Minutes of the Twelfth Annual General Meeting, 16 July 2006


The Martineau Society met on Sunday 16 July, Moray House, Edinburgh University

13 members were present

1.         Apologies were received from Andrew Hill, Marion and Harold Just, Howard Hague, Bob Webb, Ted Hovet, Maureen Colquhoun, Barbara Todd, and Margaret Marks.


2.         Minutes of 11th AGM: 17 July 2005

The Minutes were circulated and approved.


3.         Matters Arising not on the agenda

There were none


4.         Chairpersonís Remarks

Thanks were proffered to Gaby Weiner for organizing this yearís conference, and also to Moira Burke. Thanks were also conveyed to all Committee members, in particular Iris Voegeli, Alan Middleton and Sophia Hankinson, for their continued support to the Society. 


There was sadness at the news of the deaths of two important members of the Society: more recently, of Frank Schulman, the Societyís President and last year, of Ken Fielding.  An obituary for Frank Schulman will be included in the next Newsletter (a combined effort from the Norwich group). An obituary to Ken Fielding by Shu-Fang Lai had already been included in this yearís Newsletter.


5.         Annual Report

The Secretary circulated the summary of the main events of last year, including last yearís conference in Liverpool and the papers presented.  

Agreed: that the report would be revised, and a signed copy sent to the Treasurer.


6.         Treasurerís Report

The statement of accounts for 2005 was circulated. The following points were highlighted, that:

-          the Societyís finances were in healthy state, even though the statement excludes membership of 11 life members each of whom made a one-off payment of £150. 

-          the largest cost to the Society this year had been the James Martineau Miscellany (£3,000) but some reimbursement was anticipated through sales by Harris Manchester College. 

-          it costs relatively little to run the Society since the main activity, the annual conference, is largely self-financing from conference fees. 

-          membership currently stands at 54, with 9 new members so far this year, some as a direct consequence of the website.

-          it is important for members to sign up to Gift Aid List, and for the Treasurer to contact those who had not yet done so.  Gift Aid had yielded £350 this year

-          since Frank Schulmanís illness, there had been no-one to collect USA subscriptions, but now Elisabeth Arbuckle had agreed to take this over for this year. 

-          no information had been received from Armitt about sales of Harriet Martineauís Miscellany.  It was agreed that Gaby W. would follow this up and arrange for any accrued monies to be sent to the Treasurer. 

-          no information had been received from Harris Manchester College about sales of Society publications.  It was agreed that Sophia H. would follow this up

-          a report re- Key Hill Cemetery where Harriet is buried, is to be included in the next Newsletter It was agreed that Iris V. would follow this up.

Agreed: to accept the Treasurerís report, and convey thanks to Iris Voegeli for all her work.

Agreed: to a raise in concessionary membership subscription from £7.50 to £10, to be ratified at the next AGM (the cost of full membership to remain the same).


7.         Newsletter Editorís Report

The following points were made, that:

-          there had been a bumper issue this year. 

-          next year, there will be two issues, as usual

-          the cut off date for copy will be 1st October, for the November issue, and1st April for the May issue.

-          copy is preferred via email attachment.

-          conference presenters are requested to submit a long abstract of their paper, plus contact details, so that queries can be followed up.

-          Care needs to be taken to maintain accurate contact details of Committee members which are usually included in the Newsletter.

-          the Secretary will take over responsibility for providing address labels for the Newsletter and will receive 5 extra copies for general distribution.

-          members to be encouraged to approach publishers for review copies of Society-related publications

-          a statement of accounts and a subscription reminder to be included in the first Newsletter, and the 2006 AGM minutes, in the second Newsletter.

Agreed: to convey thanks to Deborah Logan (and Valerie Sanders) for their contributions to the publication and distribution of the Newsletter.


8.         Duties of post-holders


Following a discussion of the range of activities with which the Society could and should be involved, the following suggestions were made as a means of raising profile of the Society:

-          distribution of leaflets and sale of publications at relevant conferences. 

-          inclusion of conference report section in each Newsletter.

-          Rod V. and Gaby W. to contact the leaflet designer for a prototype of the leaflet which can then be circulated electronically

-          Iris V. as Membership Secretary, to be promptly informed of any changes in membership details in order to maintain accuracy regarding Society mailings and email contact.


9.         Election of Officers and Committee

Following death of Frank Schulman, the Committee proposed Sophia Hankinson for President of the Society (nominated Valerie Sanders, seconded Elisabeth Arbuckle). No other nominations were received.

It was unanimously agreed that Sophia Hankinson be appointed President of the Society


The following Committee members were re-elected unopposed (nominated by Elizabeth Arbuckle, seconded Rod Voegeli):


9.1 Chairperson                       Valerie Sanders

9.2 Treasurer/ Membership Secretary  Iris Voegeli

9.3 Secretary               Gaby Weiner

9.4 Newsletter Editor                               Deborah Logan

9.5 Other Committee members                Elisabeth Arbuckle, Barbara Todd, Shu-Fang Lai, Margaret Marks, and Alan Middleton


10.       Other Matters

10.1  Harriet Martineau Sociological Society Meetings.

It was planned to hold the next HMSS meeting in May, Ireland in 2007, with details to be made available via website.

10.2  Martineau Society Website

It was reported that this was now working well.  The aim is to find out whether Sarah Lawson is prepared to continue in her role as webmaster. It was agreed that the Secretary would check this and arrange for a book token to be sent, in appreciation.


10.3 Publicity

Thanks were expressed to Rod Voegeli for organising the printing and distribution of the leaflet. Positive comments were made about the layout and content.  The importance of establishing who owns copyright of leaflet was noted (Rod V. to check).

The aim now is to distribute it as widely as possible, possibly on less expensive paper. 

Agreed: that 1000 copies of the leaflet to be run off at Hull, for general distribution.  See also item 8 on electronic version of the leaflet.

Agreed: that the combination of website and newsletter seemed, at last, to be effectively disseminating the work of the Society.


10.4 Future events of the Martineau Society


AGM 2007

In addition to a number of other venues, Ireland (Dublin) was suggested with a link up to HMSS, see also 10.1.

Agreed: to hold the 2007 conference in Norwich. Dates proposed are19-22 July. Conference organisers will be Rod V., Iris V. and Sophia H.).


10.4.2 AGM 2008

Agreed: that Ann Peart to be approached to organise the 2008 conference in Manchester.


11. Any Other Business

11.1 Other Societies

Agreed: that Gaby W. will maintain contact with Carlyle Society, and that members from other societies will continue to be welcome.


11.2 Publications

- Re-publication by the Society of biography of Violet Martineauís biography of Gertrude

It was noted that the present copyright holder has given permission for this.

Agreed: that Sophia H. will make further enquiries and report back.

- Publication of Historiettes: Shu-Fang reported that she is currently looking for a publisher of these

- Publication of Harriet Martineau Letters, edited by Deborah L., it was reported, will take place in the forthcoming year.


11.3 Conferences

Noted: details of the following conference.

Title: Harriet Martineau: Subjects and Subjectivities

Date: 21 April 2007

Place: Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London

Description: This interdisciplinary one-day conference considers the making of political, imperial and individual identities in the work of Harriet Martineau (1802-1876). Confirmed speakers include Catherine Hall (UCL), Deborah Anna Logan (Western Kentucky) and Linda Peterson (Yale).

Contact: Cora Kaplan (c.l.kaplan@qmul.ac.uk) or

Ella Dzelzainis (e.dzelzainis@bbk.ac.uk)  

School of English and Humanities

Birkbeck College

University of London

Malet Street

London WC1E 7HX

020 7631 6167