The Society for Renaissance Studies and the RSA Conference in Berlin March 2014

The SRS has long believed that there is a reciprocal agreement between RSA and SRS to the effect that all RSA members can attend any of our conferences without joining SRS and that all SRS members can attend RSA conferences held in Europe (currently every five years) without joining RSA. SRS has for some years advertised this as one of the benefits of membership. When this October SRS members wrote to RSA pointing out that they were not expecting to pay the RSA subscription, RSA office staff informed them that no such agreement existed and that they would need to pay the RSA subscription.


When officers of the SRS became aware of the problem they contacted their counterparts in RSA to try to sort it out. By mid November we were able to show Ann Moyer, executive director of the RSA that we had believed that there was an agreement, that it had in fact operated in 2005 and 2010, that we had continued to act as if it existed in 2012 and 2014 and that we had in good faith advertised the existence of this agreement to our members. When we asked RSA to change their response to our members, their reply was that the RSA council had decided the fees for 2015 at its meeting in New York in March 2014 and could not now change its mind. 


The Council of the Society for Renaissance Studies very much regrets the RSA’s current position. The Council also very much regrets that the SRS has unintentionally misled its members on this matter. With hindsight it is clear that we ought to have checked back with the RSA before continuing to advertise the arrangement to our members. We all believed so strongly in the  continuing existence of the arrangement between the two societies that no one thought to check its documentary basis.