Minutes of AGM 2016

28th November 2016

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies

18 November 2016, Annual General Meeting

Institute of Modern Languages Research, Senate House



Present: Charlotte Baker, Nicki Hitchcott, Claire Griffiths, Nicola Frith, Catherine Gilbert, Khalid Lyamlahy, Antonia Wimbush, Rebekah Vince, Nicola Pearson, Sarah Arens, Hannah Grayson, Louise Hardwick

  1. Apologies: Kate Marsh, Jamal Bahmad, Sara-Louise Cooper, Edward Still, David Murphy
  2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes are available on the SFPS website: Minutes of AGM 2015.


  1. President’s Report

Charlotte Baker welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming to the AGM. She thanked all members of the Executive Committee for the work they do, often behind the scenes, throughout the year. She also thanked Conference Secretary Catherine Gilbert for organising this year’s conference, along with the team at the IMLR (University of London). SFPS is grateful to Liverpool University Press for sponsoring the wine reception at conference.


Annual Publication

The Francophone Postcolonial Studies series with Liverpool University Press continues to be a success. The series maintains a rigorous editorial process and the standard of the volumes published is consistently high. Emily Harding continues to design beautiful covers for the volumes and the latest cover is no exception. Volumes have been commissioned up to 2018.

Volume 8, Algeria and Transnationalism 1988-2014 edited by Patrick Crowley will be published in 2017 and the final manuscript is now with LUP. Volume 9, Kathryn Kleppinger and Laura Reeck, Post-Migration and Postcoloniality in Contemporary French is well under way and due for publication in 2018. We are now inviting proposals for 2019 onwards.



PG Study Day

SFPS sponsored the very successful Postgraduate Study Day (Be)Longing in the Francophone World, which was organised by postgraduate reps Antonia Wimbush and Rebekah Vince at the University of Birmingham. The study day brought together postgraduate researchers from across the UK and beyond working on identity, gender, exile, migration and belonging in a wide range of Francophone literature, films and culture. Stephen Forcer, Head of the Department of Modern Languages (University of Birmingham), welcomed the postgraduate researchers. Helen Vassallo (University of Exeter), gave a keynote address, entitled ‘Exile and (Be)longing in Contemporary Francophone Women’s Writing’, and Catherine Gilbert gave a presentation on academic careers from an Early Career Researcher’s perspective. We have received a proposal from Foara Adhikari and Kirsty Bennett to host the study day at Lancaster University this year. Funding will be secured from the Yves Hervouet Fund for Anglo-French Relations and from the Department of Languages and Cultures.


Africa in Motion

SFPS sponsored a screening of Adama dir. Simon  Rouby at the Africa in Motion Film Festival in Scotland this year.


Annual conference

This year’s annual conference is looking like another great success for SFPS. Thanks again to Catherine for all her hard work.


Photographic history of SFPS

Nicki Hitchcott has suggested that it might be nice to have a photographic history of the Society on the website? It was agreed that our postgraduate committee members would contact members to ask for photos and then work with Jamal Bahmad to get them up on the website.


New Early Career Reps

Sarah Arens suggested that SFPS should have Early Career Representatives alongside Postgraduate Representatives. Sarah agreed to take a lead on setting this up.


  1. Treasurer’s Report for Financial Year 2015/16: Annual Statement of Accounts (November 2015-October 2016)




Conference Income November 2015:


Sponsorship LUP:                                                    £100.00

Sponsorship OUP:                                                   £100.00

Sponsorship EUP                                                     £100.00

Sponsorship Intellect Books                                   £25.00

Cheques/BACS:                                                       £1780.00

PayPal:                                                                      £1415.70 (includes deduction of £99.30 for                                                                                               PayPal fees)


Total for conference income 2015:                     £3590.70                                        




Individual membership 2016                                 

Cheques/BACS (conference rate):                         £630.00

Direct debit/BACS (standard rate):                        £540.00

PayPal:                                                                      £965.00 (no PayPal deduction)

Subtotal:                                                                   £2135.00


Institutional membership 2016

Subtotal:                                                                   £1365.00


Total for membership income 2016:                  £3500.00             


Conference Income November 2016:


Sponsorship LUP:                                                    £100.00

Sponsorship OUP:                                                   £100.00

Sponsorship Wales University Press:                    £100.00

Sponsorship Combined Academic Pub:                £75.00

Cheques/BACS:                                                       £2385.00

PayPal:                                                                      £1474.92 (includes deduction of £90.08 for                                                                                               PayPal fees)


Total conference income 2016 (to-date):           £4234.92


Membership 2017:


Individual membership 2017

Cheques/BACS:                                                       £824.00

Direct debit:                                                             Not available until January 2017

PayPal:                                                                      £580.00

Subtotal:                                                                   £1404.00


Institutional membership 2017                               Not available until later in the year


Total for membership income 2017:                  £1404.00


Other income 2016


LUP Royalty 2016:                                                 £957.73


TOTAL INCOME 2015/16                                  £8048.43 (includes 2015 conference + 2016 membership only, excludes 2016 conference + 2017 membership)




Bulletin Mailings                                                     £40.00

Bulleting Printing                                                    £286.90

LUP back copies                                                      £300.00

LUP The Haiti Exception                                       £2385.00

Book design, annual volume                                  £300.00

Post office receipts                                                  £94.99

Sponsorship Africa in Motion:                               £250.00

Conference 2015Hire and Catering                       £2186.36

Conference 2015 Plenary Expenses                       £779.80

Conference 2015 Sundry Expenses                       £70.00


TOTAL                                                                    £6693.05

SURPLUS FOR PERIOD                                       £1355.38


Bank account balance (16/11/16)                        £13374.23

PayPal account balance (16/11/16)                     £2181.34             

TOTAL BALANCE                                              £15555.57


Nicki Frith



  1. Membership Secretary’s Report


Membership for 2016-17 was lower than last year: we had a total of 83 members in 2016-17, including 65 individual members (39 full, 26 concessionary) and 18 institutions. Relatively speaking, all of these numbers are down on 2015-16 when we had 97 members, of which 21 institutions and 76 individual members. There has been a good response to the conference and this has increased membership. We have already seen a good influx of new members, and we would hope to retain this new interest going into the future. Kate it would also be worth launching a membership drive in 2017. She will send out an email to all past members in January encouraging them to consider renewing their membership or re-joining the association. The postgraduate conference and social media accounts also offer opportunities for promoting membership. Kate asked if anyone had suggestions for encouraging more institutions to sign up and reminded us to encourage our own institutions to subscribe.


Catherine and Kate also suggested that the opportunity to subscribe for the previous year should be discontinued and that, in future, the only membership option would be for the year going forward (i.e. at the current conference 2016, membership for 2017 would be the only option). This would make distribution of the Liverpool University Press volume easier too.


Kate Hodgson



  1. Conference Secretary’s Report


A total of 55 proposals were submitted, the majority of which were of a very high standard.


Originally, 42 papers were retained. However, for some reason the drop-out rate was fairly high once the programme was released, which was disappointing, resulting in several redrafts of the programme. There were a total of 31 papers in the final programme (although one person failed to show up).


Despite the drop-out rate, there was still a packed, exciting and varied programme this year, and the number of delegates registering had been higher than usual with a total of 70 people attending the conference overall.


We received sponsorship from a number of publishers, including Oxford University Press, University of Wales Press, University of Virginia Press and Combined Academic Publishers who all contributed material to the conference packs. We also had a representative from Peter Lang attending the conference on Friday.


Thanks were offered again to LUP for sponsoring the wine reception (£100) and for providing display copies of a number of relevant books. Anthony Cond had sent his apologies as he was unable to attend the conference. He also wished us well for the future as he would be handing over to a new Modern Languages editor at LUP in the coming months.


Catherine Gilbert was stepping down as conference secretary. She suggested updating the registration form so that only membership for the following calendar year would be available when paying the conference fee.


A volunteer was requested to write up the conference report for the BFPS. Roger Little suggested that two people should write the report so that parallel sessions can be commented upon.


Catherine Gilbert



  1. Publicity Team’s Report



  • The website receives a total of 20-50 visitors per day
  • Jamal had added the social media add-ons to the website so now people can share our website content more easily and widely than before
  • Jamal suggested that we commission a new website as the blog layout of the current website is cumbersome, difficult to navigate and visually unattractive


WordPress and search optimisation were recommended. It was suggested that we could pay someone to set it up and then we could fill the pages ourselves. Charlotte Baker agreed to discuss this with Jamal Bahmad, Sara-Louise Cooper, and Rebekah Vince.


Monthly Mailing:

  • Continues to appear once a month
  • Brings together calls for papers, announcements and new titles on a wide range of subjects related to Francophone Postcolonial Studies
  • There is usually a surge in people visiting the website just after the monthly mailing has been distributed



  • 361 followers as of 17 November 2016
  • Posts reach between 40 and 200 people
  • Calls for papers attract particularly strong engagement
  • Visitors can also post on the page, so members of the Society can use the page to share news and events



  • Very dynamic account with a record of daily posts and scholarly exchange
  • 1043 tweets as of 17 November 2016
  • 1818 followers as of 17 November 2016
  • We are the most followed research society in French and/or Francophone studies on Twitter


Jamal Bahmad, Sara-Louise Cooper and Rebekah Vince





  1. Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies Editor Report


The Bulletin is now in its seventh year and its editor Kate Marsh thanks all contributors for their articles and reviews. A founding aim of the publication was to provide a forum for short articles addressing current issues in the Francophone world and debates within the disciplinary field alongside up-to-date books reviews. Both issues this year have kept this aim in mind with an article on the recently opened Mémorial du Camp de Rivesaltes as well as two examples of postgraduate work in progress. Issues next year will include an interview with Véronique Tadjo discussing her work in Rwanda and the writing of L’Ombre d’Imana, an article by Nicola Frith on the reparations debate, and an interview with Hubert Haddad, editor-in-chief of the journal  and an interview with Hubert Haddad, winner of the Renaudot prize and editor-in-chief of the journal Apulée. Kate Marsh urges all members of the Society, particularly if they have short articles, polemical interventions or relevant états présents, to consider publishing in the Bulletin. Finally, thanks are due to the Advisory Board, whose members have ensured that all submitted articles are reviewed anonymously by two readers; to Edward Still for his role as Books Reviews Editor, and Charlotte Baker for her role as Acting Book Reviews Editor; and to Rebekah Vince and Antonia Wimbush who selected and edited the articles which comprised the special section devoted to postgraduate work in issue 7.2.


Kate Marsh



  1. Postgraduate Representatives’ Report


The PG Reps’ role, as established at the last AGM is to involve more PG members in SFPS (recruitment, promoting study day, supporting organisers, making suggestions e.g. on accessibility). There were five postgraduate representatives this year (Foara Adhikari, Antonia Wimbush, Rebekah Vince, David Cummings, and Sarah Arens). Two are standing down (David Cummings and Sarah Arens). Kirsty Bennett and Nicola Pearson have filled these places. Lancaster has been suggested as a location for the next PG Study Day. The report of the SFPS PG Study Day ‘(Be)longing in the Francophone World’ can be found in the autumn 2016 SFPS Bulletin. It was held at the University of Birmingham on 20 June and co-organised by Antonia Wimbush and Rebekah Vince.


Rebekah Vince



  1. Elections to Executive Committee


The following people have agreed to continue in post:

President – Charlotte Baker

Vice-President – Nicki Hitchcott

Membership Secretary – Kate Hodgson

Bulletin Editor – Kate Marsh

Publicity Officer – Jamal Bahmad

PG Reps – Antonia Wimbush, Rebekah Vince, Foara Adhikari


The following people were elected to the Executive Committee:

Treasurer – Claire Griffiths

Publicity Officer – Rebekah Vince (to join Jamal Bahmad)

Conference Secretaries – Christina Horvath and Antonia Wimbush

Postgraduate reps – Kirsty Bennett, Nicola Pearson (to join Antonia Wimbush, Rebekah Vince, Foara Adhikari)

Book reviews editor: Khalid Lyamlahy

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