Nicholas Startin, University of Bath
As I write this Chair’s Message, our 49th Annual Conference in Lisbon is just a few weeks away. I look forward to seeing many of you there. As ever, it looks like an excellent programme of research sessions, plenaries and non-traditional panels. I would like to thank the UACES office and the local organisers at the Universidade de Lisboa for all of their hard work in bringing the conference to fruition.
At the conference dinner, we will be presenting the UACES prizes and awards for 2019, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in European Studies. I am delighted to announce that this year’s recipient is Nonna Mayer of Sciences Po.
From a personal perspective (as both a ‘green’ but also as someone with a fear of flying), I am looking forward to the 22-hour train journey from London St Pancras to Lisbon and am pleased to see that some other UACES colleagues are also venturing to the Portuguese capital by train.
In July, I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the 2019 Graduate Forum Conference at Manchester Metropolitan University. The theme of the conference was “What for the Next European Century?”, based on a recent special section in JCER, and there were some excellent panels on a range of themes. It was fantastic to hear about the cutting-edge research of our Association’s postgraduate and early-career researchers. I would like to thank the Graduate Forum (GF) Committee and Kathryn Simpson of Manchester Metropolitan University for all of their hard work in organising the conference
The other major event in the UACES GF calendar is the Doctoral Training Academy which will take place at the Brussels School of International Studies (University of Kent) on the 22nd of November 2019. This year’s theme is ‘Teaching and the Profession’. I would encourage colleagues at all stages of their PhD and post-viva years to attend (learn more here). If you are interested in being directly involved in the GF, the GF Committee will be looking for UACES Student and Early-Career members to stand for election in the Autumn.
In other news, I am very pleased to report that UACES was recently announced as a recipient of Erasmus+ Jean Monnet funding for our project ‘DIMES’. The funding will support our efforts to improve diversity, inclusion and multidisciplinarity in European Studies. We are looking forward to launching the project in September. Against the backdrop of Brexit, this is an excellent development for UACES, so I would like to thank all involved in putting together the proposal, led by UACES Secretary Maria Garcia.
We are finalising our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Policy and, at the UACES AGM in Lisbon, we will propose to members that we introduce an elected EDI Officer. I am also pleased to report that the UACES Committee has approved the introduction of a two-tier membership rate to reflect income differences between countries and to welcome a wider international membership. We will update members on when this will come into effect and how those eligible for the lower rates can benefit.
Also, following discussions with Routledge, we plan to partner with them to produce the Routledge Online Encyclopaedia of European Studies. This is an exciting opportunity for UACES and we would like as many members to be involved as possible. Look out for emails from UACES inviting expressions of interest for the role(s) of General Editor.
Finally, on behalf of the Association, I would like to say thank you to Simon Usherwood whose three-year term as Treasurer comes to an end at next month’s conference. Simon has done an excellent job in the role and his calm and committed presence as a UACES Officer and on the Committee will be missed. I have known Simon for 20 years (first meeting him at a UACES Conference) and his support for the Association has been unstinting. I very much look forward to working with Jocelyn Mawdsley as the new UACES Treasurer. We will be looking for two new Committee members and a new UACES Secretary from September 2020, so do consider putting yourselves forward for these roles. If you are interested in the role of Secretary, do please talk to our current Secretary Maria Garcia who will be at UACES 2019 in Lisbon.
As always, do email me if you have any suggestions about the Association and its future.
Nicholas Startin, University of Bath
22 August 2019
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