and in the upheaval of cultural property that accompanied these conflicts. By following the travails of art objects and their caretakers through looting, desecration, and loss, Goff shows how a period of extraordinary hope for the power of art in theory was also one of great struggle with the vulnerability of art in practice.

Goff earned her PhD in History from University of California, Berkeley, her MSI in Archives and Records Management from the University of Michigan, and her BA from Bryn Mawr College. She joined UChicago in 2017, after two years in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

The Berlin Prize is awarded annually to scholars, writers, composers, and artists from the United States who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields. The fellowship provides recipients with the time and resources to step back from their daily obligations to work on academic and artistic projects they might not otherwise pursue. Fellows are encouraged to work with local individuals and institutions in the Academy’s well-established network, forging rich connections and lasting transatlantic relationships.