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Figurines in a museum© 2019 Alamy Ltd.

Goethe Annual Lecture

In the tradition of our previous series, the Brady Lecture, the Goethe Annual Lecture invites acclaimed speakers to share their perspectives on the themes that we explore through our cultural work, and on the most pressing issues that societies are facing in the United Kingdom, Germany and worldwide. 

Goethe Annual Lectures 2022

To celebrate our 60th Anniversary, we hosted three Goethe Annual Lectures this year. 

A woman in a climbing frame © GuidoSchiefer


In the opening Goethe Annual Lecture 2022, the author, cultural scientist, and journalist Mithu Sanyal explored the pitfalls and promises of a politics of love in times of ever-growing divisions. What can politics informed by love look like?

A portrait of a woman outside © King's College London


Next up, Mercedes Bunz, Professor in Digital Culture and Society, discussed the particular power of AI systems in her Goethe Annual Lecture 2022. Using work from contemporary artists, her talk revealed the human misunderstanding regarding AI.

Man sitting in a music studio © Manuel Vasquez


Through a series of extraordinary sound recordings, musician Matthew Herbert pushed us to hear further than we had thought possible in the final Goethe Annual Lecture 2022. His talk asked us how systemic listening can lead to meaningful action.

Figurines in a museum © 2019 Alamy Ltd.

Goethe Annual Lecture 2021

Professor Dan Hicks on the topic: "Unrechtskontexte" (Contexts of injustics): Dismantling colonial legacies from Berlin to London. 

Photo of Sharon Dodua Otoo © Sharon Dodua Otoo

Goethe Annual Lecture 2020

Sharon Dodua Otto on the topic: "Some kind of tomorrow": Honouring the visions of the Black Feminist creative authors. 

Previous speakers

Past speakers of our annual Lecture include John Kampfner (2019), Brendan Simms (2018), Anne McElvoy (2017), Neil MacGregor (2016), Christopher Clark (2014), David Chipperfield (2012), Norman Rosenthal (2010), Tacita Dean (2006), Peter Jonas (2005), Ian Kershaw (2003), Richard Wentworth (2002) and AS Byatt (2001).

You can view recordings of previous lectures by following the link here.