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AGM 2018 Minutes

19th December 2018

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies

Approved Minutes of the Annual General Meeting which took place on 16 November 2018 at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, Senate House



  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of the last meeting
  3. Matters Arising
  4. President’s Report
  5. Treasurer’s Report
  6. Membership Secretary’s Report
  7. Conference Secretaries’ Report
  8. Publicity Team’s Report
  9. Francophone Postcolonial Studies Bulletin Editor’s Report and Book Review Editor’s Report
  10. Postgraduate Representatives’ Report
  11. Elections to Executive Committee
  12. Any other business


  1. Apologies

Kate Marsh, Nicholas Harrison, Nicki Hitchcott, Pierre-Philippe Fraiture, Kate Hodgson, Khalid Lyamlahy, Ruth Bush, Rebecca Infield


  1. Minutes of the last meeting

Circulated to members.


  1. Matters Arising:

Item 4: Following the decision last year to make membership compulsory for all attendees at PG study days and the conference, we have seen a rise in membership. Finances are still not that healthy, however, and we need to increase PG membership. Is there a case for raising membership fees? => Following the Treasurer’s report, it was considered that raising membership was neither necessary nor favourable. Hopefully providing travel bursaries will increase PG membership, as well emphasising the fact that one of the benefits of being an SFPS member is the free LUP volume.

Item 11 (AOB): Tentative enquiries have been made with a view to making contact with other associations based in Europe. This work is ongoing. => Following a point raised by Sami Everett, we decided that a list would be published of institutional members on the website. We also spoke about the importance of a support network for ECRs, potentially including public engagement training.

The proposal to include photographs on the website of former conferences was discussed. Please send any photographs of to r.l.vince@warwick.ac.uk accordingly. We also discussed making contact with other associations based in Europe.


  1. President’s Report

Vice-President Charlotte Baker read the President’s Report in Kate Marsh’s absence:

I would like to begin with a welcome and apology. First, welcome to everyone and thank you for attending the Annual General Meeting this year. Second, many apologies for not attending my first AGM as president. Alas, a board meeting and the SFPS conference were, for the first time ever, scheduled on the same day, so the only way to keep everyone happy was to forgo the SFPS AGM so that I can attend the keynote this afternoon while showing my face at the other event this lunchtime.

Before giving a brief overview of the activities of the Society, I should like to thank all the members of the Executive Committee for their sterling work throughout the year. Their work is invaluable in ensuring that the Society functions as a meaningful academic association which facilitates the sharing of ideas. Especial thanks are due to our Conference Secretaries, Antonia Wimbush and Rebecca Infield, for organizing the conference this year along with the team here at the IMLR. I would also like to thank Liverpool University Press for generously sponsoring the wine reception this evening after Patrick’s keynote.

The Society has had a very busy year which has included two successful Postgraduate Workshops (one of which was the first Postgraduate Workshop to be held on the other side of the Atlantic) and the launch of the new website. The new website has allowed the Society to make freely available a number of publications: open access digital editions of the twenty-five ASCALF Bulletins published between 1989 and 2002 and five issues of the ASCALF Yearbook, as well as the two volumes published in the Critical Studies in Postcolonial Literature and Culture series. The online archive also includes back issues of the bi-annual journal Francophone Postcolonial Studies (published between 2003 and 2009) as well as the Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies (2010–present). Thanks are recorded here to David Murphy for digitizing the ASCALF publications.


Annual Publication:

The Francophone Postcolonial Studies series with Liverpool University Press has maintained its success. Volume 8 in the FPS series, Algeria and Transnationalism: Culture and Nation 1988–2014, edited by Patrick Crowley, for example, has been included in a recently published list of the ten ‘essential’ readings on Algeria. The series maintains a rigorous editorial process and the standard of the volumes published is consistently high. Emily Harding continues to design thought-provoking and attractive covers for the volumes and the latest cover, to volume 9, Post-Migratory Cultures in Postcolonial France, ed. by Kathryn Kleppinger and Laura Reeck, is no exception. Volume 10, Rwanda after 1994: Stories of Change, ed. by Hannah Grayson and Nicki Hitchcott is well underway and due for publication in May 2019. The volume will appear on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, and it promises to be an excellent publication to mark the tenth volume in the LUP series. Volume 11, Dynamic Jewish–Muslim Interactions in Performance Culture across the Maghreb and France, 1920–2020, edited by Sami Everett & Rebekah Vince, has been commissioned, and the Editorial Board is reviewing proposals for the 2021 volume.

Alongside the LUP annual publication the Society also publishes an online bi-annual Bulletin about which the editor, Sarah Arens, will say more later.


Postgraduate Events

The first postgraduate event took place in May 2018. ‘Transnational Francophone Postcolonial Studies Postgraduate Workshop’, organized by Nanar Khamo at UCLA, included nine papers by postgraduates and an expert panel, comprising Lia Brozgal, Stephanie Bosh Santana, Charles Forsdick, Martin Munroe, Denis Provencher, Dominic Thomas and Olivia Harrison, which discussed the transnationalization of disciplines and the future of postcolonial studies. The event was generously supported by UCLA and thanks are recorded to Dominic Thomas.

The second postgraduate event took place in June. ‘Negotiating Borders in the Francophone World’ was organized by Ally Lee (University of Warwick), Bethany Mason (University of Birmingham) and Abdelbaqi Ghorab (Lancaster University) and held at the University of Birmingham. Generously supported by the University of Birmingham as well as SFPS, the day included eight papers by postgraduates, a career development session, and keynotes by Charles Forsdick and by Charlotte Hammond.

Other activities to report are that SFPS once more sponsored a screening at the Africa in Motion Film Festival in Scotland, the film Abderrahmane Sissako: Beyond Territories, dir. Valérie Osouf. 2017, and that the annual conference this year is looking like another great success for the Society. We are now inviting ideas for the theme of next year’s Annual Conference, so please do let us know if you would like to make a suggestion.

I would like to end my report with a proposal which aims to safeguard the smooth running of the Society and encourage it to thrive. Currently, there are no stipulations for how long a member of the Executive Committee should serve. I would like to propose that the term of membership of the Executive Committee should be three years, in line with the term of the presidency and the term of office on the Editorial Board of Francophone Postcolonial Studies. To that end, it is my proposal that in order to ensure a certain level of continuity but also regular renewal of the Executive Committee, members will be appointed for a three-year term, renewable once (i.e., six years in total). As the majority of the Executive Committee have confirmed that they are happy to continue for another year, I would propose that this new ruling, if it be adopted by the meeting, be brought in from next year.

The proposal was carried that, as of November 2019, members of the Executive Committee will be appointed for a three-year term, renewable once (i.e., six years in total).


  1. Treasurer’s Report (Claire Griffiths)

The Treasurer proposed to the membership of SFPS that the Society increases its support for members who are not in receipt of full and regular academic salaries (PGR, ECR, etc.) from the current average of 4 x £200 travel bursaries.

The proposal is:

  1. a)   that we increase our support by £200 to £1000 annually;
  2. b)  that the grants are awarded as £100 or £200 bursaries, as appropriate, to support travel for members (as defined above) contributing to SFPS events;
  3. c)   that applications will be considered by a panel of three or more members of the Executive Committee.

The rationale is that the Society has sufficient reserves at present to do this, and an increase on this scale will not incur an overall annual loss of capital, and the last one is just dotting Is and crossing Ts on standard practice.


INCOME 2017/18

November 2017 Conference income

Conference fees £3,525 (25 full, 29 concs)
Sponsorships £150
SFPS 2018 membership at conference £780 (17 full, 19 concs)
Subtotal       £4,455


SFPS 2018 membership outside conference £1,402.95 (15 full, 18 concs)
SFPS 2018 institutional memberships £1,225
LUP Royalties 2018 £1,005.61
Subtotal   £3,633.56



November 2017 Conference expenses

Senate House £2281.60
Printing £60
Travel sponsorships £400
Travel and accommodation [£875]
Subtotal £3,6166.60
UCLA PGR travel bursaries £400


Exactaprint (SFPS Bulletin printing) £99.25
LUP SFPS annual publication £2555
Front cover design £300
Sponsorship Africa in Motion £250
WEBSITE redesign £971
Subtotal £4,575.25


HSBC community £14,004.12
HSBS Business £3.30
PayPal account balance £2,729.06


There was increased expenditure in 2017/2018 (due to one-off costs like website redesign), but overall SFPS is maintaining its capital and developing a little bit of extra capital. Following this report, we discussed decreasing fees for PGRs but agreed that travel bursaries are more helpful.


  1. Membership Secretary (Kate Hodgson)

Figures for 2018: 67 individual members; 19 institutions (almost exactly the same as 2017, where we had 66 individual and 19 institutions). It is too soon to see in these figures whether compulsory membership for conference attendance makes a difference as the current annual conference is the first one where membership going forward into 2019 is compulsory. However we did see quite a few members join on the back of the very successful postgrad event in UCLA earlier in 2018, where attendance was conditional on membership, so that does seem to have had a positive impact, particularly of course on postgrad membership (we currently have 26 postgrad members, as opposed to 12 last year!)

In order to retain full members, SFPS should plan to send out the usual renewals email in January encouraging regular members to renew their membership for 2019, and again close to the time of publication of the annual volume. As previously noted, this volume represents a significant benefit of membership, and is often of wide scope and interest to French Studies and within Modern Languages as a whole. It would therefore probably be worth advertising membership more widely around May/June when publication is imminent (via Francofil etc).



  1. Conference Secretaries (Antonia Wimbush and Rebecca Infield)

Antonia Wimbush and Rebecca Infield have enjoyed working together as Conference Secretaries this year.

A total of 48 abstracts were proposed on a range of topics and themes interpreting the legacy of Edward Said’s seminal work Orientalism, 40 years after its first publication. 39 abstracts were retained; however, due to a number of drop-outs during the run up to the conference, replacement speakers had to be found. Each of these was asked to submit an abstract which was subsequently approved by the entire committee. As is the case each year, the programme promises to offer a rich and exciting variety of presentations from both postgraduate researchers and established academics from institutions across the world. This year, along with our two keynote presentations, we are offering a lunchtime session on the Saturday for Early Career Researchers on looking for funding and how to put together a grant application, led by Kate Hodgson. This session will be extremely beneficial for postgraduates and ECRs who are thinking about the next step in their academic research.

We continue to benefit from the generous sponsorship by publishers including Liverpool University Press, who will have a bookstall at the conference, have generously sponsored the wine reception with a donation of £150 and have contributed material to the conference pack. Peter Lang have provided us with some flyers to display on both days of the conference as have University of Wales Press.

We would like to thank Senate House for their hard work in helping to organise the conference, and the rest of the Executive Committee for their support.


  1. Publicity Team (Jamal Bahmad and Rebekah Vince)

Monthly Mailing:

  • Continues to go out at the end of the month
  • Brings together calls for papers, job opportunities, 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 gone out
  • We are looking for a publicity officer and/or postgraduate representative to take on this role


  • Our thanks goes to Lee Horsley for her excellent work on designing a new version of the website to attract more visitors
  • We are looking to create a photo archive on the website


  • The SFPS Twitter account is active and far-reaching, with over 2373 followers (134 more than last year)
  • Now using Twitter analytics to monitor impact
  • 16.1K impressions over the past year
  • We are looking to add a Twitter link (and potentially a Twitter feed) to the SFPS website

Jamal and Rebekah continue as publicity officers, but would welcome another (postgraduate) publicity officer to be in charge of the monthly mailing.


  1. Francophone Postcolonial Studies Bulletin

Editor’s Report (Sarah Arens)

Two issues of the Bulletin have been published since the last annual conference in 2017. The spring issue (9.1) featured an interview by SFPS’s own Rebekah Vince with the Moroccan playwright Slimane Benaïssa and the usual strong section of seven book reviews. The latest issue (9.2) was published on 1 October 2018 and includes an article by David Murphy on the Senegalese political activist and ancient tirailleur Lamine Senghor, an état présent by Chris Reynolds on the effects and the commemoration of May ‘68 in the Francophone world 50 years after the events, a conference report by Bethany Mason and Abdelbaqi Ghorab on the SFPS Postgraduate Study Day in Birmingham, and nine book reviews.

In order to reach a wider readership and increase website traffic, the Bulletin is now entirely open access, including the current issue and the archive.

While Issue 9.1 was co-edited by Kate Marsh and Sarah Arens, as decided at the AGM last year, Sarah Arens is now the new editor of the Bulletin. The current Book Reviews Editor, Khalid Lyamlahy, is stepping down from his role and we would like to thank him for all his work over the past three years and wish him all the best for the future.

Action point: It is proposed that from 2019 the Bulletin will appear only as an online journal (this proposal was carried).


Book Reviews Editor’s Report (Khalid Lyamlahy)

The Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies has reviewed a total of respectively 17 books in 2017 and 16 books in 2018 with an average of 8 book reviews per issue. The Bulletin has been receiving a regular number of review copies, not only from Liverpool University Press but also from various other publishers such as Manchester University Press, University of Nebraska Press, Indiana University Press, Rowman & Littlefield, Stanford University Press, Brill, Routledge, Bloomsbury, CNRS Editions, L’Harmattan and others.

Publishers in the broad field of Francophone and postcolonial studies have clearly identified the journal as a relevant publication for book reviews and they tend to send review copies before being asked. It will be helpful to continue to inform about the reviewing activity of the Bulletin, seek review copies from publishers, and invite new contributors.

Khalid thanked the whole team of the SFPS for its generous help and support over the past two years and all the reviewers for their valuable readings and contributions.


  1. Postgraduate Representatives’ Report (Abdelbaqi Ghorab)

SFPS PG Study Day 2018: Negotiating Borders in the Francophone World

University of Birmingham, 1 June 2018

The Postgraduate Study Day was held at the University of Birmingham on June 1st, 2018 taking Negotiating Borders in the Francophone World as its main theme. It was co-organised by Bethany Mason, Ally Lee and Abdelbaqi Ghorab. The study day planned the discussion of six papers delivered by postgraduate students at various stages of research. The list was shortened to four, as two students were not able to make it to the study day. Dr Charlotte Hammond and Professor Charles Forsdick delivered two Keynote Speeches. The first was on communities and exchanges on the Haitian-Dominican border where Dr Hammond explored the concept of resistance through creation by women factory workers in the region. The second was on Littérature voyageuse, littérature-monde, littérature migrante where Professor Forsdick explored the negotiation of mobility and the borders of literary production. Professor Kate March organised a professional workshop on Academic Publishing.


11.Elections to Executive Committee:

Note from the President, Kate Marsh: I would like to thank all members of the Executive Committee for the work they do, often behind the scenes, throughout the year. Without their help, SFPS would not exist.


The majority of the Executive Committee have confirmed that they are happy to continue for another year. Thanks are recorded to Rebecca Infield (Conference Secretary), Khalid Lyamlahy (Book Reviews Editor) and Bethany Mason, Ally Lee and Nicola Pearson (Postgraduate Reps) who have now passed on their roles.


Executive committee roles (*newly elected):



Kate Marsh



Charlotte Baker



Claire Griffiths


Membership Secretary:

Kate Hodgson


Conference Secretaries:

Antonia Wimbush

* Jonathan Lewis


Publicity Officers:

Jamal Bahmad

Rebekah Vince


BFPS Editor: Sarah Arens

Postgraduate Representatives:

Antonia Wimbush, Ally Lee, Bethany Mason, and Nicola Pearson have stood down

Foara Adhikari

* Orane Onyekpe-Touzet

* Mohammed Bouaddis

* Rebecca Glasberg (transatlantic PG rep, to organise workshop)


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