Secretary's Report July 1, 2004

Secretary's Report                            July 1, 2004

Subscriptions - As Secretary of the Society, my major task has continued to be maintenance of the North American records and financial accounts. Since my last report, our new publisher, Maney Publishing, has taken over the institutional accounts. This has resulted in less correspondence with libraries (some of our most demanding members). Because we can no longer insert personalized dues reminders in Medieval Sermon Studies, this spring Mary Swan and I sent out many reminder letters to individual subscribers. Starting this fall, the mailing labels will indicate the final year of the current subscription. All members are encouraged to check their labels and to renew by August 1 of each year. On the North American side, we currently have 47 Regular members (with another 12 who have paid through 2003 but who have not yet renewed for 2004) and 8 Student members (with another 3 who have paid through 2003 but who have not yet renewed for 2004). This represents a slight decrease from my last report. Overall, we are solvent, but not wealthy, with a total of 213 individual and 68 institutional members.

Council/Business Meetings - The Council last met in Vadstena in 2002. At that meeting, Hajo Schiewer was elected president and Nicole Bériou vice-president. It was agreed that the Society would send Beverly Kienzle, our outgoing president, flowers in honor of her years of service to the Society. Hajo agreed to take over the task of maintaining the Society’s web page, regularly posting notices of interest to the members. Preliminary plans for the 2004 Symposium in Lyon were discussed. The Council agreed that, as a matter of fairness, the published deadlines for Society bursaries should be maintained. It was agreed to ask Martine De Reu and RJ Stansbury if they would be willing to serve as Treasurer and Secretary respectively beginning in 2004 when Mary Swan and Anne Thayer complete their second terms in these positions.

The Society’s business meeting in Vadstena reelected Laura Gaffuri and elected Nicole Bériou and Katherine Jansen to the Council. We discussed the Lyon Symposium, choosing the theme of “Preaching and Liturgy.” Names of speakers were suggested. Reports were received from the Treasurer, Secretary, and Editor of MSS.

Since Vadstena, the Council has consulted via email. This spring we received only one timely application for a bursary; it was awarded the amount of £165.

Kalamazoo - We sponsored five sessions at Kalamazoo in May, 2003, (one of which unfortunately had to be canceled due to last minute difficulties with travel funding) and three this year. Attendance has been good, hovering around 30 per session. We plan to continue requesting three Kalamazoo sessions in Symposium years and five sessions on alternate years in the hopes that many of our European members will be able to attend at least on alternate years. Our business meetings with buffet lunches continue to draw about 25 people, including younger scholars. Although we have lost money on these events the last two years ($86 this year), they continue provide an entrée into the Society for newcomers and allow networking to flourish. Anyone interested in presenting a paper in May 2005 should contact Anne Thayer by the end of August.

Leeds – Many of our members have been attending the International Medieval Congress at Leeds. July 2003 saw our first sponsored sessions there. As we will continue to sponsor sessions at this lively meeting, anyone interested in presenting a paper in 2005 should contact Mary Swan by the end of August.
Ongoing Activities - In addition to the above plans for Kalamazoo and Leeds, we look forward to our next Symposium to be held in July, 2006 in Salamanca, Spain. Alberto Ferreiro has already begun his planning as Symposium Organizer. There continues to be interest in meeting in Hungary at some point in the future. As of this spring, we have a new address for our greatly expanded website:

Election of Council Members – Four councillors are to be elected this year. Two nominations have been received to date: Martine De Reu and RJ Stansbury. We thank Hajo Schiewer for serving on the Council for the last eight years, two of them as president; to Mary Swan for her eight years as Treasurer; to Anne Thayer for her eight years as Secretary; and to Carolyn Meussig for her eight years as councillor.

Respectfully submitted,
Anne T. Thayer
Secretary, IMSSS

Addendum                                    July 31, 2004
Business Meeting in Lyon – At our recent Business Meeting, reports were received from the Secretary, Treasurer and Editor of Medieval Sermon Studies. These reports will be posted on our website: In light of our current contract with Maney Publishing, the members agreed to change Article V of our Constitution from “Dues for institutional members shall be determined by the Council” to “Dues for institutional members shall be determined by the Council, in consultation with the publisher when a commercial publisher is involved.”

Anne Thayer reported the early plans for Salamanca which Alberto Ferreiro had reported in Kalamazoo in May. Nevertheless, several members expressed concern that, because Alberto has not been present at recent symposia, he might have a difficult time planning in continuity with our customary modus operandi. Edit Madas presented a proposal to hold the next Symposium in Budapest in 2006 with the cooperation of Central European University, Catholic University in Budapest, University of Budapest, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In the end, the members decided to hold the next Symposium in Budapest in 2006, but to invite Alberto to attend and, if he is still willing, to plan for Salamanca in 2008. The topic for the 2006 Symposium is to be “Texts to Read and Texts to Preach: Medieval Sermons for Private Devotion and Public Dissemination.” A list of proposed speakers was generated. It will be up to Edit to set up the program for 2006.

The final item of business was the election of new Council members to replace those retiring. Elected were RJ Stansbury, Martine De Reu, George Ferzoco and Jussi Hanska.

Anne T. Thayer