2012 Business Meeting

Minutes of the GSNA Business Meeting
October 6, 2012, at the GSA Conference in Milwaukee

President’s Report: Astrida Tantillo

Astrida Tantillo, in her last business meeting as President, thanked the Society members for all their contributions to the GSNA activities and expressed her wish that such involvement and dedication continue. She reiterated the Society’s commitment to supporting young scholars; encouraged people to participate in the GSNA conference; asked them to contribute to the Yearbook and the book series and to stay involved through the GSNA panels and the community at conferences.

She then announced the election results and the new officers of the Society: Clark Muenzer, current Vice President, will take over as President; Daniel Purdy, outgoing Yearbook Editor, has been elected Vice President; Claire Baldwin is continuing as Secretary-Treasurer; Heather Sullivan and Horst Lange were elected new Directors at Large; the new Yearbook Editors are Elisabeth Krimmer and Adrian Daub; the new Book Review Editor is Birgit Tautz.

On behalf of the continuing board members Clark Muenzer, Claire Baldwin, Jane Brown, and Karin Schutjer, Karin Schutjer thanked the outgoing board members: Andrew Piper and Elisabeth Krimmer, Directors at Large, in absentia; Catriona MacLeod, Book Review Editor; Daniel Purdy, Yearbook Editor; Astrida Tantillo, President.

Vice President’s Report: Clark Muenzer

Clark Muenzer began his remarks with a reminder that the next GSNA conference will take place approximately two years and two weeks from now in Pittsburgh. The work to set an inclusive topic with a snappy title, following precedent for the GSNA conferences, has begun and he will keep the membership informed. He anticipates asking for abstract submissions for conference papers in the spring of 2014.

Clark Muenzer also announced plans for the third GSNA Dissertation Workshop, to be held at the 2014 conference in Pittsburgh. He asked members to keep this opportunity in mind and to bring it to the attention of graduate students: students just beginning a dissertation now will be in a good position to participate in the workshop in two years.

As Vice President, Clark Muenzer chaired this year’s Essay Prize Committee, and was joined in by three colleagues who did yeoman’s work in making the prize selection: Martha Helfer, Andrew Piper and Fritz Breithaupt all received praise and thanks!

The winner of the Essay Prize for the best article on the Age of Goethe published in 2011 is John H. Smith, for his article in The German Quarterly 84.2 (2011):137-158, entitled “Living Religion as Vanishing Mediator: Schleiermacher, Early Romanticism and Idealism.”

Clark Muenzer presented the Essay Prize to John H. Smith on behalf of the Society with the following words:

With this cogent analysis of the centrality of religion to Idealism and early Romanticism, John Smith makes an important and much-needed contribution to the intellectual history of the Goethezeit. Arguing that Schleiermacher functions as a productive “vanishing mediator” for Friedrich Schlegel, Novalis, Schelling and Hegel, John Smith traces the genealogy of the Romantic conception of a “living God” and an organic universe. These thinkers all aimed to “vitalize” the Spinozan identity of deus and natura, and thereby made a crucial turn from the philosophies of Kant and Fichte. John Smith’s elegant and lucid reconstruction of this genealogy underscores the fundamental importance of “living religions” to Romantic and Idealist thought, and lays the foundation for future research.

Executive Secretary’s Report: Karin Schutjer

Karin Schutjer drew attention to the GSNA panel to take place October 7 at 8:30 am: “New Directions in Goethe Illustration Studies” and encouraged members to attend.

She then announced that the GSNA is sponsoring three panels at the 2013 MLA in Boston: two organized by Claudia Brodsky on “Goethe als Vermittler” and one organized by John Smith on “Mathematics in the Goethezeit.” The GSNA panel at the 2013 ASECS conference in Cleveland is being organized by Birgit Tautz under the title “Marginalia.”

Karin Schutjer then put out a call for GSNA panel proposals for upcoming conferences and shared the following deadlines for such proposals to come to her. The Board will review the proposals and respond quickly:

November 15, 2012 for the GSA conference, October 3-6, 2013 in Denver, Colorado
December 1, 2012 for the MLA conference, January 6- 9, 2014 in Chicago
March 15, 2013 for the ASECS conference, March 18-23, 2014 in Williamsburg VA

Yearbook Editor’s Report: Daniel Purdy

Daniel Purdy reported that he has just received the last article for Goethe Yearbook volume 20, the last volume he will edit, which will appear in the late spring. The transition to the new Yearbook editors is going smoothly: Daniel Purdy is passing things along to Adrian Daub and Elisabeth Krimmer and some essays of the many currently on hand will be rolled over to them for a future volume. The peer review process for the Yearbook runs independently and will be passed on to the new editors. We have had great success with online publications of the Yearbook through Project MUSE, and we will be on JSTOR in the future, as we have been assured in our friendly negotiations with Camden House. We continue to be committed to supporting young scholars. Daniel Purdy reminded people that the Yearbook would like to build on the connections between the Dissertation Workshops and the Yearbook, and urged participants to consider submitting revised chapters of their work on Goethe to the Yearbook down the line.

Catriona MacLeod: Book Review Editor’s Report

Catriona MacLeod began by thanking the GSNA membership for their devotion to writing book reviews, both for agreeing to take the reviews on and for actually sending them in as well. She expressed her appreciation for the wonderful network of scholars that make up the GSNA. As Catriona MacLeod steps down, Birgit Tautz will be taking over the Book Review Editorship, and future reviews should be sent to her.

Book Series Editor’s Report: Karin Schutjer for Jane Brown

Since Jane Brown could not be at the GSA conference, Karin Schutjer shared information about the Book Series at Bucknell. Benjamin Bennett’s book Secular Millennialism: The Trail of Aesthetics from Baumgarten and Kant to Walt Disney and Hitler is currently in production with an expected publication date of January 1. The Series Editor is eager for more submissions and asks the GSNA membership for these and for help in spreading the word about our excellent series and this publication opportunity.

Secretary-Treasurer’s Report: Claire Baldwin

Claire Baldwin reported that the GSNA is in good financial shape, especially due to the increased revenues from the Yearbook royalties through Project MUSE and due to the gifts of generous donors, especially Mr. Stuart Atkins whose sponsorship of our triennial conference is enormously valuable. Membership dues also continue to be important, and she thanked the membership for consistently supporting the GSNA through their dues as well as through their work. She is still happy to accept 2012 dues and is also more than willing to credit dues in advance, as some members prefer. The year-to-date financial report and membership numbers of the Society were made available to interested members.

There is a new GSNA email for membership queries and issues: gsna.membership@gmail.com

Other Items

Bill Carter encouraged members to attend the GSA session on Goethes Amtlicher Schriftverkehr on Sunday, October 7.

The cash bar preceding and following the GSNA business meeting proved a successful and enjoyable event, and may set precedent for future years.

Respectfully submitted,

Claire Baldwin