ASECS Policies


You can read the full text of the ASECS Policy on Harassment and the ASECS Annual Meeting Participation Agreement via the links below and in the text that follows:

ASECS Policy on Harassment

ASECS Annual Meeting Participation Agreement

Policy on Harassment

(Adopted by unanimous vote of the ASECS Executive Board on 28 June 2020)


I. Statement of Principles

ASECS is committed to the free exchange of ideas in an environment of inclusion, safety, and mutual respect. All scholarly and professional exchanges across the Society shall be carried out in a manner that conveys respect, preserves dignity, and nurtures the intellectual development both of individual members and of the field. To this end, the Society condemns all forms of discrimination, coercion, violence, and harassment, including sexual harassment.


ASECS members and all participants in our events are expected to act in accordance with the highest standards of scholarly and professional conduct and to treat every member with respect regardless of perceived race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, rank, or status. While the Society does not seek to codify manners or squelch robust, even contentious, scholarly debate, it expects all members, caucuses, and affiliate groups to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment that affirms the diversity of our membership and of their intellectual pursuits. The values of equity, access, nondiscrimination, and mutual respect shall inform all conduct, whether in a seminar room or at a social gathering, in a plenary presentation or a conference session, in publications or electronic communications. The Society recognizes that harassment can emerge in situations appearing benign to the perpetrator and therefore encourages all members to consider whether their behaviors create conditions of inequity for other members. Members shall be sensitive to differences of power among our membership and to safeguarding the autonomy and contributions of individuals in less secure and more junior positions.


II. Definition of Harassment

Harassment is behavior (speech or actions) that demeans, humiliates, or threatens an individual on the basis of their perceived race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, rank, or status. Harassment encompasses racial or ethnic slurs; unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal comments or unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature, including situations in which the request or conduct involves any implied or expressed promise of reward for complying; or the request or conduct involves any implied or expressed threat of reprisal or denial of opportunity for refusing to comply; or conduct that results in what reasonably may be perceived as a hostile or intimidating environment. Such examples are illustrative, not exhaustive. Behavior constitutes harassment if it is severe—for example, unwanted physical contact—or pervasive—for example, persistent.


III. Scope of this policy

This policy applies immediately upon adoption by the Society and pertains to all venues where officially sponsored ASECS conferences, meetings, and other activities such as social events occur, whether in person, by telephone, or through electronic communication. All members and participants at ASECS activities must abide by the policy. Those who register for the Annual Meeting, whether they are members of ASECS or of ISECS affiliates, exhibitors, staff, or guests—will be required to affirm that they have read and agreed to this policy as part of the registration process.


IV. Appointment of an External Ombuds

The Society is establishing two separate ways of addressing harassment: the appointment of an Ombuds and the establishment of a Committee on Harassment.


Immediately upon the approval of this policy by the ASECS Executive Board, the Executive Board will begin a process to appoint a trained, experienced Ombuds who is not a member of the Society. This person will attend the Annual Meeting, during which time they will be available to consult privately with Society members who seek advice or wish to begin a process to report cases of harassment that have occurred during Society gatherings and activities. The Ombuds will also be available at other times during the year to consult with Society members on issues of harassment as defined by this policy. The Ombuds’s consultations with ASECS members will be kept strictly confidential. In addition, the Ombuds will provide appropriate training in the resolution of harassment matters to the members of the Society’s Committee on Harassment, as defined below.


Within two months after the conclusion of the Society’s Annual Meeting each year, the Ombuds will provide an anonymized report to the Executive Director, who will then report to the Executive Board on the activities of the Ombuds during the previous year and the costs to the Society of the Ombuds’s activities. The Executive Director will make a recommendation to the Board as to whether the Society’s relation with the Ombuds should be continued during the following year or whether a new external Ombuds should be sought. Should the position of external Ombuds fall vacant, a member of the Committee on Harassment will serve as interim Ombuds. At no time, however, will the Society allow the position of external Ombuds to fall vacant for more than two months. An interim Ombuds from the Committee on Harassment should not also serve on the committee adjudicating a complaint referred by the interim Ombuds.


V. Formation of the ASECS Committee on Harassment

The Executive Board will nominate a three-person committee composed of members of the Society in good standing, one of whom will have served on a previous Executive Board. The Executive Board shall appoint one committee member as chair. The Society’s Executive Director will be the only member of the current Executive Board appointed to the committee and will serve ex officio in a non-voting advisory capacity. The Board will also appoint two alternates to the committee who are members of the Society in good standing, and who are not members of the Executive Board. Alternates will be asked to participate in the committee if one or more of the committee members has a conflict of interest.


Members and alternate members of the Committee on Harassment will be chosen from nominees proposed by the Steering Committee, the Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA), and the membership at large. In appointing the committee, the Board shall respect diversity in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, seniority in the Society, and academic interests. Committee members and alternates will serve three-year terms. The initial appointees to the committee, excluding the Executive Director, will serve for periods of one, two, or three years to be determined by the Board, so as to insure a committee composition each year of experienced committee members and alternates, and newcomers. The committee members may serve for only one consecutive three-year term but may be reappointed for one additional term after a hiatus of three years. Alternates are permitted to serve one three-year term as an alternate and one consecutive three-year term as a regular committee member.


The three committee members, the two alternates, the Executive Director, and the President of the Society will receive professional training in matters pertaining to harassment and sexual misconduct and conflict resolution from the Society’s external Ombuds. This training may take place in person at the Annual Meeting or via videoconferencing at another time convenient for the Ombuds and the committee members and alternates. The training shall be renewed on an annual basis.


VI. Procedures of the Committee on Harassment

The Harassment Committee is charged with receiving complaints from any participant in an ASECS-sponsored activity who has experienced a violation of the harassment policy. Committee members will be on site at the Annual Meeting. Any member of the committee can describe the reporting procedures and can outline the various resources available to protect members from harassment. Mindful that any complaint of harassment might cause serious reputational damage to the accused, the committee will also protect the due process rights of the accused. However, neither the committee nor any other ASECS official can provide legal advice to individuals who submit complaints under this policy. The contact information for committee members will be made available on the ASECS website and in registration materials. Any committee member who has a conflict of interest in relation to either the complainant or the accused will recuse themselves, and their place will be taken by a committee alternate. The Committee Chair and Executive Director will keep the President of the Society informed of committee proceedings as they unfold.


The Committee on Harassment will provide the Executive Board of ASECS an annual report of aggregated data about incidents and outcomes. The Executive Director will maintain the confidential record of the committee’s activities in perpetuity and will grant members of the committee and the elected officers of the Society access as needed to resolve disputes.


VII. Intake and Investigation of Complaints by the Committee

1. Complaints of alleged violations of the Anti-Harassment Policy may be made to any member of the committee.


2. One or more members of the committee will conduct an initial interview with the complainant. To encourage reporting of incidents, the names of the complainant and accused shall be kept confidential to the extent possible. However, neither the complainant nor the accused can

be guaranteed confidentiality.


3. If an investigation is warranted, committee members must obtain the consent of the complainant before continuing an investigation. If the complainant does not consent the case is closed.


4. After the initial reporting, a committee member will provide information on options available to the complainant. The complaint may be resolved through committee mediation that might, for example, result in an apology by the accused.

5. If warranted, an investigation may include the whole committee’s interviewing the complainant and the accused (either separately or together) as well as relevant witnesses; it may also include reviewing relevant information such as emails, text messages, tweets, etc. The committee will then render its decision on the complaint.


6. Throughout the process the investigators and committee members will respect the due process protections of the complainant and the accused.


VIII. The Adjudication of Complaints by the Committee

After deliberation, the committee will report its finding to the President of the Society. If it is concluded that no harassment has occurred, no action will be taken.


If the committee concludes that harassment has occurred, then the President, in the name of the Society, will apply sanctions.

Sanctions may include:

1. A written reprimand and warning.

2. A ban on participating in the next Annual Meeting of the Society.

3. For the most serious infractions, loss of all membership privileges and eligibility to be published in the Society’s journals.

Such sanctions will be determined by the Committee on Harassment.


IX. Non-Retaliation

ASECS prohibits retaliation against individuals who report harassment, who cooperate in the investigation of such misconduct, or who serve on the Committee on Harassment. This prohibition protects complainants, the accused, and other persons who have provided or may provide information to the committee. Penalties may be imposed upon members who are found to have retaliated.

ASECS Annual Meeting Participant Agreement

(Revised February 2021)


By registering for and participating in the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, to be held April 7 – April 11, 2021 (the “Annual Meeting”), you acknowledge that you have read and agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Participation Agreement. Your contribution to the Annual Meeting Program, in whatever form it takes (including pre-recorded content), is your “Contribution.”


1.         You agree to comply with all Program-related deadlines provided to you by ASECS, including but not limited to deadlines for the Contribution and related technology requests. You agree to notify ASECS immediately in the event that you are unable to meet your obligations associated with the Program.


2.         You acknowledge and agree that ASECS may record the Program using photographs, video, audio, digital technology, or any other means (each, a “Recording”) and that any such Recording may include your likeness, image, name, voice, and other biographical information, as well as your Contribution. You acknowledge and agree that ASECS owns all right, title and interest in and to the Program and all Recordings of the Program. Except for the limited license you grant to ASECS in Paragraph 3, you retain all rights in your Contribution and are not prohibited from using your Contribution in any way or from allowing others to use it.


3.         You hereby grant ASECS a royalty-free release to use your likeness, image, name, voice, and other biographical information solely for use in the Program and any Recording of the Program as described in the next sentence. You hereby grant ASECS a non-exclusive royalty-free right and license to (a) reproduce, display, perform, broadcast, distribute and publish the Contribution, in whole or in part and in all formats and media (including broadcast, electronic, digital, online, and other media) and by any method, device, or process, and through any channels, as part of the Program and any Recording of the Program for and to registrants of the Annual Meeting during the Annual Meeting dates and thereafter, until May 15, 2021, and (b) archive any Recording of the Program until May 15, 2022, access to which will be solely by ASECS staff and officers, and no other person, solely for purposes of ASECS’s internal assessment and evaluation.  You hereby agree to release and discharge ASECS from any and all claims arising out of or in connection with the use of your likeness, image, name, voice, and other biographical information in connection with the Program and any Recordings of the Program, including without limitation any and all claims for libel, invasion of privacy, violation of the right of publicity, or violation of intellectual property rights. You hereby waive any right of inspection or approval of the use of your likeness, image, name, voice, and other biographical information in connection with the Program and any Recordings of the Program.  You acknowledge that you are not receiving any compensation for the use of your likeness, image, name, voice, and other biographical information in connection with the Program and any Recordings of the Program, and you release all claims against ASECS for compensation related to the use of your likeness, image, name, voice, and other biographical information in connection with the Program and any Recordings of the Program.


4.         You represent and warrant that (a) you own the rights to your Contribution and you are authorized to grant the rights set forth in paragraph 3; (b) your Contribution is original; (c) your Contribution does not defame any person, unlawfully invade their privacy or other rights; and (d) that the reproduction, display, performance, broadcast, distribution and publication of your Contribution as part of the Program or any Recording of the Program will not infringe upon or misappropriate the proprietary or other rights of any third party.


5.         This Participant Agreement shall be binding upon you and your heirs, legal representatives, and assigns of undersigned.  This Participant Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York applicable to agreements made entirely within the state and without giving effect to any conflicts of laws principles. This Participant Agreement may not be modified either orally or in writing by any employee of ASECS. ASECS and you consent to the exercise of jurisdiction by and to venue in any state or federal court of the State of New York with respect to the adjudication of any disputes arising under this Participant Agreement.