The Institution of Literature. 250 Years of English Studies and Cultural Transfer

The Institution of Literature. 250 Years of English Studies and Cultural Transfer

Prof. Dr. Barbara Schaff; Prof. Dr. Carola Surkamp; Johannes Schlegel, M.A.
Vom - Bis
30.08.2012 - 01.09.2012
Johannes Schlegel

Keynote speakers: Terry Eagleton, Konrad Schröder, Susan Bassnett

2012 marks the 250th anniversary of the election of John Tompson as the world's first full professor of English at Göttingen in 1762, and the 275th anniversary of his English Miscellanies, published by the Göttingen publisher Abraham Vandenhoek. This was the first anthology composed in an academic context for the purpose of the mediation of English literature and culture to German students of English. It was so successful that it went into four editions and was to shape the eighteenth-century German taste in English literature.

The department of British Literature and Culture and the department of English Didactics will celebrate this anniversary with a jointly organised conference, investigating the history of cultural transfer and exchange between Britain and Germany and the development of English Studies in an international context. Based on the premise that a history of English Studies is not only always already the history of its institutions and its institutionalisation but also a key factor in all discursive modes of transfer that shape and structure a given culture in the first place, the conference will address questions about the settings of norms and processes of exclusion and inclusion in the field of literary and linguistic mediations.

The conference is open to an interested public. The conference fee will be 50 Euro, payable on registration.

Graduate and undergraduate students are particulary welcome and free of charge. To register and for further information, please visit


Thursday, August 30

Registration: 09.00 –

10.15 – 10.30 Opening remarks

Carola Surkamp (Göttingen)

10.30 – 11.30 Inventing the Institution

Christian Schmitt-Kilb (Rostock): “‘Cultural Imperialism’ and the Invention of EngLit in Elizabethan England”

Anton Kirchhofer (Oldenburg): “Literature and the Institution of the Human”

11.30 – 12.30 Transcultural Perspectives

Georgia Christinidis (Berlin): “Cross-cultural Transformations of Bildungsroman-Criticism”

Martina Witt-Jauch (Hildesheim): “Miscellany or Masterpiece? – Defining the Discipline of Comparative Literature Through its Anthologies”

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.00 Canon Formation

Thomas Kullmann (Osnabrück): “Canon Formation in English Literature Studies: A Comparison of Britain and Germany, 1900 – 1930”

Anna Auguscik (Oldenburg): “The Institution of Literary Prizes”

15.00 – 15.30 Coffee

16.00 – 17.00 Unveiling John Tompson’s Memorial Plaque
Weender Str. 43

17.30 – 18.00 Welcome Addresses

Vice President Hiltrud Casper-Hehne & Barbara Schaff (Göttingen)

18.00 – 19.00 Keynote

Terry Eagleton (Lancaster): “The Death of Criticism?”

19.00 – 21.00 Reception

Friday, August 31

09.30 – 10.30 Keynote

Konrad Schröder (Augsburg): “‘Hardly has a university had a more distinguished master of languages than Tompson was.’ John Tompson’s personality, his biography, and his significance for ELT and English Studies in Germany”

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee

11.00 – 12.30 Institution Histories

Frauke Reitemeier (Göttingen): “Navigation Guides for the Vast Ocean of Literature: Writing and Teaching the History of (English) Literature in 1800”

Alexandra Lawrie (Edinburgh): “English Literature and the University Extension Movement”

Leigh Dale (Wollongong): “Germany in the Antipodes, the Antipodes in Germany”

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30 Teaching Genre

Wolfgang Hallet (Gießen): “The Rise of the Multimodal Novel: Generic Change and (Inter-)Disciplinary Challenges”

Nikola Mayer (Frankfurt): “Exploring the Cultural Potential of Graphic Novels in the EFL Classroom”

Annika Kolb (Heidelberg): “Diary Fiction in the EFL Classroom”

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee

16.00 – 17.00 Literature and Teacher Education

Katerina Dakoura (Frankfurt): “Experts in the Making? – The Problem of Literary Competence in Future EFL-Teachers’ University Education”

Janice Bland (Hildesheim): “Postmodern Fairy Tales: Empowerment of Teacher Education”

17.00 – 18.30 Workshop

Daniel Candel (Alcalá): “Basic is Fundamental: A Thinking Tool for Humanistic Interpretation Based on Scientific ‘Facts’”

19.30 Joint Conference Dinner

Saturday, September 1

09.30 – 10.30 Keynote

Susan Bassnett (Warwick): “The Joys and Perils of Poetry Collections”

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee

11.00 – 12.30 Transfer and Translation

Fritz-Wilhelm Neumann (Erfurt): “Cultural Transfer and Translation: the Strange Fascination of the World’s Secular Metropolis”

Karolin Echarti (Göttingen): “Women Translators in Göttingen at the End of the Eighteenth Century”

Laurenz Volkmann (Jena): “Landeskunde and FL Teaching: The History of a Troubled Relationship”

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30 Methodological Challenges

Daniel Xerri (Malta): “Teachers’ Beliefs and Literature Teaching: The Case of Poetry”

Christine Gardemann (Hamburg): “Literary Texts in the English Language Classroom – English Teachers’ Codes of Practice in Hamburg”

Elisabeth Bracker (Hamburg): “Negotiating Literary Texts – a Nexus Between Different Realms of Competence? Examples of a Qualitative Case Study with Advanced English Learners”

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee

16.00 – 17.30 Globalized English Studies

Arjan Shumeli, Manjola Salla, Esmeralda Sotiri, Jolanda Xhemali (Tirana): “The Status of English Language Education in Albania in the Context of Globalization Challenges”

Nandana Dutta (Guwahati): “English Studies and the Mediation of Modernity: The Case of North East India”

Myles Chilton (Nihon): “Global English and Changing Status of English Literature in the Japanese Academy”

17.30 Closing Remarks


Johannes Schlegel

Seminar für Englische Philologie, Käte-Hamburger-Weg 3, 37073 Göttingen