>Special GSNA Session at GSA 2009
>Call for Papers:
>"The Emergence of Modern German Literary Studies out of Goethe Philology"
>Panel of the Goethe Society of North America at the Thirty-Third Annual
>Conference of the German Studies Association in Washington, D.C., 8-11
>Over the past few years, the history of criticism and theory
>(Wissenschaftsgeschichte) has gained new importance as a basic discipline
>for Germanistik. In various contexts, Goethe philology has been described
>as a paradigm for the shaping of theories and methods in the study of
>literature as a whole. However, the fact that modern Germanistik evolved
>out of Goethe philology at the end of the 19th century and that the shape
>of the discipline continues to be influenced by this genealogy has not yet
>been sufficiently explored. Basic terminology for Germanistik was
>systematically drawn from Goethe's texts. This intentional blending of
>object language and meta-language is responsible for important systemic
>difficulties for Germanistik as a modern critical discourse.
>Goethe's works structurally served the 'founding fathers' of Germanistik
>like Wilhelm Scherer as a point of orientation, not only in terms of its
>critical terminology and conceptual development, but also in articulating
>its overall disciplinary structure, as well as certain interdisciplinary
>questions. In his unfinished project for an empirical aesthetics, Scherer
>pursued two goals: on the one hand, he wanted to acknowledge recent work
>in fields like evolutionary biology and national economics, while on the
>other, he looked to the conversation of different disciplinary
>perspectives in Goethe's works.
>On the basis of an historical reconstruction, theoretical developments in
>the field of literary theory and criticism should be reconsidered. In this
>regard, the recent project of 'biological' aesthetics or poetics (as well
>as the evolution of Germanistik) can be seen in a different light,
>especially if examined in the context of comparable projects developed
>referring to Goethe. Certain sub-fields like the history of literature,
>biography, or scholarly editing may serve as examples.
>In all them, the historical reconstruction shows that Goethe philology
>need not be just a problematic inheritance of Germanistik, but might also
>open new perspectives for the theoretical discussions, on the one hand,
>and interdisciplinary issues on the other. One example could be the field
>of creativity research (Kreativitätsforschung).
>Additionally, of course, the international dimension must be taken into
>account: To what extent do the disciplines of Germanistik and German
>Studies (in both the US and other countries) share these concerns? What
>role has Goethe played in the non German-speaking world for the conceptual
>and institutional design of literary studies? And what consequences may be
>drawn for the further development of Germanistik? What role has politics
>played in these scholarly settings: How was Goethe and Germanistik used in
>political contexts (the 1960s), and how might he still be used today?
>Case studies and position papers considering all of these aspects of the
>interdependence of Goethe-scholarship and the (inter)disciplinary concept
>of modern literary studies (in different national and global settings from
>the end of the 19th century to the present are welcome.
>Please send abstracts (not more than one page) to:
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>Deadline for submission is 2 February 2009.
>PD Dr. Bernd Hamacher
>Institut für Germanistik II / Goethe-Wörterbuch
>20146 Hamburg, Germany
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor: Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://www.missouri.edu/~graswww/resources/gerlistserv.html