An Invitation from the Chair of the BSA Fellowship Committee:
The British Shakespeare Association endows two Honorary Fellowships each year. This year, 2018, the Fellowship was given solely to Roger Harcourt – for his outstanding work and lifetime’s achievement in the field of Shakespearean education. The fellowship was endowed at a special Fellowship Event during our Conference at Queens University, Belfast.
For 2019, the BSA wishes to revert to the usual practise of endowing two Honorary Fellowships – and the BSA now needs to be thinking about who those recipients will be. These Honorary Fellowships will be endowed at next year’s Annual Conference – to be held at the University of Swansea.
I would like to invite all current Members of the BSA to offer nominations for next year’s award. The choice for nomination should fulfil the following criterion:
“The title of ‘Honorary Fellow of the British Shakespeare Association’ should be reserved for those who, at whatever level, have made, or are making, a major contribution to the field of Shakespeare activities, whether it be Scholarship, Education more generally, or the Performance of the plays. This contribution should fall into the category of demonstrating a lifetime’s achievement of excellence.”
I would urge Members to adhere rigorously to this criterion and to be vigilant in resisting current issues of celebrity and temporary apparent significance. Such criteria can indeed be positively unhelpful. It is certainly permitted for Members to individually take soundings within the wider field of Shakespeare activities, but on the understanding that enquiries will need to be tactfully made, that information should remain strictly confidential, and that no candidate should be approached individually.
All proposals, from whichever area, should then be accompanied by TWO nominations (a Proposer and a Seconder) along with a formal written proposal by the Proposer stating the case for nomination (a short paragraph of not less than 200 words and not more than 500 words).
Once all Nominations have been received, the Fellowship Committee will then make a decision – via discussion and vote – on who the two candidates shall be. Those two names will then be presented and recommended to a meeting of the full Board of Trustees – a process which then requires the Board’s ratification.
Previous recipients of the Fellowships over the past few years have been : Cicely Berry, Stanley Wells, John Joughin, Reginald Foakes, Terence Hawkes, John Russell Brown, Janet Suzman, Chris Grace, Adrian Lester, Sarah Stanton, Emeritus Professor Ann Thompson and John Barton.
I really would welcome as many names as possible, from all the constituencies of the BSA. If I may repeat myself – the fact that a person is ‘well known’ should not necessarily be a factor. For example the contribution and achievement of Roger Harcourt – last year’s recipient and a private, relatively unknown figure, is just as significant as that made by one of the recipients of the year before: the much more ‘well known’ John Barton. So please – excellence of achievement is the key factor – in whatever field.
The closing date for Nominations is 10 December 2018.
Please send all nominations to the Chair of the Fellowship Committee – Andrew Jarvis – via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With many thanks in anticipation to you all,