Dear SFS members and friends,
As many of you are no doubt aware, we have taken the decision to organise this year's annual SFS conference as a virtual rather than physical event, for reasons that became increasingly irresistible over the course of the year. The conference was originally scheduled to be held at Queen's University, Belfast, and we look forward very much to being able to return to Belfast in person for 2022.
These have been extraordinarily challenging and difficult times, and all of us in French Studies, and in Modern Languages more broadly, are still coming to terms with the short and longer term impacts of the 'double whammy' of Brexit and Covid-19, and national and international politics more broadly. In light of these exceptional circumstances, we are more determined than ever to use this year's conference as a 'point de ralliement', an opportunity not only to reaffirm the values we all espouse and share, but to reach out to colleagues around the world. While we will all miss the buzz of the physical conference, I think it is fair to say we have been discovering unexpected side benefits to the virtual, not least the sheer global reach and accessibility it affords, and we see this year's conference as an opportunity to exploit those benefits to the full. Along with the usual high quality programme of sessions, workshops, poster displays, publisher exhibitions, and distinguished keynote talks, all transposed virtually, we plan to include a range of other events.
For this reason, we are hoping to make the conference affordable and accessible to all. A well planned and managed virtual event, which we intend SFS 2021 to be, will not be cost-free to the Society, but we would like to make this year's conference free to all paid-up members of SFS. Membership fees are currently £55 per annum (standard rate) and £27.50 per annum (reduced rate), with a further 10% reduction for those opting for a recurring subscription. Postgraduate (Graduate) students, unwaged or retired colleagues, and colleagues outside of the UK, Europe and North America are all eligible for the reduced rate. Membership includes a year's subscription to our internationally renowned Society publications, French Studies and the French Studies Bulletin, as well as an extensive range of benefits, access to our funding schemes, and other activities besides these subscriptions, which are outlined in more detail on our website https://www.sfs.ac.uk/about-us
We hope as many of you as possible will join us at the end of June, whether presenting or not, and can attend as much of the conference as your time permits. Please disseminate far and wide, including via networks and bulletin boards we may not be aware of. Registration instructions for the virtual conference and more detailed information about the event will be circulated shortly.
With our very best wishes,
President, Society for French Studies