American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is an interdisciplinary group dedicated to the advancement of scholarship in all aspects of the period . . . from the later seventeenth through the early nineteenth century.

Established in 1969, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies advances study and research in the history of a time that has profoundly influenced our world. ASECS is a pioneer in interdisciplinary investigation, and it therefore welcomes as members those working in all areas of scholarly inquiry pertinent to eighteenth-century studies.

2018 ASECS Annual Meeting, Orlando FL

March 22-25, 2018



Summer 2017 News Circular

Tax Legislation Under Consideration by Congress

Tax legislation under consideration by Congress would designate graduate tuition waivers as taxable income. Although ASECS members will agree or disagree with many components of this wide-ranging and complex legislation, learned societies with which ASECS is affiliated, including the American Historical Association, the Modern Language Association, and the College Art Association, have issued statements or contacted their members with concerns about the impact of this particular provision. More information about the proposal to tax graduate tuition waivers is available on the blog of the National Humanities Alliance. ASECS urges its members to learn how this proposed legislation could create an unsupportable burden for our graduate student members while preventing future generations from navigating the financial pathways of graduate education—and, if they share this concern, to contact their members of Congress.

ASECS Executive Board Statement on Harassment and Abuse (10 November 2017)

Along with fellow members of ASECS, the Executive Board read with horror Professor Seo-Young Chu’s essay "A Refuge for Jae-in Doe: Fugues in the Key of English Major," published in Entropy on November 3, 2017, which detailed her rape and abuse at the hands of the late Stanford University Professor and ASECS member Jay Fliegelman. Last year, when this incident was brought to the Society's attention, we contacted Professor Chu, and with her permission brought to the ASECS Board and the Graduate Student Caucus, which confers our Graduate Mentorship Award, a proposal to remove his name from this award. The letter Professor Chu addressed to the Board, and which she has now published, moved us deeply. The proposal was accepted unanimously and the name immediately removed from the award. The Board deeply regrets the pain caused to Professor Chu, and perhaps to others, with the initial naming of the award. Professor Chu’s extraordinary courage in bringing the details of her experience to public attention now allows us to make clear the reasons for the name change, and we are grateful that she has called upon our Society more fully to address the problem of harassment and other forms of predatory behavior.

The ASECS Board unequivocally condemns all forms of harassment, discrimination, and abuse, including mistreatment based on sex, race or status. In the months ahead we will be developing policies for incorporation into our bylaws that make clear that harassment and discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. This process will require the commitment of our entire membership to join together in a firm endorsement of our standards and values. On behalf of our Society, we accept this charge, and we thank Professor Chu and our colleagues for their eloquence and passion in urging us forward.

Executive Board of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

Susan S. Lanser, President

Dena Goodman, Past President

Melissa Hyde, First Vice President

Jeffrey S. Ravel, Second Vice President

Jill Bradbury, Treasurer

Lisa Berglund, Executive Director

Jenna M. Gibbs, Member at Large

Julia Simon, Member at Large

Lisa Freeman, Member at Large

Tony C. Brown, Member at Large

Mary Terrall, Member at Large

Misty G. Anderson, Member at Large

The statement can also be accessed here:

  • ASECS Statement on Harassment and Abuse
  • ASECS Position Statement - Immigration Ban (February 2017)

    The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies unequivocally condemns as both unAmerican and unEnlightened the administration’s Executive Order suspending entry of refugees into the United States and blocking entry to citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries even when they hold visas. As scholars of the era in which the United States was founded and its core principles of equality and justice established, as intellectuals committed to free inquiry, and as educators who recognize that the contributions of students and colleagues from around the world foster our highest intellectual values and promote our highest goals for achieving knowledge and understanding across national, ethnic, and religious boundaries, we call upon government officials to reverse this order and restore the principles that have guided this nation for more than two centuries. In this difficult and divisive time, we rededicate ourselves to principles of inclusion within our own Society and extend our support to those who are directly affected by these and other discriminatory practices including those by our own government. Our commitment to open and respectful intellectual exchange among people with differing and varied perspectives, which is another of the Enlightenment’s great legacies, is reaffirmed each year in our annual meeting. Should any member of ASECS be barred from entering the United States to attend our annual meeting, ASECS is committed to providing an alternative method for presenting their work.


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    American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
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    Updated December 13, 2017