The Société Internationale Rencesvals, founded in 1955, brings together scholars from all over the world in the study of the epic poetry of mediæval Europe.
The Society’s interests centre on epics written in the Romance languages, but with increasing attention being paid to adaptations and reflections, particularly of originally French material, in Middle English and Anglo-Norman, Franco-Italian, Dutch, German and the Scandinavian languages, and to later elaborations in Italy, Spain and the New World.
While traditional philological approaches have not been abandoned, there is a growing tendency to apply contemporary techniques of analysis to the epic, and to expand into comparative and interdisciplinary studies. The Society is thus the focus of a very wide range of scholarly activity.
The International Society publishes annually the Bulletin Bibliographique de la Société Rencesvals (BBSR) containing a critical bibliography of pertinent scholarship, a list of members and other items of interest to scholars working on the epic. BBSR also publishes a limited number of research articles. BBSR is available only through the Society, subscriptions being payable to national branches.
The Société Internationale Rencesvals holds a major congress every three years.
The 19th international congress was held at Wadham College, Oxford, from 13th to 17th August 2012.
The 20th international congress will be held in Rome in 2015.
The British Branch, one of the founder branches of the Society, holds its own regular colloquia, and has previously hosted the fifth (1970, Oxford) and twelfth (1991, Edinburgh) international congresses.
This article was published on May 13, 2013