Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tales after Tolkien at Kalamazoo 2015: Introduction and the Meeting

As the Society webpage notes, the Society formed from work at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. As such, the Society does tend to privilege that conference, and in 2015, it sponsored two sessions and conducted, somewhat informally, the Annual General Meeting called for in the Society Constitution 5.1. Reports on the sessions are forthcoming; information needed for those reports is still outstanding. A report on the meeting, however, appears below.

The AGM was held in Kalamazoo but away from the conference site at approximately 6pm EDT on 15 May 2015. In attendance were Stephanie Amsel, Geneva Diamond, Judy Ann Ford, Alexandra Garner, Jewel Morow, and Kris Swank; Geoffrey B. Elliott presided.

The initial agenda of the meeting was to confirm office-holders, per the Society Constitution 3.2.1, and to elect officers to the positions of Secretary and Social Media Officer, per the Society Constitution 3.2. Items added to the agenda during the meeting were proposals for sessions to be sponsored at the 2016 International Congress on Medieval Studies and a proposal to have the Society sponsor a session at a regional conference in 2016.

The initial agenda was completed without difficulty. Helen Young was confirmed as President of the Society. Molly Brown was confirmed as Vice-President (At-large) of the Society. Geoffrey B. Elliott was confirmed as Vice-President (USA) of the Society. Stephanie Amsel was acclaimed as Secretary of the Society. Kris Swank was acclaimed as Social Media Officer of the Society--although Geoffrey B. Elliott continues to be tasked with curating the Society blog.

The items of the added agenda were concluded without difficulty. Suggestions for sessions to be proposed for the 2016 International Congress on Medieval Studies were made and voted upon by the membership present at the AGM. Desired sessions include a paper panel focusing entirely on Martin's Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones and a roundtable titled "Unconventional Medievalisms," per member suggestion, focusing on medievalism outside fantasy, science fiction, and period pieces. A survey to determine the exact headings to be suggested for the latter was promised and is forthcoming. (The suggestions have since been reported to Helen Young, who will compile the necessary paperwork for submitting the sessions to the Congress; a CFP is forthcoming, pending their approval by Congress staff and results of the survey.)

Membership discussed sponsoring a session at a regional conference. The specific conference will be the 2016 South Central Modern Language Association conference, to be held 3-5 November 2016 in Dallas, Texas. Geoffrey B. Elliott and Stephanie Amsel will be heading the sponsorship efforts.

Questions were raised during the AGM. A list of Society members, to be posted either to the Soceity blog or the Society website, has been requested; one member noted having been asked to prove membership, and a directory would be helpful to that end. (Work on such a list is forthcoming.)

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 645pm EDT.

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