This version of the CSECS Constitution is the authoritative one.
Last revised on Octobre 23, 2023.



Section 1

The Society shall be called the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies/Société canadienne d'étude du dix-huitième siècle. It shall herein be referred to as "the Society." Its purposes are to advance interest within Canada in the study of the culture and history of the eighteenth century (especially in Europe and the New World), to encourage research and investigation in eighteenth-century studies on a broad interdisciplinary basis, and to acquaint students of the eighteenth century with Canadian scholarship in this field. The Society's official languages shall be English and French.

Section 2

The Society shall accomplish these purposes by promoting the exchange of information and ideas among members of various scholarly disciplines engaged in eighteenth-century studies through meetings, publications, a website, the creation of scholarship programmes, and any other means it deems appropriate.

Section 3

The Society is a registered charity within the meanings assigned by the Income Tax Act, that is:

  1. It is a Canadian society dedicated to the advancement of education in Canada.

  2. Its benefits are available to all Canadians.

  3. No particular rights, privileges, benefits, or advantages accrue to any of its members or officers.

  4. Its resources are devoted wholly to its stated charitable purposes.

Section 4

The Society shall accumulate property for the sole purpose of carrying on its stated ends, including the holding of annual conferences, the maintaining of a website, and the publication of an annual volume of selected conference proceedings.

Section 5

The fiscal year of the Society shall be from the first day of April to the thirty-first day of March in the following year.


Section 1

Membership shall be open to all those interested in the purposes of the Society and who pay the annual membership dues determined by the Society.

Section 2

The Society shall decide categories of membership, the amount of dues, and the privileges of membership.

Section 3

The Society may designate a maximum of ten honorary members. Honorary members are retired scholars whose contribution to the study of the eighteenth century and to the life of the Society is deemed exceptional. Candidacies, supported by an introductory dossier, may be proposed by members of the Executive Committee or by a petition of fifteen members of the Society in good standing. Honorary members are named by the Executive Committee; candidacies are not brought to a vote of the General Meeting. Honorary members are excused from the payment of annual dues. The status of honorary member is irrevocable.

Section 4

The Society may welcome affiliated societies.

Affiliated societies are non-profit societies whose interests coincide with those of the Society. They could be invited to propose sessions for the Society's annual conferences.

Candidacies of societies wishing to become affiliated societies must always be accompanied by an introductory dossier. They may originate from the societies themselves, from the Executive Committee or from a petition of fifteen members of the Society in good standing. In the case of candidacies presented by the Executive Committee or by a petition from members, the societies thus presented must give their agreement.

The affiliated societies are accepted by the General Meeting on the basis of a recommendation from the Executive Committee.

Membership in an affiliated society does not exempt individuals, if they wish to participate in the Society's activities, from paying either their membership fees to the Society or the registration fees for the Society's conferences.

The association between an affiliated society and the Society shall end when the affiliated society is dissolved, when the aims of the affiliated society no longer correspond to those of the Society, or when the affiliated society or the Society requests it.


There shall be a General Meeting of the membership held during the Society's conference. The General Meeting shall be held in order to make decisions affecting the business of the Society and its members. The quorum for the General Meeting shall be twenty members. Only those who are members in good standing of the Society shall be allowed to vote in General Meetings.


Section 1

There shall be an Executive Committee which shall meet at the conference of the Society in order to conduct the business of the Society, determine its policies, and administer its affairs in a manner consistent with the Society's purposes, subject to the direction and approval of the General Meeting of the Society. The quorum for the Executive Committee meeting shall be six.

The Executive Committee is responsible for ensuring that General Meetings are held, and it must make a full report on its activities, including the administration of prizes and fellowships, at the General Meetings. Members of the Executive, if called upon, will assist in the organization of the programmes for the annual conferences.

Section 2

The members of the Executive Committee shall be:

  1. a President

  2. a Past-President

  3. a Conference President

  4. a Treasurer

  5. a Secretary

  6. the two Editors of Lumen (formerly known as Man and Nature/L'Homme et la nature)

  7. a delegate to the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS)

  8. a delegate to the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS)

  9. a Communications Secretary

  10. a graduate student representative

  11. a member at large

Whenever possible, the Executive Committee shall be chosen to represent a range of disciplines and regions of Canada. Apart from the rotating position of Conference President (who must be a member of good standing in the Society and who will be appointed for a one-year term only) and the position of Past-President (who will serve a one-year term only), the Editors of Lumen (who will serve a five-year term, renewable once), and the ISECS Delegate (who will serve a four-year term in keeping with ISECS Executive Committee terms), all members of the Executive Committee will be elected for three-year terms, renewable for further terms with the consent of the Executive. The Graduate Student Representative shall be elected by the student members of the Society at their annual meeting.

The President shall be responsible for chairing meetings of the Executive Committee and the Annual General Meeting of the membership, raising funds for the Society as a whole, and overseeing the ongoing functioning of the Society as a whole. S/He shall be the Society's representative with other relevant societies.

The Past-President shall serve as an advisor to the incoming President and to the Executive regarding the affairs of the Society.

The Conference President shall be responsible for organizing, and for raising and disbursing funds for the annual conference and its associated volume of selected proceedings. The Conference President shall work in consultation with the President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The Treasurer shall be responsible for:

  1. Matters pertaining to membership in the Society.

  2. The administration of the finances associated with the continuing operation of the Society, including receiving dues and disbursing them as directed by the membership, the administration of travel grants, prizes and bursaries, and the payment of Society dues for membership in national and international organizations.

  3. The submission of grant applications and annual financial statements to SSHRC, after consultation with the President and relevant members of the Executive Committee.

  4. Overseeing the Restricted Fund, soliciting donations and leading fundraising campaigns, and participating in the CSECS Fellowship committees.

The Secretary shall be responsible for:

  1. Correspondence with other organizations and learned societies, such as ISECS and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), in concert with the Society's delegate to HSSFC.

  2. The maintenance of Society records.

  3. Co-ordinating relations with sister societies and affiliated societies, in concert with the Society's delegates to ISECS and ASECS.

  4. Chairing a Nominations Committee charged with finding suitable candidates for vacant Society positions. This committee shall consist of two (2) members in addition to the Secretary; these additional members shall not be members of the Executive committee.

Lumen, the Society's annual publication, has two Editors, one overseeing the French-language submissions, the other the English-language submissions. They are responsible for the regular production of Lumen, the setting of editorial guidelines, and the administration of business arising from the advertisement, sale and distribution of issues of Lumen. They are assisted by an editorial committee (see Article 6).

The delegate to the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS) shall participate in the congresses and meetings of that society and prepare a report for the Executive Committee on all matters concerning the two societies. If the delegate is unable to attend a congress or a meeting of ISECS, the Executive Committee may appoint a substitute.

The delegate to the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) shall participate in the congresses and meetings of this society and prepare a report for the Executive Committee on all matters concerning the two societies. If the delegate is unable to attend a congress or a meeting of ASECS, the Executive Committee may appoint a substitute.

The Communications Secretary is responsible for the administration and the regular updating of the Society's website, and for preparing the annual report of the CSECS for ISECS. This person is also responsible to run the official social media accounts (currently Twitter and YouTube) of CSECS. To do this effectively, the Communications Secretary is expected to communicate with the organizers of the current CSECS annual conference in order to disseminate CFPs for annual conferences and Lumen; arrange the uploading of recordings to the YouTube channel and moderate the comments on those videos; promote the channel and other special events organized by CSECS. As part of their social media activity, the Communications Secretary can also boost CFPs, publications, and special events not directly sponsored by CSECS but of interest to CSECS members.

The Graduate Student Representative shall meet with the student members of the Society at the annual conference of the Society and shall maintain contact with student members throughout the year.

The Member at Large shall foster continuity and institutional memory for the Executive and will be a longstanding CSECS member.

Section 3

The members of the Executive Committee shall ordinarily be elected by the membership of the Society at the General Meeting. If any vacancies arise because of resignation or death, these may be filled by the Executive Committee without the ratification of the membership of the Society.

Section 4

In the interval between the meetings of the Executive Committee, extraordinary business may be handled by the President, Secretary, and Treasurer in consultation with other members of the Executive.


Section 1

The conference takes place once a year and respects the geographical distribution between Eastern Canada, Central Canada and the West.

Section 2

Only members of the Society in good standing may present papers at the conferences.

Section 3

The conference themes are determined by the Executive Committee and the organizing committee of each conference, following consultation with the editorial committee of Lumen.


Section 1

The Society's annual publication was formerly known as Man and Nature/L'Homme et la nature; it is now known as Lumen. Travaux choisis de la Société canadienne d'étude du dix-huitième siècle. Selected Proceedings from the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. It publishes a selection of papers given at the Society's annual conference.

Section 2

Lumen has two editors, one overseeing the French-language submissions, the other the English-language submissions. They are elected by the General Meeting for a five-year term, renewable once only.

Section 3

The editors of Lumen are assisted by an editorial committee. In addition to the two editors of Lumen, four members participate: the president of the Society's most recent conference. The mandate of the president of the previous conference ceases when the Proceedings of the conference he has organized are published; s/he is then replaced by the president of that conference the Proceedings of which are being published.

Section 4

The editorial committee advises the editors of Lumen on all questions relating to the editorial content, administration, advertisement, sale and distribution of Lumen. It is also consulted when the conference themes are being decided.


The Constitution of the Society may be amended by a two-thirds majority of those voting, either at a General Meeting of the Society, or in a postal or electronic ballot. One month before the ballot, the proposed amendments) must be discussed by the Executive Committee, and then put forward to the membership for consideration or ratification.