The main message to convey at this stage in the ‘history’ of the International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA) is to announce that its next conference – which is its eleventh – will be held in Stockholm in August 2017. This is a change from what was decided at the last general assembly, held in New York City in August 2015, where - following a repeatedly expressed wish – Graz was selected as the next venue. This choice was induced by the fact that the first WMA conference was held in Graz in 1997, so that returning to the Styrian capital would have understandably marked a return to its ‘birthplace’ after twenty years of existence. This idea was thwarted for the relatively banal reason that major long-term reconstruction works would have denied access to the desirable localities at Graz University. It is a great relief that Axel Englund has promptly agreed to hold the next conference in Stockholm, the venue that had already been selected for the 2019 WMA conference. I am extremely pleased and grateful to Axel as Stockholm promises to be a wonderful place to celebrate our anniversary (see the Call for Papers elsewhere on this website). As we expect reconstruction work to be completed by then, it will be a pleasure to welcome WMA for the 2019 conference in Graz.
The other major relief which I have recently experienced is the relaunch of the WMA website. The international transfer of the website, necessitated by two new WMA secretaries from other countries consecutively taking office, proved to be more knotty than ever anticipated so that we sadly had to do without a proper website for quite some time. We have now finally managed to have it transferred to Graz (which is the location of the official WMA office). Its maintenance lies in the hands of David Urrows, our Secretary, Werner Wolf, our Treasurer, and myself. In the process of updating the website, David addresses our members, see his Message from the Secretary.
To keep members informed about the association’s activities, I take pleasure in referring them to the various sections of this website, such as the minutes of the last general assembly held in New York City, the list of publications in our book series Word and Music Studies (WMS), the list of current members, the activities of our affiliated organization, the Word and Music Studies Forum (WMAF), etc.
It is gratifying to be able to point out that since our last conference two new WMS volumes have appeared: the proceedings of our London conference, Silence and Absence in Literature and Music, eds. Werner Wolf/Walter Bernhart (WMS 15), and Essays on Literature and Music (1985 – 2013) by Walter Bernhart, ed. Werner Wolf (WMS 14). The proceedings of our New York conference (Music, Narrative, and the Moving Image) are being edited by David Urrows and Walter Bernhart and are expected to be published as WMS 16 early in 2017.
Readers of WMS volumes will have realized that the book series in now published by Brill (Leiden, The Netherlands/Boston, MA, USA). Brill has incorporated Rodopi, our earlier publishing company, due to the retirement of the Rodopi managing staff. Because of Rodopi’s high reputation, Brill is willing to keep the Rodopi format in operation as much as possible, although some adaptations brought about by the change are inevitable. For a transition period the publisher of the WMS volumes has been, and will be, indicated as Brill/Rodopi.
I wish all WMA members all possible progress in their work in the field of Word and Music Studies and hope that other visitors to this site may develop an interest in what we are doing at WMA as a scholarly organization.
Walter Bernhart, Graz July 2016