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Taking its cue from Jeremy Adler's 2022 monograph, Goethe – Die Erfindung der Moderne published by C.H.Beck, this panel discussion will probe the claim made in the title of Adler's wide-ranging biography. To what extent can we see Goethe not just as outstanding author of novels, poetry and plays but as one of the main drivers of modern civilisation? Should we understand Goethe's work not as an ending, as Harold Bloom suggested in The Western Canon of 1994, but, rather, as a beginning  –  a force that allowed the western world to think itself anew?  

Dr Charlotte Lee (Cambridge) and Professor Ritchie Robertson (Oxford) will join Professor Adler (London) to discuss Goethe's contributions in various fields across the humanities, the social sciences and, indeed, the sciences; and explore their importance to our understanding of the world and of what it means to be human today. 


This event will be held in person in Room G37, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.
All welcome. Attendance is free; advance online registration is essential.


Image: ‘3 Steps–Goethe–Lotte–Werther’ (Wetzlarer Museum, 2014). Via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0.