European English Studies: Contributions towards the History of a Discipline

Is ‘English’ a genuine academic discipline? What does it include? Why? Today it is represented at most universities in Europe, and in a great variety of shapes. This variety cannot simply be explained by the different purposes English serves in different educational contexts. Even more so, it is due to the institutional history of the discipline.

The history of ‘English’ is relatively short and of great complexity. It is a history full of ideological and political conflict, both nationally and internationally. This collection gives a survey of English as an academic discipline in Europe. It offers essays on the history of English studies in various countries, deals with issues cutting across national borders and, in the final essays, highlights common features. Much work remains to be done.

These volumes mark an important step towards a European history of English studies, by sketching a framework, by offering examples, by creating a context for further work, and by discussing the problems of writing the history of a discipline crucial to the humanities.

ehes-1Vol. I, ed. by Balz Engler and Renate Haas. Leicester: The English Association, for ESSE, 2000.

Preface, Introduction Writing the European History of English Studies – Balz Engler National Surveys Southern Europe Portugal – Martin A. Kayman, Spain – Tomás Monterrey, Italy – Franco Marenco, Western Europe France – Imelda Bonel-Elliott, Netherlands – Pieter Loonen, Northern Europe Norway – Arthur O. Sandved, Denmark – Jørgen Erik Nielsen, Central Europe Austria – Manfred Markus, Poland – Krystyna Kujawinska-Courtney, Czech Republic – Josef Hladký, Slovakia – Jozef Olexa, Slovenia – Meta Grosman, South-Eastern Europe Serbia – Radmila B. Šević, Romania – Eugenia Gavriliu, Horia Hulban, Ecaterina Popa, Bulgaria – Alexander Shurbanov, Christo Stamenov, European Case Studies 1848 and German English Studies/German Philology – Renate Haas, Vilém Fried: English Studies in Migration – Helmut Schrey, The Birth and Growth of ESSE: Some Personal Recollections – Hans-Jürgen Diller, European Perspectives Englishness and English Studies – Balz Engler, European Survey: Parameters and Patterns of Development – Renate Haas, Contributors, Index

ehes-2Vol. II, ed. by Renate Haas and Balz Engler. Leicester: The English Association, for ESSE, 2008.

Preface, National Surveys Northern Europe Sweden – Ishrat Lindblad, Finland – Päivi Pahta, Lithuania – Jonė Grigaliunienė, Central Europe Switzerland – Balz Engler, Germany – Renate Haas, Hungary – Aladár Sarbu, South-Eastern Europe Macedonia – Ekaterina Babamova, Greece – Ruth Parkin-Gounelas, Cyprus – Stephanos Stephanides, Dionysis Goutsos, Eastern Europe Ukraine – Isabella Buniyatova, Olga Vorobyova, Natalya Vysotska, Russia – Tatiana Dobrosklonskaya, Armenia – Seda Gasparyan, Gayane Muradyan, European Perspectives Concluding Remarks – Renate Haas, Contributors, Index

The tables of contents of Volumes I and II (pdf)

Ordering information

Available from: Alberto Lázaro Lafuente,

Timeline for EHES

EHES-Timeline-and-Index indexes the dates mentioned in the contributions to the two volumes of European English Studies.
It thus offers a rudimentary timeline for the history of the discipline in Europe ─ rudimentary, because the individual contributions may follow different rules in listing dates, and because there are gaps in the coverage. But still, certain patterns emerge.

Interested in the history of the discipline? Click here for a questionnaire about what you should be looking for.

For further information contact Renate Haas or Balz Engler

Also of interest:

rewriting-academiaRewriting Academia, ed. by Renate Haas. Frankfurt, etc.: Peter Lang, 2015. 442 pp.

From a historical perspective, the full academic establishment of Women’s and Gender Studies is a radical and far-reaching innovation. Decisive impulses have come from the United States, the European unification and globalization. European Women’s and Gender Studies are therefore intimately linked to the English language and Anglophone cultures, as the near untranslatability of ‘gender’ shows.

In this volume 25 experts present surveys for their countries and offer fundamental insights not only for English Studies but also various other disciplines.

StrasbourgThe University of Strasbourg and the Foundation of Continental English Studies: A Contribution to a European History of English Studies

L’Université de Strasbourg et la fondation des études anglaises continentales: Contribution à une histoire européenne des études anglaises
Die Universität Straßburg und die Etablierung der Anglistik auf dem Kontinent: Ein Beitrag zu einer europäischen Geschichte der Anglistik
European Studies in the History of Science and Ideas, 16, Frankfurt, etc.: Peter Lang, 2009. 229 pp., 6 fig.

The first regular chair of English Studies on the Continent was established in 1872 at the University of Strasbourg, re-founded by Germany after its victory of 1870-71. This institutionalisation, which decisively influenced the development of the discipline in Europe and beyond, can be explained by the general and academic history of the two countries and the special geopolitical situation of Alsace.
Contents (trilingual):

  • Adolphe Haberer: Foreword
  • Renate Haas and Albert Hamm: The ‘Prehistory’ of English Studies in Strasbourg ─ Establishment of the First Chair and Seminar: the Breakthrough for Continental English Studies