French and Francophone Studies

The Société Internationale Rencesvals

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.

Bulletin Bibliographique de la Société Rencesvals

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.

International congresses

The Société Internationale Rencesvals holds a major congress every three years, the most recent being the 21st International Congress in Toronto in August 2018.


British Branch

The British Branch is one of the founder branches of the Society. It has previously hosted the fifth (1970, Oxford) and twelfth (1991, Edinburgh) international congresses and holds its own regular colloquia. The Branch also publishes a series of books entitled British Rencesvals Publications.

Find out more about the British Branch, its events and publications