The Institution of Literature: 250 Years of English Studies and Cultural Transfer (30 August - 1 September 2012)

full name / name of organization: 
Department of British Literature and Culture / Department of English Didactics, Goettingen University

2012 marks the 250th anniversary of the election of John Tompson as the first Professor of English at Goettingen University. His English Miscellanies was one of the first English publications ever in Germany, and was also the first anthology composed in an academic context for the purpose of the mediation of English literature and culture to German students of English. The Miscellanies was therefore an important watershed in the development of British-German literary and cultural transfer.

The department of British Literature and Culture and the department of English Didactics will celebrate this important anniversary with a jointly organised conference on the origins, forms, methods, practices and multiple histories of English literature teaching, language teaching and cultural mediation in a European context from the 18th century to the present.

We invite 300-word proposals for 20-minute papers that relate to the following topics:

  • the problem of disciplinary origins and the
    historical and political imperatives that have informed both teaching of English and the mediation of British literature and culture;
  • the role of the genre of the anthology and questions of canon formation in the context of the mediation of national literature and culture;
  • literary translation and the translation industry as factors in cultural transfer processes;
  • the relationship between literature and language teaching;
  • the relationship between literature and culture in teaching contexts and questions of methodology;
  • the role of literature in language teacher education;
  • teaching English in the age of globalisation.

The conference will be hosted by Barbara Schaff and Carola Surkamp, English Department, Goettingen University. Keynote speakers will be Susan Bassnett, Terry Eagleton, and Konrad Schröder.

The conference fee will be € 50,-

Please send abstracts of approximately 300 words by January 30th 2012 to and