Saturday, May 14, 2016

Tales after Tolkien at Kalamazoo 2016: Introduction and Meeting

As the current Society webpage notes (here), the Society emerges from paper sessions hosted at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and it tends to privilege that conference. In keeping with the regard for the Congress, as well as §5.1 of the Society constitution, the Society Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held at approximately 6pm EDT on 13 May 2016 in Kalamazoo, proximal to the Congress itself. Attending were Luke Baugher, Shiloh Carroll, Alex Garner, Jim Hard, Carol Jamison, Jewell Morow, and Kris Swank; Geoffrey B. Elliott presided. As announced on 19 April 2016, the stated agenda for the meeting included what sessions to propose for the 2017 Congress and what efforts should be made to expand Society activities to other conferences; some other new business also followed. Reports of each appear below.

Proposed Sessions for the 2017 Congress

The AGM suggested that the Society propose two sessions for the 2017 Congress. The first is something of an ongoing project, a roundtable session on Unconventional Medievalisms. Information about earlier attempts to offer such a session can be found here and here; it is expected that the session to be proposed will be of similar sort. The second session is a traditional paper session meant to treat medievalism in young adult and children's literatures, emphasizing but not restricting itself to the works of JK Rowling. CFPs are expected to emerge after session proposals are made to the Congress; it is hoped that they will be approved.

Expansion to Other Conferences

The idea of expanding Society presence outside the International Congress on Medieval Studies and the International Medieval Congress at Leeds remains one the Society wishes to pursue. To that end, Kris Swank will be proposing a Society session at the 2017 Southwest Popular Culture/American Culture Association conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Shiloh Carroll will attempt to propose one at the upcoming Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association in the South conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

New Business

Two items of new business were discussed. One was informal and wholly welcome; the Society welcomed new members Luke Baugher and Jim Hart.

The other was more formally conducted. Kris Swank resigned her position as Social Media Officer for the Society. Upon her announced resignation, a call for nominations/volunteers to succeed her was offered. Discussion ensued, and Luke Baugher was acclaimed as the Social Media Officer for the Society, with a term to extend from the end of the 2016 meeting to the 2019 meeting, following the three-year term expressed in §4.2 of the Society Constitution.

This report also appears on the Society website.

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