Academic journal article German Quarterly

From the Editor

Academic journal article German Quarterly

From the Editor

Article excerpt

As we begin volume 80, we should remind ourselves not only of GQ's venerability but also of its ongoing presence in both the actuality and the activation of German culture in the US. German remains a "core" language in our schools; but anyone who enters the field professionally knows that nothing can be taken for granted, that the task of interesting young people in matters German is never simple-and that university officials continuously scrutinize enrollments. Does GQ have a role in this cultural politics, other than as a prestigious forum for scholarship in German studies? My thought is to highlight the other meaning of the word "forum." While broad topics have frequently been analyzed in recent GQ issues, texts have been authoritative in tone-and have not generated explicit reader responses. Can we move, tonally, from lecture to seminar, from authoritative to disputatious? Obviously this is difficult for a quarterly; our correspondence section would never resemble that of the New York Times or the Nation. But PMLA has one, so why not try? We will be putting new material on the website to facilitate intellectual exchange.

In this issue, members of the Editorial Board have "staged" an argument that looks back to the norms of "high culture" as well as to the many kinds of text scholars analyze today: is literature still central to German Studies? If you find the question itself questionable, that's its purpose. But even if the forum argument seems not especially provocative, one need only reflect on issues driving some of the scholarly essays in this issue-and the restless dynamics of German Studies today becomes vivid indeed. …

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