The Society for Emblem Studies exists to foster the study of emblem books and related materials in literature and the visual arts, their origins and influence on other cultural forms, in all periods, countries and languages. The current membership includes teachers and students of literature, art-historians, librarians and archivists, collectors of antiquarian books, historians of Renaissance and Baroque cultures, students of comparative literature, and scholars interested in the wider relationship between literature and the visual arts, theories or representation, iconology and iconography.
Members of the Society receive a twice-yearly Newsletter, and are entitled to attend the various meetings, colloquia, and other activities organised by or for the Society. Since the study of emblem books is a highly interdisciplinary field, the Society aims to provide a channel of communication for students and scholars seeking collaborative assistance from specialists with expertise in different fields than their own. The languages of the Society are the recognised languages of international scholarship, and the Newsletter publishes notes and queries in French, German or English as appropriate. The Society holds its major international conference at two- or three-yearly intervals, which always includes a general call for papers. It organises two or more sessions at the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo (link). The Society is affiliated to the Renaissance Society of America, and normally sponsors a session at the Society’s annual conference, in addition to a number of occasional symposia each year in Europe, North America and elsewhere. Local groups which carry out programs of research, or institutions with a particular interest in emblem books may apply for affiliation to the Society.
The Society can provide modest financial support for publications. Guidelines are given on the Publications Support page.