Aims of The Joseph Conrad Society (UK)
The Society is devoted to the study of all aspects of the writings and life of Joseph Conrad. Our aim is to provide a forum and resource for Conrad scholars throughout the world and those with a strong interest in things "Conradian."
Founded in 1973, The Joseph Conrad Society (UK) has, from small beginnings, grown into a learned society with an international outreach and perspective. We publish the premier Conrad journal, The Conradian, appearing twice annually, hold an annual international conference in the early summer, award an annual essay prize, and promote the study of Conrad by offering, when possible, resources and support to scholars without or with limited access to university or other sources of funding.
The Society is registered as a charity under the Charity Act of 1990 (Register number 270586) and is a member of The Alliance of Literary Societies.
The Society's Executive Committee, composed of fourteen members, all academics, meets three times a year to handle business and plan the Annual Conference.
Although based in the United Kingdom, the Society, in keeping with the international appeal of the work of Joseph Conrad, aims to provide a forum for Conrad scholars throughout the world. It thus maintains strong and friendly links with La Société Conradienne (France), the Joseph Conrad Society of America, the Ford Madox Ford Society, the Henry James Society of America, and with individual Conradians in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Scandinavia, Spain, and South Africa.
The Society particularly welcomes scholars new to Conrad studies and postgraduate students whose field of research includes Conrad's works and life.
History of The Joseph Conrad Society (UK)
The Joseph Conrad Society (UK) was founded in London in 1973 following preliminary discussions at the 1972 International Joseph Conrad conferences held in Canterbury and in Poland. The founding chair, the late Juliet McLauchlan, was joined by the late Margaret Rishworth in organizing the Society's first conference, held in London in 1974.
The Society's first president was Borys Conrad, who was succeeded by his son, Philip J. Conrad. Laurence Davies, Professor and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, is the Society's current president.
Since 1974, the Society has held an annual international scholarly conference. From that small nucleus of enthusiastic scholars, the Society has grown into a large, far flung association with active members in Africa, Europe, the Far East, and North America.
The Society's occasional newsletter, initially a small-scale publication, has become The Conradian: The Journal of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK). Over the past ten years The Conradian has become the premier Conrad scholarly journal of criticism and of record, helping to fulfill the Society's mandate to promote the study of Conrad.
A generous bequest from the late Juliet and Mac McLauchlan has allowed the Society to expand its activities, to help fund advanced scholarship devoted to Conrad, and to encourage younger scholars or others with no formal ties to universities with the annual Juliet McLauchlan Prize, and to establish, the biennial Philip J. Conrad Memorial Lecture, named in honour of Conrad's late grandson and the Society's long-serving President.
Society Executive Committee
The Executive Committee of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK) is responsible for all business arising from the Society's operations in fulfilling its mandate.
The Committee meets thrice yearly to deal with Society business, in early November and in early February, the Annual General Meeting also being held on the latter occasion at which plans for the annual conference are dealt with.
Membership on the Executive Committee of the Joseph Conrad Society (UK) is limited to active members of the Society (of any nationality) and is by invitation. There is no limitation to the term of membership, although the chairmanship is usually reviewed every five years. Ex officio members of the Committee include the Society's President and The Conradian's General Editor and Contributing and Advisory Editors.
The officers of the current Executive Committee are Professor Robert Hampson, Chair, Royal Holloway, University of London; Dr Hugh Epstein, Honorary Secretary; and Professor Allan H. Simmons, Treasurer and Editor of The Conradian, St Mary's University College, Twickenham, London.