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The Association for the Study of the New Literatures in English (ASNEL) / Gesellschaft für die neuen englischsprachigen Literaturen (GNEL) has renamed itself GAPS (Gesellschaft für Anglophone Postkoloniale Studien / Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies). The members made this decision with an overwhelming majority at the Association’s annual general meeting on May 30, 2014, at the University of Potsdam.

The name change had been intensely debated over a period of four years. Among others, two main reasons have led to the decision. The first reflects the desire to more inclusively represent the scope of the work covered by the Association’s members. While the study of ‘literatures’ that are foregrounded in the name ASNEL remains at the heart of the Association, the name occluded that the study of Anglophone languages, media and diverse cultural practices outside of literature has always been of integral importance to the Association, too. The second reason reflects a desire to acknowledge that for the past 25 years, the Association has played a formative role in the establishment of the field of Postcolonial Studies in German-speaking countries. While being reflexive and aware of the conceptual challenges of the term ‘postcolonial’, the Association recognizes the importance of the term to mark out an internationally recognized field of study that is increasingly also covered by neighboring disciplines and departments. The name change to GAPS asserts the Association’s formative role in the past, present and, surely, future of Postcolonial Studies in German-speaking countries and beyond.

The name change does thus not constitute a break with the history of the Association. On the contrary: It intends to highlight the continuity of its interdisciplinary scope, as much as its continuing contribution to core conceptual and institutional developments which shape our disciplines. Taking this name change and the reasons for it as a cue, the Association in February 2015 will hold the symposium “Naming the Future” as a forum for an in-depth debate about the future directions of Postcolonial Studies in German-speaking countries (see below for details and the CfP).

The renaming will involve a number of changes over the next months, including a reworked and redirected homepage. You will find all relevant information in due time on this site.

Extraordinary Symposium:
Naming the Future: (Trans)Disciplinary Challenges in Anglophone Postcolonial Studies

We are pleased to announce that in February 2015, GAPS will be hosting an extraordinary symposium under the heading "Naming the Future: (Trans)Disciplinary Challenges in Anglophone Postcolonial Studies." At this symposium, GAPS members will explore the state of the art of Postcolonial Studies in the 21st century. This exploration takes place in the context of the recent renaming process of the organisation from Association for the New English Literatures in English (ASNEL) to Gesellschaft für Anglophone Postkoloniale Studien (GAPS). As such, the symposium is rooted in the specific vantage point of the German-speaking countries Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, and in a particular moment of the organisation's history.
Please click here for the Call for Statements.

Forum Postcolonial Narrations:
Conference "Reading Across Cultures"

Young researchers (master-, doctoral-, or post-doctoral level) who work in the fields of anglophone literatures and cultures, postcolonial studies, and cultural studies are warmly invited to join the discussion at the Postgraduate Forum "Postcolonial Narrations". The forum's second conference will take place at Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main, September 21-23, 2014.

The conference focuses on comparative approaches to postcolonial anglophone literatures and cultures in an era of globalization. Our program will feature research that employs, discusses or problematizes transcultural, transnational or transregional frameworks. The conference aims to provide a platform for exchanging ideas, presenting research, and constructively discussing current projects with other young scholars in the fields.

If you are interested in participating, please register by sending an e-mail with your name and institutional affiliation to postcolonial.narrations@
no later than September 12, 2014.

Find out more at

First Dissertation Award goes to Dr. Doreen Strauhs

At the 2014 GNEL/GAPS conference in Potsdam, the association launched its newly established bi-annual Dissertation Award, an award meant to recognize excellent PhD theses in the fields of Anglophone postcolonial literatures, cultures, and varieties of English.

Recipient of the first GAPS Dissertation Award is Dr. Doreen Strauhs. She received the prize for her outstanding dissertation entitled African Literary NGOs: Power, Politics, and Participation, which had been submitted at the Goethe University (Frankfurt) in 2012 and published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.

The jury, consisting of Prof. Dr. Barbara Buchenau (Duisburg-Essen), Prof. Dr. Liselotte Glage (Hannover) and Prof. Dr. Susanne Mühleisen (Bayreuth), chose Dr. Strauhs’ dissertation out of five nominations, which were all highly commendable in their scholarly quality and innovation.

Doreen Strauh’s work is marked by an innovative approach to literary NGOs in Africa and their involvement in the Anglophone literary production on the continent. Her historiographic analyses offer fresh insights into how influential institutionally organized and sponsored socio-political literary activities have been since the late 1950s.
Her concept of LINGO, designating the literary NGO, provides a theoretical framework with which she scrutinizes the social, political and literary networks in which these organizations are embedded. The writers are placed in the contexts of local politics, academic goals and curricula, as well as development aid. Thus, Doreen Strauhs conclusively shows what LINGOs can and cannot achieve, how they function as support network, as interlocutor and control mechanism for writers and readers in Africa and beyond. She provides an innovative literary historiography that sheds new light on African literary production, distribution and reception in a postcolonial and globalised Anglophone world.

GAPS congratulates Dr. Doreen Strauhs on her excellent work!

For information on the GAPS Dissertation Award 2016, nomination procedure, and deadlines, please click here.

Current yearbook

  Postcolonial Studies Across the Disciplines.
ASNEL Papers 18.
Gohrisch, Jana, & Ellen Grünkemeier (eds.)
Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2013.
go to: yearbooks

Special membership offer

Take out an ASNEL yearbook membership
upgrade your existing membership to include a yearbook subscription
choose an additional, complimentary ASNEL Papers volume

To join ASNEL or upgrade your membership, just send an email to

Make sure to indicate which volume you’d like to receive for free; to find out which yearbooks are in print, go to yearbooks.

(valid until Dec. 2014)

Volume 91 of the Bayreuth African Studies Series (BASS) out now

Volume 91 of the Bayreuth African Studies Series (BASS), edited by the late Prof. Eckhard Breitinger (d. 2013) is out now: Karsten Legère (ed.), Bantu Languages and Linguistics. Papers in Memory of Dr. Rugatiri D. K. Mekacha. Details

GNEL goes Facebook

From now on ASNEL presents itself on the social network Facebook. All the news concerning the annual conferences, summer schools and recent yearbooks will be posted and this gives ASNEL members the opportunity to connect with each other. If you have already signed up on Facebook you can support ASNEL and share news with others by clicking on the 'like' button. But in any case you can follow up on the latest posts on the ASNEL profile on facebook.

The Association for the Study of the New Literatures in English (ASNEL) represents academics, teachers and students from Germany, Europe and overseas.

ASNEL promotes teaching and research in the field of English-language literatures in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Canada, Australia, New Zealand/Aotearoa and the Pacific Region as well as diaspora and transcultural literatures in the English-speaking world.-----

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