GSNA Essay Prize

The Goethe Society of North America is proud to award two annual prizes of $500 for the best essay published on Goethe, his times, and/ or contemporary figures. Essays written by a North American scholar or a current member of the GSNA are all eligible, as are articles published in the Goethe Yearbook.

For submission guidelines and further details see the latest announcements.

GSNA Essay Prize Winners


Gabriel Trop, “Goethe’s Faust and the Absolute of NaturphilosophieThe Germanic Review 92.4 (2017): 388-406.

Honorable Mention: Leif Weatherby, “A Reconsideration of the Romantic Fragment,”The Germanic Review 92.4 (2017): 407-425.


Gabrielle Bersier, “‘Hamiltonian-Hendelian’ Mimoplastics and Tableau of the Underworld: The Visual Aesthetics of Goethe’s 1815 Proserpina Production,” Goethe Yearbook 23 (2016): 171-94.

Bryan Klausmeyer, “Fragmenting Fragments: Jean Paul’s Poetics of the Small in “Meine Miszellen,” Monatshefte 108.4 (Winter 2016): 485-509.

Stephanie M. Hilger, “Orientation and Supplementation: Locating the ‘Hermaphrodite’ in the Encyclopédie,” Goethe Yearbook 22 (2015): 169-187.

Heather Sullivan, “Nature and the ‘Dark Pastoral’ in Goethe’s Werther,” Goethe Yearbook 22 (2015): 115-132.

Honorable Mention: Jacob Denz, “Rigorous Mediacy: Addressing Mother in Hölderlin’s, ‘Am Quell der Donau,’ ‘Die Wanderung,’ and ‘An die Madonna’,” MLN 130.3 (2015): 554-579.

David Wellbery, “On the Logic of Change in Goethe’s Works,” Goethe Yearbook 21 (2014): 1-21.

Patricia Anne Simpson, “Sacred Maternity and Secular Sons: Hölderlin’s Madonna as Muse,” in Religion, Reason, and Culture in the Age of Goethe, eds. Elisabeth Krimmer and Patricia Anne Simpson (Boydell & Brewer: Woodbridge, 2013), 187-206.

Eleanor ter Horst, “Masks and Metamorphoses: The Transformation of Classical Tradition in Goethe’s Römische Elegien,” German Quarterly 85.4 (2012): 401-19.

John H. Smith, “Living Religion as Vanishing Mediator: Schleiermacher, Early Romanticism and Idealism,” German Quarterly 84.2 (2011): 137-158.

Dalia Nassar, “From a Philosophy of Self to a Philosophy of Nature: Goethe and the Development of Schelling’s Naturphilosophie,” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 92.3 (2010): 304-321.

Sara Eigen Figal, “When Brothers are Enemies: Frederick the Great’s Catechism for War,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 43:1 (2009): 21-36

Tobias Boes, “Apprenticeship of the Novel: The Bildungsroman and the Invention of History, ca. 1770-1820,” Comparative Literature Studies 45.3 (2008).

Christian Weber, “Goethes ‘Ganymed’ und der Sündenfall der Ästhetik,” Deutsche Vierteljahresschrift 81: 317-45.

Andrew Piper, “Rethinking the Print Object: Goethe and the Book of Everything,” PMLA 121.1 (2006): 124-138.

Elisabeth Krimmer, “‘Eviva il Coltello’? The Castrato Singer in Eighteenth-Century German Literature and Culture,” PMLA 120.5 (2005): 1543-1559.

Edgar Landgraf, “Romantic Love and the Enlightenment: From Gallantry and Seduction to Authenticity and Self-Validation,” German Quarterly 77.1 (2004): 29-46.

Karin Schutjer, “Beyond the Wandering Jew: Anti-Semitism and Narrative Supersession in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre,” German Quarterly 77.4 (2004): 389-407.

Karin Barton, “Apum Rex/Regina: Goethes Bienenlehre als Schlüssel zu Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahren,” in Body Dialectics in the Age of Goethe, ed. Marianne Henn and Holger A. Pausch (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003), 117-67.

Horst Lange, “Wolves, Sheep, and the Shepherd: Legality, Legitimacy, and Hobbesian Political Theory in Goethe’s Götz von Berlichingen,” Goethe Yearbook 10 (2001): 1-30. And “Weislingen: Goethe’s Politics of the Ego,” Goethe Yearbook 11 (2002): 177-196.

2001 and 2000
Not awarded

Elizabeth Powers, “The Artist’s Escape from the Idyll: The Relationship of Werther to Sesenheim,” Goethe Yearbook 9 (1999): 47-76.

1998 and earlier
Not awarded