Category Archives: News

From the President

As President of the North American Goethe Society, I had the privilege of participating in the 85th Hauptversammlung of the Goethe-Gesellschaft in Weimar from June 7-10.  The Goethe-Gesellschaft serves a broad lay audience by drawing them to Weimar in order to engage in conversations with artists, teachers, other readers, and researchers. Unlike American scholarly societies, the Goethe-Gesellschaft speaks to a still robust Bildungsbürgertum that continues to celebrate Weimar culture.  In addition to bringing scholars and connoisseurs together, the Hauptversammlung also draws international representatives of other Goethe societies. This year many panels focused on Weltliteratur and the global reception of his work, so that discussions took on a very comparative approach.  One important similarity between the North American Society and the Gesellschaft in Weimar is the shared concern to attract young readers of eighteenth-century German literature.

Our own 2017 Atkins Goethe Conference is now fast approaching. From November 2-5, we will be gathering at Penn State University in the Nittany Lion Inn for meetings, lectures, dinners, and a dissertation workshop.  We look forward to your arrival in Central Pennsylvania at the height of the Fall season. Our conference will consider the topic “Re-Orientations around Goethe” in order to examine the eighteenth-century’s many kinds of revolutions in conjunction with our own era’s new critical approaches to German literature, politics, science, and art.  Directors at Large John Smith and Heidi Schlipphacke took charge of reviewing the paper proposals and organizing the panels.  This year the Society was able to provide travel funds for foreign scholars, graduate students and non-tenure track professors to attend the Atkins conference. These funds were drawn largely from royalties generated by the online publication of the Goethe Yearbook. Vice President  Catriona MacLeod will also award prizes during the conference for the best essays in eighteenth-century studies. Our connection to German scholarship will be well maintained through two keynote speakers, Helmut Schneider from the University of Bonn and Eva Geulen from the Humboldt University in Berlin.

At the Atkins conference, we will also begin an important transition among the positions of our Society’s officers. Patricia Simpson and Birgit Tautz, the new editors of the Yearbook, will also be attending the conference as they take on their new responsibilities.  Please feel free to speak with them about their plans and your interest in publishing in the Yearbook. For the last five years, Elisabeth Krimmer and Adrian Daub have done an excellent job editing the Goethe Yearbook. They have published lively and rigorous volumes. Because of their hard work the Yearbook continues to hold a prominent position in eighteenth-century studies not only in the United States and Canada but also in Germany.  We are most grateful for their attentive work and we wish them success as they continue in their own scholarship and teaching.

A few last technical details: The lecture rooms will all be equipped with video projectors, but we ask that you bring along your own laptop computers if you want to show images. Please make sure to register in advance so that we can pass your meal preferences along to the caterers. As our Society continues to attract new scholars, we urge you to renew your membership. Finally, Daylight saving time will come to an end on November 5, so please make sure to adjust your clocks and enjoy the extra hour.

Daniel Purdy
Pennsylvania State University

From the Yearbook Editors

Volume 25 of the Goethe Yearbook features a special section on acoustics around 1800, edited by Mary Helen Dupree, which includes, among others, contributions on sound and listening in Ludwig Tieck’s Der blonde Eckbert (Robert Ryder) and on the role of the tympanum in Herder’s aesthetic theory (Tyler Whitney).

The volume also contains essays on Goethe and stage sequels (Matthew Birkhold), on figures of armament in eighteenth-century German drama (Susanne Fuchs), on the dialectics of Bildung in Wilhelm Meister (Galia Benziman), on the Gothic motif in Goethe’s Faust and “Von deutscher Baukunst” (Jessica Resvick), on Goethe and Salomon Maimon (Jason Yonover), on Goethe’s “Novelle” (Ehrhard Bahr), on Schiller’s Bürger critique (Hans Richard Brittnacher), on Charlotte Schiller and Charlotte von Stein (Linda Dietrick), on the international world order in Goethe’s Iphigenie (Chenxi Tang), and on gender and violence in Iphigenie (Patricia Simpson).

Volume 25 is the last one in our five-year tenure as editors and we would like to thank everybody who has written or reviewed articles for us and everybody who read these publications. It has been a privilege to edit the Goethe Yearbook and a wonderful opportunity to get to know many eighteenth-century scholars and their work. We will miss the Yearbook, but are delighted to know that, with the appointment of Birgit Tautz and Patricia Simpson, it will be in excellent hands.

Adrian Daub
Stanford University

Elisabeth Krimmer
University of California at Davis

 

From the Executive Secretary

As I am stepping down as Executive Secretary, I’d like to thank all members for the always constructive cooperation. And, of course, as we are looking forward to the Atkins Goethe Conference at PSU, I don’t want to forget to mention our excellent panels at the GSA in Atlanta: two on Goethean thought, organized by Michael Saman and Fritz Breithaupt, and one on Semiosis and Poiesis in the Age of Goethe (1750–1830), organized by Christian Weber.

The next call for proposals is coming up soon: 1 December 2017, for MLA 2019.

Birgit Tautz
Bowdoin College

From the Editor of the Book Series

The New Studies in the Age of Goethe editorial board has been busy on several fronts and expects to see a couple new volumes appear in 2018. Stay tuned!

But meanwhile we’re looking forward to the publication later this fall of Vance Byrd’s fascinating study: A Pedagogy of Observation: Nineteenth-Century Panoramas, German Literature, and Reading Culture.

Vance Byrd, Pedagogy of Observation

Changes are afoot at Bucknell University Press. In January, Bucknell’s publishing contract will switch from Rowman & Littlefield to Rutgers University Press. The new partnership will bring multiple advantages, including lower cover prices and special discounts for GSNA members.

Last spring the editorial board decided that we would begin accepting proposals for edited essay collections, and we have already reviewed one very promising proposal. So keep sending us your ideas for both your monographs and your essay collections!

Karin Schutjer
University of Oklahoma

From the Book Review Editor

As always, I encourage you to let me know if there are particular areas of research that you are interested in reviewing for the Goethe Yearbook. Please send books for review and suggestions for books for review to:

Professor Sean Franzel
Department of German and Russian Studies
University of Missouri
428 Strickland Hall
Columbia MO, 65211
Telephone: (573) 882-4328
Fax: (573) 884-8456
franzels@missouri.edu

From the Secretary-Treasurer

If you have not done so already, please send your 2017 dues to the Secretary-Treasurer, Christian Weber, or use PayPal on our web site (a modest fee will apply).

There is still time to opt for a 3-year membership (2017-2019) for all categories, see table below. This option will be available only every three years, i.e., in each year of the Atkins Goethe Conference (2017, 2020 etc.). The rates are the same as the regular annual dues times three, but if you choose the 3-year option and pay via PayPal, the processing fees will be included.

Besides saving money, the other benefit of this new option is convenience: Your membership dues will be covered until the next Atkins Goethe Conference. That way, whenever you receive the CFP for the Atkins Goethe Conference, you know that it is time to renew your GSNA membership. I hope that you will take advantage of this option.

Please remember that the next Goethe Yearbook will be sent only to members who paid their dues for the calendar year. If you are uncertain about your current dues status, please contact me at cweber@fsu.edu.

Christian Weber
Florida State University

 

  1 year 3 years (2017-19)
junior member $25 $75
senior member (tenured faculty) $35 $105
patron (please consider becoming one) $100 $280
emeritus $10 $30
student $10 $30
institution $40

New Yearbook Editors

Patricia Simpson
Patricia Simpson

Birgit Tautz
Birgit Tautz

After a thorough search, the Goethe Society is fortunate to have found in Patricia Simpson (University of Nebraska-Linclon) and Birgit Tautz (Bowdoin College) two excellent co-editors for the Goethe Yearbook. Both are long-time, active members of the GSNA and seasoned scholars with an excellent record of publications. Between them both, they already have considerable experience as editors for essay collections and journal issues. We know the Yearbook will be in good hands.

With heartfelt thanks to our terrific outgoing editors, Adrian Daub and Elisabeth Krimmer, please welcome the equally impressive team of Birgit and Patty. They will continue the fine legacy of the Yearbook begun by Thomas P. Saine (1980-99), Simon Richter (2000-07), and Daniel Purdy (2007-12).

Call for Papers: Network Panel at ASECS 2018

German-Language Networks Transformed

Organizer: Birgit Tautz, Bowdoin College

This panel examines networked relations across Europe, along the Atlantic rim, and across the oceans, as they manifest in German-language texts and “cultural products,” as well as importations into German culture. The panel investigates and presents methods and approaches that decidedly move away from a national focus and the dominance of national authors/canons. Instead, it is interested in multi-directionality and patterns of resonance, rather than causal impacts. Papers therefore chronicle obscure and often diffuse traces of the global that surface regionally and locally and across a range of media. Contributions may include but are not limited to artists networks and networks forming around certain writers; orality v. literacy in the salon; fake and real translations; traded/stolen/adapted texts; religious repercussions/structures in secular text; tourism and explorations.

Abstracts of 200 words and very short biographical information (100 words) no later than September 15, 2017 to Birgit Tautz at btautz@bowdoin.edu.

 

Call for Papers: Panels at ASECS 2018

The Fate of Popular Literature within and beyond the Goethezeit

Organizers: Christopher Chiasson, Graduate Student, Indiana University, cchiasso@indiana.edu, and Anita Lukic, Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh, alukic@pitt.edu

Responses to Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel and work by Robert Darnton and Peter Brooks have directed attention to best-selling literature in Britain and France, but the topic remains understudied in other contexts. The German case is particularly relevant for exploring Franco Moretti’s contention that readers decide what becomes canonical, as the divergence between eighteenth-century popularity and current canonicity could hardly be greater: Iffland and Kotzebue were the most popular dramatists of the Goethe Era, not Lessing, Goethe, or Schiller; authors such as Pestalozzi, Salzmann, and Lafontaine wrote novels that out-sold Moritz and Wieland. Popular poets such as Johann Gleim and Wilhelm Müller have only remained canonical insofar as composers set their poems to music, in contrast to Novalis or Hölderlin. Moreover, canonical authors often enjoyed their greatest popular successes in genres that are now held in low esteem. Does Moretti’s thesis need to be revised given this disjunction? Can Darnton, Brooks, or Catherine Gallagher contribute to our understanding of German best-sellers? Papers addressing maligned or peripheral authors, works, or genres are encouraged, as well as those considering the institutions of canonization. So-called “minor” literatures and comparative perspectives are also welcome.

250 words abstract by September 15.

 

Goethe and the Visual Arts

Organizer: Matt Feminella, Assistant Professor, University of Alabama, mfeminella@ua.edu

Goethe’s fascination with and commitment to the visual arts remains an enduring feature of his oeuvre. From painting and sculpture to architecture and the performing arts, Goethe’s theoretical works engage with a remarkably wide array of visual media, and these art forms also make frequent appearances in his novels and plays. This panel seeks new responses to Goethe’s intervention in discourses on the visual arts. While we invite contributions from scholars working within German Studies, we particularly welcome contributions that address this topic comparatively, as well as from the perspective of other disciplines (including but not limited to history, art history, philosophy, design, etc.) With this panel, we seek to expand upon the discussion initiated by the Goethe Society of North America in a recent special section of the Goethe Yearbook.

250 words abstract by September 15.

 

Material Culture Studies and Eighteenth-Century Germany

Organizer: Karin Wurst, Professor, Michigan State University, wurst@msu.edu

Things loom large in eighteenth-century culture. We see the emergence of the lifestyle magazine such as the Journal des Luxus und der Moden that introduces and depicts fashionable furniture, decorative objects and dress to a broad readership. Household books allow glimpses at coveted objects and their place in the household economy. Collecting was no longer limited to the elites. Toys and picture books entered the nursery. Not only writers saw themselves in “conversation with things” (Goethe 1786), but the general interest in objects of material culture including the visual arts reshapes the relationship between the self and the environment.

British material culture studies and visual studies engage in vibrant theoretical discussions that could further stimulate the discussion in the German contexts. We seek contributions that explore the theoretical debates or the role of things in literary or theoretical texts, in periodicals, inventories, autobiographical writings, and letters. Questions could explore the implications of the new material landscape on the domestic sphere, on our understanding of gender roles, or on our view of childhood. How does the interest in things shape the relationship between everyday culture and high-culture? How does it influence consumption practices? We also welcome papers on comparative aspects in methodology and material cultural practice.

300 words abstract and a short bio by September 15.

______

Other Calls for Papers at ASECS 2018

Editor Sought for the Goethe Yearbook

Call to fill the position of editor for the Yearbook of the North American Goethe Society

As the current editors have successfully served their five-year term, the Society is now welcoming applications to fill the position for the next five year term. Joint applications for co-editorship are welcome. The Goethe Society will provide the editors with funds for copy-editing and print preparation of the Yearbook.

For scholars interested in serving as the next editor, please send a letter of application, c.v., and a brief 500-word statement about your scholarly engagement with German literature in the Goethezeit, as well as your vision for the Yearbook, to Daniel Purdy, dlp14@psu.edu, by July 15, 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 goethesociety-l@lists.psu.edu. 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 cmacleod@sas.upenn.edu.

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