This Festschrift marks the 50th anniversary of the Dallas Goethe Center, a nonprofit educational and cultural arts organization, dedicated to advancing German culture and language in North Texas. Founded in 1965, the Dallas Goethe Center serves the community by developing an appreciation and understanding of German art, drama, music, language, literature, and history, and cultivates mutual understanding between the people of German-speaking countries and those of the United States of America.
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, a symposium honoring Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was organized and held on April 22, 2016, at the University of Dallas. This Festschrift is the published proceedings of the symposium along with a review of the Goethe Center’s history and the development of its mission from its founding to the present. The concept of the Festschrift is focused on the persona of Goethe and his modern-day relevance as a representative of German culture and Bildung. The chapters included in this volume revolve around Goethe’s uniqueness as a thinker, scientist, and artist. This volume seeks to draw attention to Goethe’s role as cultural representative by highlighting his double function as mediator between both tradition and innovation by virtue of his intellectual idiosyncrasy. It also seeks to contextualize the various scholarly contributions as both examinations of Goethe’s unique cultural and intellectual formation as well as inquiries into the reception of that formation as part of a modern understanding of the concept of Bildung.