EHES - Balz Engler

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I first proposed a European history of English Studies at the 1995 ESSE conference in Glasgow, because I realized

  • that the history of English Studies, also in England, is an international one, in particular,

  • that English, as we know it, was in many respects shaped by the conflict between England and Germany in WWI.

  • that existing histories tended to privilege the countries from which they originated (usually Britain or the U.S.).

  • that the discipline in other countries often did not have a sense of its own history.

  • and that it is history that explains the different shapes of the discipline in different countries.


Renate Haas
(University of Kiel) and I then organized a seminar on the issues at the 1997 Debrecen ESSE conference, which produced the first contributions to what has become a two-volume set of books.
European English Studies: Contributions towards the History of a Discipline
(2000) contents
European English Studies: Contributions towards the History of a Discipline II  
(2008) contents

A timeline that covers both volumes can be downloaded here.


A questionnaire that may be useful in addressing the history of the discipline can be found here
(or in the first volume, pp. 8-10).


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