Earlier this month, a cross section of German Studies colleagues met in the Victorian Gothic A. D. White House at Cornell, home of the Cornell Society for the Humanities, for the timely and important conference Re-Imagining the Discipline: German Studies, the Humanities, and the University. Happy to have discovered the names Goethe and Schiller prominently inscribed on an ornate Victorian book tree in a classroom next to our venue, I shared with the audience the vital work that scholarly societies such as our own do, both in fostering strong interdisciplinary collaborations, and in affording perspectives on our field that counter today’s more presentist tendencies.
In that vein, I am looking forward to meeting many of you soon at the GSA conference in Portland, where in addition to a raft of exciting Goethe-related seminars, panels, and even business meetings, you can find members of the board at a GSNA table (in the book exhibit area) and happy to chat about our activities, from the Bucknell book series New Studies in the Age of Goethe to the Goethe Yearbook. It’s the first time we’re doing this – please do stop by, say hello, and pick up some information. We are especially eager to get to know younger scholars in the field, so if you have graduate students attending GSA, or are a graduate student or recent Ph.D. yourself, do keep this in mind.
One of our largest undertakings as a society is of course the triennial Atkins Conference. As some of you already know, I recently moved to the University of Chicago, where I am joining an amazing group of Goethe scholars. This has implications for your travel plans in 2020. In case you were expecting a third Pennsylvanian conference in a row, the big news is that we will in fact be returning to Chicago in 2020. Please mark your calendars for November 5-7, 2020. The title of the conference will be Goethe’s Things. I will have more to share about the conference theme at GSA, and you can expect to receive a call for papers very soon.
As always, please let us know about your activities and accomplishments. I am delighted to congratulate Goethe Yearbook editor Birgit Tautz on receiving the 2019 SAMLA book prize for her Translating the World: Toward a New History of German Literature Around 1800 (Penn State UP, 2018).
University of Chicago