about asnel



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.

Joint Conference of ASNEL and GASt: "Postcolonial Justice"
29 May to 1 June (Potsdam and Berlin)

The joint 25th Annual ASNEL and 14th Biennial GASt Conference entitled "Postcolonial Justice" took place in Potsdam and Berlin from 29 May to 1 June, 2014.
Conference website:

ASNEL Graduate Award winner Ms Andrea Moll awarded "summa cum laude" for doctoral degree

Ms Andrea Moll has received the grade "summa cum laude" for her doctoral thesis on "Jamaican Creole goes web: sociolinguistic styling and authenticity in a digital yaad". Ms Moll is the winner of the ASNEL Graduate Award of 2008.

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

James Berry archive acquired by the British Library


This month (Oct 2012), the BL has purchased the James Berry archive which includes poetry notebooks spanning the length of his career, along with manuscript and typescript drafts of his poetry and prose (including notes for an unpublished novel), diaries, photographs and audio visual material. James Berry was one of the first migrant Caribbean writers in Britain widely recognised for his work.

He came to Britain as part of the first major wave of migrants from the Caribbean in 1948 in the wake of the Nationality Act. Today, Berry is one of the major writers in Black British and Caribbean British literatures. (, photo: © James Berry)

Link to fuller info.

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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