The Tenth Anniversary of the International E. M. Forster Society

Dear Friends and Colleagues, Members of the International E. M. Forster Society,

The 7th of June marked for us two anniversaries – E. M. Forster passed away on this day in 1970 and our Society was established in 2010. It is thus both a sad and a joyful day for the members of the International E. M. Forster Society. We would like to use the opportunity to recollect what we have achieved since our humble beginnings.

Our Society was formed during (or more precisely after) conference held in Warsaw in June 2010 in order to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Forster’s demise. Buoyed by the success our little gathering we wanted more and, we are proud to say, we have been quite successful in achieving the aims we set for ourselves back then. Our Society has almost one hundred members, we have since organised two more conferences and we intend to organise yet another when the situation become somewhat more stable.

The first conference was indeed quite small (you can find the programme here) but it was soon followed by our first publication, an edited volume which you can find here.

Our activities slowed down at this point but only a little – we set up our Facebook fanpage, our Facebook group and, finally, our own webpage, which has been the source of information about all Forster related activities to hundreds of people.

One of our plans connected with the Society was to offer resources for Forster-related research. The three intended projects were concerned with adaptations, translations, and critical bibliography. Two of these are already available to Forsterians – Translations of Forster and Film and Stage Adaptations of Forster. They are both the joint work of the members of the Society so you are more than welcome to supply more data to bring these databases more up to date. The third data base is still in progress but you can help us with it by sending information about your own Forster-related publications. We will also be happy to promote them through our social media

Our motto has always been “Only connect!” and we have tried to connect Forsterians offering them a chance to meet during conferences. Our first conference organised officially by the Society took place in Olsztyn in September 2016 (you can find all information about it here and report from the conference here). A part of the proceedings was published in the Polish Journal of English Studies (available here), the remaining part of papers will be published by the end of this year in an edited volume by Cambridge Scholars Press. We are awfully sorry for the delay but like many organisations, we have been confronted with unprecedented challenges over the past few months due to COVID-19.

We met again in a still larger company in Ludwigsburg in April 2018. Here you can find all the details, you can even listen to some of the presentations online (more are to come soon!). A conference report was published in Papers in Language and Literature (55.4/2019). The publication of the proceedings has also been divided into two parts – the first group will appear in the 2020 issue of the Linguistic and Literary Studies of Warsaw, the second group in one of the 2021 issues of Papers in Language and Literature

We all hoped to meet again in April 2020 in Cambridge to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Forster death but, sadly, the event had to be cancelled. The Society decided to celebrate the anniversary in the only way possible – with a publication. You can still join us in this enterprise, though there is very little time left – see the call for papers.

A decade of hard work has ended but we hope for many more productive years to come. We plan another conference for 2022 and we hope that it will allow us to produce yet another volume of Forsterian scholarship. Perhaps a conference in 2024 celebrating the centenary of the publication of A Passage to India. It is always our intention to bring Forsterians together (if you have not noticed that – every name on our members list is a link to a personal webpage through which you can contact other members), and to promote their work. Remember that we will be happy to assist you in any Forster-related activities.

So here is to another fruitful decade hoping we shall soon meet in person!

The Board of the IEMFS
Krzysztof Fordoński
Anna Kwiatkowska
Heiko Zimmermann

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