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The Society offers scholarships in honor of the late Gloria Flaherty, the accomplished scholar and founding member of the Goethe Society. Since 2008, the Society has been awarding those scholarships exclusively for dissertation workshops at GSNA conferences. Our next conference will be held in Pittsburgh in 2014.

The Society also offers an annual essay prize, which carries an award of $500. The guidelines for submission appear below.

GSNA Essay Prize

March 16, 2014


2012 Award

Eleanor ter HorstCongratulations to Eleanor ter Horst on her award-winning article, "Masks and Metamorphoses: The Transformation of Classical Tradition in Goethe’s Römische Elegien," German Quarterly 85.4 (2012): 401-19.

Professor Horst (Clarion University) has written a learned and spirited essay which expertly draws links between Goethe’s Römische Elegien, and the French Renaissance poet Joachim de Bellay, Horace’s Odes, Ovid’s Erotic Arts, and Aeschylus’s Oresteia, among other Classical fore bearers. Professor Horst elucidates the dialogue between these many poets to contemplate the lifespan of erotic poetry when compared to the decayed monumentality of Roman antiquity. Without ever overtly referencing “dialectical logic,” the essay's argument shifts gently back and forth, balancing between Goethe’s sensitive appropriation of Latin poetry and his Modernist sense of distance from the ancient world.

As Goethe scholars, we are always challenged by our more contemporary colleagues to explain what possible new topics one can find in the old man’s work. The answer lies not in extracting some sliver of a previously unnoticed insight, but to synthesize the already well-established and well-read commentary on Goethe, in order to combine it with new theoretical questions in a style that makes the eighteenth century come to life in our own present. Professor Horst has done just that.

She traces the scholarly and poetic discussion of the elegy as a genre. Her argument follows Goethe's self-reflection on the division between the public and private. She is particularly attuned to the poem’s representation of intimacy in the media age of hyper sensationalism and the best seller. Professor Horst argues with speed and grace. Her learned article displays her thorough research into two centuries of commentary on the Römische Elegien without ever falling into a ponderous pace. Her style remains light and nimble, even at its most canonical moments of explication. She structures her argument along a rapidly shifting succession of oppositions, constantly substituting one familiar contrast for a surprising juxtaposition: north-south, ancient-modern, barbaric-civilized, always with an eye to the sexual resonance of each. In a surprising turn, Professor Horst explains the cross-gender, castrating connotations of the word “Gallier.” Even Luther’s Biblical German makes an unexpected appearance in her discussion of Goethe’s mythic sexual politics. The allusions in Professor Horst’s essay are so rich and so deftly intertwined, they leave the reader exhausted and in wonder at her writerly dexterity and editorial skill in composing such a finely crafted essay.

GSNA Essay Prize

March 16, 2014


2013 Award: Call for Submissions

The executive committee seeks nominations or self-nominations for its annual essay prize, which carries an award of $500. Please submit a copy of the essay (electronic version preferred) for the best essay published in the year 2013 on Goethe, his times, and/or contemporary figures by March 31, 2014 to the Society's Vice-President.

The following articles are eligible:

     1) articles written by a North American scholar (defined by institutional affiliation at the time of publication); or
     2) articles written by a current member of the GSNA; or
     3) articles published in the Goethe Yearbook.

NB: Articles by current GSNA board members are not eligible. GSNA members are encouraged to submit their own articles for consideration.

Gloria Flaherty Scholarship

March 16, 2014


Dissertation Workshops

image: glorai flahertyIn 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 (see Pittsburgh in 2008, Chicago in 2011). 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.

The GSNA will hold its next dissertation workshop at the 2014 conference in Pittsburgh. Details regarding the application process will follow shortly, but 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.

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.

GSNA Essay Prize

March 16, 2014


Essay Prize Winners

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," DeutscheVierteljahresschrift 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 for the Idyll: The Relationship of Werther to Sesenheim," Goethe Yearbook 9 (1999): 47-76.

1998 and earlier
Not awarded