Chair’s 2017 report


Once again I want to thank my colleagues on the Committee who have contributed so much during the last academic year to the smooth running of the Association and to the ongoing excellence of the programme of talks. I am also delighted that Emeritus Professor Warren Chernaik has agreed to continue as our President for a further year and to contribute to our programme.

Looking back at the 2016 to 2017 year, our programme was as follows:

8 October 2016 Dr. Tamara Follini, Clare College, Cambridge: “Organizing an ado: Writing The Portrait of a Lady”
12 November 2016 Michael Billington, OBE, drama critic of The Guardian: “What Makes a Great Play?”
3 December 2016 Dr Joe Brooker, Birkbeck College: “The Living and the Dead: Reading Joyce’s Dubliners” followed by Christmas party
14 January 2017 Professor Warren Chernaik: “God’s Just Yoke: Justice in Paradise Lost”
4 March 2017 Charles Peake Memorial Lecture – Sue Underwood (Charles Peake’s daughter): “Excellent i ’faith – The Life of Charles Peake”
22 April 2017 Professor Christopher Bigsby, University of East Anglia: “Informal talk on Arthur Miller and Edward Albee“
27 May 2017 Tour of The Old Vic Theatre
10 June 2017 Dr Priscilla Martin: “‘Unquiet Slumbers’; Jane Eyre and Rebecca”

The May Literary visit was for a private guided tour of the Old Vic Theatre followed by lunch. I think my colleagues will agree that the tour was excellent in content and good value for money. Thanks to Maggy for organising this.

On the AGM Agenda you will find the dates of meetings for the next academic year and the contact details of your proposed Committee. Also on the Agenda you will see that we have already arranged the programme up to January 2018, thanks to Angela’s stirling efforts. All the year’s talks will take place as usual at Birkbeck except for the Christmas party and the May trip. Once speakers and topics for the remainder of the academic year have been confirmed, they will appear on our website and in future ULEMLA Newsletters, as will details of the May trip.

Attached is a membership renewal slip. Your Committee is again concerned about the reducing and ageing membership and would encourage you to publicise ULEMLA as widely as you can. On behalf of Ulemla I attend meetings of the Alliance of Literary Societies which has over one hundred societies in membership the vast majority of which are single author societies. I hope you will agree that our great strength is the range and diversity of our programme. We look forward to seeing you – and your friends – in Birkbeck’s main building from October 2017.


Lindsay Martin



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