Monthly Archives: March 2017

From the President

This coming Fall, November 3-5, 2017, we will be gathering together for the next Atkins Goethe Conference on the campus of Penn State University. Established with an endowment from Mr. Stuart Atkins to honor his parents Lillian and Stuart P. Atkins, this year’s international Atkins conference again hopes to attract a wide range of Goethe scholars from all over the world to present their newest research on German culture across the period of Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s life, 1749-1832.

Re-Orientations around Goethe, the topic for this Atkins Conference, encourages us to revive the vital questions that so dramatically transformed life around 1800 by demonstrating how they still matter in our own era. We have the opportunity to confirm that the principles of the Enlightenment have not been superseded in the global world, that the realization of true freedom requires us to cultivate the entire person not just a single skill, that the experience of nature can still transform our lives. Goethe’s writing and the work of his contemporaries remind us that the beauty of poetry and philosophy outlasts the political maneuvers of courtiers and adventurers. At the same time, Re-Orientations around Goethe provides us with the occasion to explore the long history of our own era by discovering that many contemporary debates about the environment, media, scientific knowledge, global politics, gender, and sexuality also had their place in the eighteenth century.

Submissions for papers and panels have already started arriving, so I urge you to send your 200-word proposals by April 15 to See the Call for Papers here.

Heidi Schlipphacke, John Smith, and I will organize the papers into panels by the end of May so that everyone has ample time over the summer.

The Goethe Society has just recently allocated funds to reimburse travel costs for select graduate students, non-tenure track scholars, and foreign academics who present a paper at the conference. This is a new program, so please let your students and colleagues know that they can request such support when they send in their proposals by including a travel budget.

In addition to panels of academic papers on Friday and Saturday, we will also hold a dissertation workshop, organized by the Goethe Society’s Vice President, Catriona MacLeod. This workshop has been very successful over the past conferences as it has provided students with supportive peer responses, while introducing new colleagues to the Society. Please let your students know that their chapter proposals are welcome.

Along with the panels of Society members, two familiar and renowned Goethezeit scholars from Germany will provide keynote addresses. We are very pleased that Helmut Schneider, Professor emeritus from the Universität Bonn, and Eva Geulen, director of the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung and Professor at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, will speak to us.

Fall is a beautiful time in Central Pennsylvania. The Penn State campus is easily accessible by automobile, bus, and air travel. The local University Park airport (SCE) is ten minutes from the university and it provides connections to major hubs in the Northeast. Rooms have been set aside at the Nittany Lion Inn on campus, and other arrangements are being made as you read this. We can’t wait to see you in November.

Daniel Purdy
Pennsylvania State University

From the Vice President

Call for Goethezeit dissertation

In order to encourage and support research in the Age of Goethe, the Goethe Society of North America organizes dissertation workshops at its international Atkins conferences, held every three years. As you know, this year’s conference will be held in State College, PA.

Participating students, who are selected on the basis of their dissertation prospectus and a letter from their adviser, are all awarded a Gloria Flaherty Scholarship in the amount of $500 plus a waiver of the conference fee. More importantly, they participate in panel discussions, where they are engaged in conversation by senior scholars in their field who direct comments and questions to their projects.

All applicants are expected to join the GSNA (for just $10!). Membership includes the Society’s newsletter twice each year, as well as a copy of the Yearbook of the Goethe Society of North America. See our web site for more information.

The dissertation workshop will be held on Sunday, November 5, 2017. Graduate students interested in participating are asked to submit a c.v., one dissertation chapter, and a prospectus by April 1, 2014, along with a letter from the dissertation advisor briefly evaluating the student’s project and describing its progress.

Submit your materials, and direct any questions, to Catriona MacLeod at

With this continuing commitment, the GSNA hopes to contribute to the academic and intellectual success of graduate students engaged in Goethe studies and quite possibly to identify new talent for the Goethe Yearbook and our book series.

Catriona MacLeod
University of Pennsylvania

From the Editor of the Book Series

We want to announce a change to our editorial policy: in response to multiple author inquiries, and with the strong support of the GSNA board, we have begun accepting proposals for edited essay collections. As always though, we remain very committed to publishing your single-authored monographs.

Vance Byrd’s fascinating study, A Pedagogy of Observation: Nineteenth-Century Panoramas, German Literature, and Reading Culture, will be going into production soon. Look for it in the coming months!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me with any inquiries.

Karin Schutjer
University of Oklahoma

From the Yearbook Editors

Volume 24 of the Goethe Yearbook is currently in the final stages of typesetting and should be in your mailboxes by late spring. It will contain a special section on the “Poetics of Space and Place in the Goethezeit,” co-edited by Elliott Schreiber and John B. Lyon, as well as standalone articles on Caroline de la Motte Fouqué, on widow-burning in Karoline von Günderrode, on ontology and signification in E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Sandmann, on “Educational Environments in Goethe and Kleist,” on F.H. Jacobi’s Allwill, and on Goethe’s Divan as reflected in Thomas Lehr’s novel September. Fata Morgana (2010). Once again we are very pleased that this volume brings together very diverse scholarship, and that our contributors once again run the gamut from graduate students to emeriti. And our new book review editor Sean Franzel has brought together more than 20 thoughtful reviews of recent publications relevant to the Goethezeit.

We are well on our way towards putting together the twenty-fifth volume of the Yearbook. It will contain a special section on “What Goethe heard,” edited by Mary Helen Dupree. However, it will also contain a large number of standalone articles. As always, we would be thrilled if you submitted a manuscript, or encouraged your students and colleagues to do so. Manuscript submissions should reach us by late May, preferably earlier. Submissions should follow the Chicago Manual of Style and confine themselves to less than 35 pages. For specific questions about scholarly citations, please consult the Yearbook’s style sheet. Note that the entire run of back issues is available on Project MUSE.

Finally, Volume 25 will be the last Goethe Yearbook under our auspices. So please give some thought to putting your name forward when the GSNA begins its search for our successors. We have really loved our time shepherding this wonderful journal, and we are quite sure you would too!

Adrian Daub
Stanford University

Elisabeth Krimmer
University of California at Davis