William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English and American Literature and Language Marjorie Garber has won the 2005 Christian Gauss Award for “Shakespeare After All” (Pantheon Books, 2004). The $2,500 award is offered annually by the Phi Beta Kappa Society for books in the field of literary scholarship or criticism.
According to John Churchill, secretary of the society, “The annual book awards are an opportunity for Phi Beta Kappa to honor outstanding and widely accessible contributions in the sciences, literary scholarship, and the humanities, and to recognize the foremost scholars in those fields.”
“Shakespeare After All” takes up the breadth of knowledge Garber has gathered over her years of lecturing to packed houses at Yale and Harvard on the subject of Shakespeare’s works. Her book offers passionate and insightful readings of all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays.
About the book, Catharine Gallagher, a judge on the Gauss Award selection committee and the Eggers Professor of English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, stated, “This will undoubtedly be the standard and indispensable companion to Shakespeare for decades to come. It’s an awe-inspiring achievement.” Director of the Institute for the History of the Production of Knowledge at New York University Mary Poovey, also a judge on the selection committee, called the book “the accomplishment of a lifetime,” adding, “If we can’t all write such a book, at least we can all read this one.”
Garber is chair of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard. She is also the president of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, a trustee of the English Institute, and on the board of directors of the American Council of Learned Societies. Garber has published a number of works of cultural criticism and theory. She earned her B.A. from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. from Yale.
The Gauss Award was established in 1950 in honor of the late Christian Gauss, the distinguished Princeton University scholar, teacher, and dean, who also served as president of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The annual awards recognize outstanding books in the fields of science, literary scholarship, and the humanities. The awards ceremony was held Dec. 2 in Washington, D.C.