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).