History > Activities

The activities of the Society have never been limited exclusively to its annual meetings, for another of its aims has always been to keep in close contact with all aspects of Catalan culture.

This end has been accomplished in various ways. The Society regards as of prime importance the promotion of exchanges between students and academics of both countries. One of the tasks of the ACS from its earliest times was to offer assistance to young Catalans who wished to pursue their studies in Britain. This was consolidated for a time in the form of an Annual Scholarship, the value of which was estimated to allow a young scholar to come for a stay of about one month in order to carry out a specific piece of research, preferably, but not necessarily, one with an 'Anglo-Catalan' theme.

In 1984 the Society also agreed to act as the agent of the Generalitat de Catalunya in Great Britain in the awarding of scholarships offered to young foreign scholars to enable them to pursue study in Catalonia. And following the attendance of the President of Catalonia, M. H. Sr Jordi Pujol, at the London meeting in 1988, the Batista i Roca scholarships were established, commemorating the life's work of our main founder, and funded by the Generalitat de Catalunya.

These awards served to promote the exchange of Catalan and British scholars at post-graduate level in the fields of the Humanities and the Social Sciences. The scheme was run jointly by the Society and the Generalitat and began in 1991 with seven scholars, rising to ten the following year. More recently, the scholarship was re-launched as a project grant in order to be able to support a wider range of researchers. The posthumous endowment of a Catalan Visiting Fellowship by Dr Batista himself at Fitzwilliam College also helped to strengthen the Catalan presence at Cambridge.

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From 1990 the Anglo-Catalan Society worked with the Fundació Congrés de Cultura Catalana in the administration of six scholarships for British university students wishing to attend summer courses on Catalan culture and language in the Catalan Countries. In 2002 the Institut Ramon Llull took over this function, but our members continue to promote summer study trips for students in Catalunya Nord.The invitations the Society extends to distinguished Catalan academics and writers to address our annual meetings have also been important to the furtherance of Catalan studies in Britain and Ireland. Guests whom we have been pleased and honoured to welcome on different occasions include: Ramon Aramon i Serra, Antoni Mª Badia i Margarit, Josep Mª Bricall, Francesc Cabana, Max Cahner, Jordi Carbonell, Salvador Cardús, Carles Carreras, Jordi Castellanos, Germà Colon, Antoni Comas, Antoni Ferrando, Joan Fuster, Carles Gasòliba, Joan Miralles, Baltasar Porcel, Jordi Porta, Miquel Porter, Frederic Ribas, Josep Roca-Pons, Joan Solà, Miquel Strubell, Enric Sullà, Xavier Tudela, Francesc Vallverdú, Pere Verdaguer, Mercè Ibarz, Marta Pessarrodona, Antoni Segura and others. Some of the academics who came to this country under the auspices of the Anglo-Catalan Society went on to visit a number of British universities where they gave lectures and established useful academic contacts. This most important aspect of our activity was for many years supported by generous assistance from the Fundació Congrés de Cultura Catalana, but more recently we are grateful for the contribution of the Institut Ramon Llull, in particular for their funding of the Joan Gili Memorial Lectures.

In the field of education the Society naturally encourages the teaching of Catalan at all levels and gives assistance whenever possible in the selection and appointment of Catalan Teachers in the Spanish departments of universities with vacancies to fill. We are proud that Catalan Teachers who have helped to establish Catalan culture at British universities include: Sergi Beser, Loreto Busquets, Jordi Carbonell, Josep Fontana, Ramon Gubern, Enric Lluch, Joan-Lluís Marfany, Joaquim Molas, Jordi Nadal, Salvador Oliva, Marçal Olivar, Francesc Parcerisas, Jordi Sarsanedas, Josep Termes, Joan Triadú, Toni Turull, Helena Valentí, Lluís Cabré, Josep-Anton Fernandez and others too numerous to name individually. Ever since the Generalitat de Catalunya began to provide official Catalan Teachers to the United Kingdom and Ireland, thus creating a network of support for Catalan Studies, the Society helped to reinforce their presence, acting when necessary as a link between them and the Generalitat, and offering them all possible assistance in carrying out their task. In this and other areas of our activity, the work, advice and attendance at our meetings of representatives of the Generalitat's Commission for Universities and Research, and more recently of the Institut Ramon Llull, has been of very great value. Thanks to these fruitful relationship a Catalan Lectureship was established at Queen Mary and Westfield College in the University of London; the Centre for Catalan Studies at QMUL continues to organise key events on Catalan Studies in London today. The exhibition '800 Years of Catalan Literature', shown in London, Bristol, Oxford, Manchester and Southampton, was also a product of this very welcome international co-operation. Other examples include the establishment at the University Sheffield in 1990 of the first Chair of Catalan Studies in Britain, set up on the initiative of the University of the Balearic Islands, and held until his retirement in 1998 by the past President of the Society, Alan Yates. Catalan Studies continue to thrive in Britain and Ireland today in the face of the changing Higher Education Landscape.

As a member of the International Federation of Catalan Associations, the Society maintains regular contact with the North-American Catalan Society, the Deutsch-Katalanischen Gesellschaft, l'Associazione Italiana di Studi Catalani, l'Association Française des Catalanistes, and also with other Catalan associations in Britain, Europe and Latin America, and is of course in permanent touch, on a person to person basis, with colleagues and friends throughout the Catalan Countries and, officially, with many institutions.

Over recent years the Society's activities have increased and broadened in all directions thanks in part to the financial assistance of our Socis Protectors and the Fundació Congrés de Cultura Catalana, but above all to the Institut Ramon Llull which signed a Memorandum of Agreement to enter into close collaboration with us in 2005. Thanks to the valuable contributions of these supporters a stable capital base has been created for the Society and we have been able to strengthen and expand our conferences and activities, with participation from speakers from across the world. The Society has also been able to attract more British and Irish students, the new generation of Catalanophiles, to the annual meetings by means of scholarship and reductions in the subscription rate.

Journal of Catalan Studies

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Annual Conferences, News & Events

LXIII Anglo-Catalan Society Annual Conference
University of Birmingham 10-12th November 2017