Gerhard Lauer successfully combines philological research questions with a book studies approach. He conducted high profile research in literary history and endorsed a thorough rethinking of important concepts used in literary studies in the late 1990s, which led to a noticeable gain in clarity in terminology and methods in literary studies. Furthermore, he is considered one of the pioneers of the introduction of questions and methods of digital humanities into German studies. This paradigm shift led him to research empirically how texts and stories are structured, shared, and how they are read.
After professorships in Göttingen and Basel, Gerhard Lauer will continue his research as professor of book studies at JGU and focus on empirical reading studies and digital humanities.