Present: Anne Cobby, Adrian Stevens, Paola Scarpini, Emma Campbell, David Dominé-Cohn, Eleanor Hodgson, Victoria Turner, Patricia Gillies, Daniel Gutiérrez-Trápaga, Miranda Griffin, Philippe Frieden, Jessica Stoll, Camilla Barker, Dirk Schoenaers, Linda Gowans, Bill Burgwinkle, Karen Pratt (President), Jane Gilbert (Secretary)
1. Apologies for absence Apologies had been received from Jane Bliss, Emma Cayley, Finn Sinclair.
2. Announcements No announcements.
3. Minutes of the previous meeting (circulated) The minutes were accepted with one correction: Ms Linda Gowans for Dr.
4. Matters arising The website remains a pressing issue. The Secretary will contact Philip Shaw and also Sheffield to ascertain the situation. Paola Scarpini offered to take over the website from the end of July; Eleanor Hodgson volunteered herself as a Sheffield University contact, should there be issues of access. The President thanked both for these kind offers.
5. President’s report The President reported that the Branch was flourishing. She plans to circulate a newsletter to all members before long to include important information not available in time for the AGM.
6. Secretary’s and Treasurer’s report The Secretary reported that plans to publish a double issue of Encomia (2010 and 2011) were still ongoing, as was the issue of electronic publication. Electronic publication in different forms and the continuation of publication in book form were discussed, with members expressing various views. The Secretary will check progress with the International Secretary.
On membership, the Branch has lost a few members to retirement, and gained some new ones; it is particularly pleasing to see younger scholars among the latter, and hoped that those who joined for the Conference will become active, long-term members. One or two retiring members have stated that there is not presently much English Studies presence within the Branch, and this was discussed. Although historically there has been English Studies engagement, its current level is somewhat low, and rather more engagement would be desirable. On the other hand, the variety of material from different European traditions at the present conference was welcomed, and it was considered highly desirable to maintain and increase strong presence of non-English. The Treasurer having been unable to attend due to family illness, no financial report was presented. Informally, finances are reported to be healthy.
7. Branch meetings 2014 and 2015 The Branch welcomed two offers to host future Branch meetings: Emma Cayley, Exeter, for 2014; Emma Campbell, Warwick, for 2015. These were accepted with thanks. Since it is unlikely that Durham would be accepted as an international congress venue, since the next Congress would normally be held in North America, it is likely that the British branch meeting in 2017 would be held in Durham. The President undertook to pursue these details with Luke Sunderland, who was thanked for making the offer.
8. International Congress 2013 The Lisbon Congress will be 22-27 July, 2013. The organisers are Margarida Madureira and Ana Pavia Morais from the new Iberian Branch of the Society. As a result a a strong Hispanic as well as Portugese presence is expected. A website and CFP will be disseminated before long, while four plenary speakers have been invited. The theme is parody, with the following strands identified so far: Parodies courtoises/Parodies de la courtoisie; Frontières de la parodie; Parodie et confluence générique; Parodie et dialogue inter-arts. Although it is stated that ‘parody’ is to be understood ‘in the broadest sense’, members wondered whether sessions or papers not strictly on parody would be welcomed. The President will pursue this matter with the Congress Committee, as well as seeking further details on organisational and financial aspects. International Congress 2016 is expected to be in North America; no details as yet.
9. Election of Officers The President and Secretary were re-elected unopposed for a three-year term. It was noted that the Treasurer would need re-election in 2013. Helen Swift having stood down as one of the bibliographic team, the President will check with Emma Cayley, the other member of the team, whether she is happy to continue given her other heavy commitments. Members were encouraged to send in details of their own work published in the UK and Ireland, including a short summary. They are also invited to submit the same for any publications they think relevant to the society's interests. Arthurian material should not be included unless it is also of significant, distinct courtly interest. To avoid potential duplication of work, Linda Gowans offered to act as a central co-ordinator if Emma Cayley was no longer able to do this. The President thanked Linda for her kind offer , and promised to inform the membership in the newsletter of arrangements once established, including the details of who to contact with their bibliographical information
10. Any other business On behalf of the meeting and the Branch, the President thanked Bill Burgwinkle for organizing the Cambridge conference, and congratulated him on a successful and enjoyable conference.