• Constructing Imperial Berlin: Photography and the Metropolis
    Miriam Paeslack
    University of Minnesota Press, 2019
    Miriam Paeslack

Georg Bartels, Rosenstraße, east side, 1894. Courtesy of Landesarchiv Berlin.

Constructing Imperial Berlin: Photography and the Metropolis examines the role images of architecture and urban sites played in establishing the terms under which contemporaries made sense of the rise of modern Berlin. This project tackles the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century's ways of using reproductive imagery to communicate the new capital's transformation and dramatic growth; its "coming of age" as a city among older European capitals; but also its role as a hinge between the Old and New Worlds as it engaged modern-age consumption, technology, spectacle, and tourism. Berlin emerges as a city fraught with questions about its historical identity that other European cities had addressed decades earlier while it explored cultural practices more common in North America or the colonies. In four chapters—Crafting the Metropolis, Framing Progress, Tracing Transformation, and Inventing Tradition—this book provides rare analysis for a long-neglected era of Berlin's photographic and urban history.

Miriam Paeslack’s research spans urban imagery and culture from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, with a special emphasis on theories of modernity and modernism, the intersection of aesthetics, philosophy, and political theory, visual studies, and German, Italian and North American culture, especially fin-de-siècle Berlin. Paeslack is the author of Berlin im 19.Jahrhundert: Frühe Photographien 1850–1914 (Schirmer/Mosel, 2015); and editor of Ineffably Urban: Imaging Buffalo (Ashgate, 2013). Her essays and research are published in journals, such as Future Anterior, the Journal of Architecture, and Fotogeschichte. Her book on photography in fin-de-siècle Berlin, Constructing Imperial Berlin: Photography and the Metropolis was published by University of Minnesota Press in 2019. She is associate professor of modern and contemporary visual culture and arts management at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).