In spite of its name, the German Society for English Romanticism (GER) is dedicated to and supports research not only into all aspects of British Romanticism, but into European and American varieties of Romanticism as well. Theoretically aware, it has increasingly become a forum for researchers working on the interfaces of literature, philosophy, art history, and cultural studies, though its main focus remains on literature, broadly defined. Open to comparatist activities, the Society itself has become a meeting ground for scholars from many different nations and backgrounds: Our conferences, exclusively held in English, are truly international symposia.
Established in 1974, the German Society for English Romanticism is older than its sister organizations NASSR and BARS, with whom it enjoys special relations: Since 2005, NASSR and BARS memberships are regarded as equivalent to a GER membership with respect to our conferences (which are held every other year) – in other words: NASSR and BARS members do not have to join GER in order to attend our conferences (though they would still have to pay the regular conference fee. This is now also true for our colleagues from Japan who are member of the Japan Association for English romanticism (JAER)). However, by joining the Gesellschaft für englische Romantik, you are also entitled to a free copy of our conference proceedings.
Current membership fees are 34 Euros (regular) and 10 Euros (student and unemployed rate).
The book series of the German Society for English Romanticism, Studien zur englischen Romantik, publishes outstanding monographs and collections of essays. Our publisher, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, is one of the leading German publishers in the field of English Literature. For further information about the book series, please contact the current President of GER (see below).
The precursor to our Society, the Deutsche Byron-Gesellschaft (German Byron Society), was founded in 1974 by Prof. Hermann Fischer (Mannheim University) as a national section of the International Byron Society (London). After five eminently productive conferences on Lord Byron's life and works – Mannheim (1975), Constance (1977), Hanover (1979), Salzburg (1980), and again Mannheim (1982) – it was felt that it was time to broaden the Society's field of interest and to include all manifestations of (British) Romanticism. Consequently, the Society was renamed the Gesellschaft für englische Romantik in 1982.
An impressive series of further conferences was organized, first under the presidency of the "Paderborn triumvirate" (Profs. Rolf Breuer and Rainer Schöwerling, and Dr. Werner Huber), then, for many years, by Prof. Michael Gassenmeier and his team at Duisburg University: Paderborn (1984), Mannheim (1987), Bochum (1988), Eichstätt (1990), Prague (1992), Heidelberg (1994), Duisburg (1997, which was simultaneously a conference of the International Byron Society), and Erfurt (1999), before, under a new team, the series was continued with symposia at Chemnitz-Grimma (2001), Regensburg (2003), Munich (2005), Tübingen (2007), Koblenz (2009), Duisburg-Essen 2011 and Munich 2013. This was, at the same time, the first joint conference of GER and NASSR and the biggest conference we ever hosted. We continued with conferences in Wuppertal (2015), Bamberg (2017), Vechta (2019), and Augsburg (2021). The next conference will take place at Leipzig University from 5 to 8 October 2023.
All these were most memorable events, full of thought-provoking papers and lectures, lively debates, not to mention late-night profundities...
This series of highly explorative conferences testifies not only to the Society's new profile and to a wider, more flexible, and theoretically informed concept of Romanticism, but also to the increasing international appeal of our activities: More and more scholars from England, Scotland, Ireland, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, the Middle East and, especially after 1989, from Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovenia have joined our Society and/or attended our conferences, which thereby have become unique locations of interchange and communication between British and Continental, American, European and global views and approaches.
At the same time, our Society has managed to uphold the traditionally relaxed and familiar atmosphere of its gatherings, which always include outings and musical events. The small format of our
conferences allows for intense, workshop-like discussions not easily to be found elsewhere.
Through our website we offer the following services:
If you would like to join the German Society for English Romanticism, please contact our secretary, Prof. Dr. Frank Erik Pointner of Essen University,
(Please note that membership fees are tax-deductible and entitle you to free copies of the conference proceedings.)
For further enquiries, or if you have information that you would like to see on our website, please contact the current president, Prof. Dr. Ralf Haekel of Leipzig University.