From the Editors of the Goethe-Lexicon

From May 2-5, 2019, the first International Workshop for the Goethe-Lexicon of Philosophical Concepts (GLPC) will be held at the University of Pittsburgh. Organized by the lexicon’s co-editors, Clark Muenzer (University of Pittsburgh) and John H. Smith (UC Irvine), this gathering of 20 collaborators from the US, England, Germany, and Switzerland, will build on the 4 GSA panels on “Goethe as a Heterodox Thinker” (which drew more than 150 conferees to its sessions last October). It also looks forward to the GSA Seminar on the same topic in the Fall, as well as the second International Workshop at Cambridge University in the summer of 2020.

The Pittsburgh Workshop will be an important step towards realizing our goal of publishing 10 entries by the end of 2019. Participants will engage in a variety of activities to address different aspects of our collective undertaking, including an ongoing conversation about the very nature of the project. The intensive, 2-day program will include:

  1. a panel discussion placing the GLPC in relation to other exemplary lexica, handbooks, and dictionaries, including the Goethe-Handbuch, the Dictionary of Untranslatables, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Mauthner’s Wörterbuch der Philosophie, Aesthetische Grundbegriffe, and Keywords for Today;
  2. a second panel, organized by our digital editor Bryan Klausmeyer (Virginia Tech), with presentations on “technical” matters, including a first look at the platform we will be using. Because the GLPC will be a dynamic reference work, we have included information science experts to introduce us to possible options;
  3. presentations and discussions of 12 sample entries that will be made available to all participants in advance;
  4. breakout sessions to discuss in small groups ideas about how the entries can be framed in general for the Lexicon. While the GLPC cannot be designed by committee, it will be productive to solicit the input of collaborators on such issues as the ideal length for entries, their style, structure, and content, as well as the kinds of Goethean concepts we want to include;
  5. a public lecture by Gabriel Trop (University of North Carolina) on “Kraft: On the Potential of a Concept”; and, of course
  6. a festive banquet!

In order to work as closely as possible with each other, we have limited the size of our workshops to 20 participants. Importantly, our selection criteria considered scholars at all phases of their careers, as well as geographical and cultural diversity. Members of the GSNA, which as one of the project’s official sponsors has provided some financial assistance, are welcome to contact the editors with their ideas and, of course, their willingness to become collaborators. A Call for the second International Workshop in Cambridge, England, will go out early next winter. Please let us know if you would like to get involved, especially if you have any experience in the digital humanities. If the last 12 months is an indication, there will be many opportunities in the future to come on board. And keep your eye on the next issue of the Goethe Yearbook, where we plan to publish 2 sample entries for the GLPC.

Participants in the Pittsburgh workshop are: Colin Allen (Pittsburgh, History and Philosophy of Science); Jonathan Arac (Pittsburgh, Humanities Center and English); Matthew Bell (King’s College London, German); Frauke Berndt (Zurich, German); Fritz Breithaupt (Indiana, German); Aaron Brenner (Pittsburgh University Library System); Daniel Carranza (Chicago, German); Eckart Förster (Johns Hopkins, German and Philosophy); Jonathan Fine (Brown, German); Bryan Klausmeyer (Virginia Tech, German); Horst Lange (Central Arkansas, German); Charlotte Lee (Cambridge, German); John Lyon (Pittsburgh, German); Catriona MacLeod (University of Pennsylvania, German); Sebastian Meixner (Zurich, German); Clark Muenzer (Pittsburgh, German); Angus Nicholls (Queen Mary’s University, London); John H. Smith (Irvine, German); Gabriel Trop (North Carolina, German); Christian Weber (Florida, German); Christian Wildberg (Pittsburgh, Classics).

The concepts for discussion are: Aperçu (Förster); dämonisch (Nicholls); Eigen-/Selbstliebe (Bell); Gleichnis (Weber); Gott (Lange); Geduld (Carranza); Gewissen (Breithaupt); Pantheismusstreit (Fine); Rhythmus (Lee); Schattenriß (MacLeod); Symbol (Berndt); and Urphänomen (Meixner).