The Society for Emblem Studies


1. Objectives

The Society for Emblem Studies (“the Society”) is an international society which exists to foster the study of emblem books and related materials in literature and the arts, including their origins and influence on other cultural forms, in all periods, countries and languages. To that end:

  • it sponsors a triennial International Conference and may organize other international or local conferences at appropriate intervals;
  • it publishes a periodical Newsletter in order to keep its members informed of developments in the field, and to serve as a vehicle for the exchange of advice and information;
  • it maintains a website and may engage in other forms of social media activity.

The languages of the Society are the recognized languages of international scholarship, though English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish are preferred.

2. Membership

Membership is open to all persons who, by reason of their scholarly research, teaching or any other activity, have an interest in emblems and emblem books, subject to payment of the annual membership subscription (see article 8).

The Membership elects the Executive Committee, the Advisory Board, and the President at a General Business Meeting conducted during the Society’s International Conference (see article 8).

The period of office of all office-holders, including the President, shall be six years. No person shall hold more than one elected office at any one time.

3. The Executive Committee

The management of the Society is ensured by an Executive Committee consisting of the persons holding the following positions, to be elected by secret ballot at the General Business Meeting (see article 8):

  • Chair of the Society;
  • Editor of the Newsletter;
  • Web administrator;
  • Treasurer/Membership Secretary.

Any matter remaining unresolved following discussion by the Executive Committee shall be submitted to the President, whose decision shall be final.

The Committee is responsible for:

  • the routine management of the Society’s affairs;
  • the maintenance of membership details;
  • the content and circulation of the Newsletter and other materials.

The Executive Committee shall have the authority, at its discretion, to appoint a Vice-Chair from time to time to assist in the duties of the Committee, and to co-opt other members as appropriate.

  • possible reasons for such co-option might be the need for advice or action on practical matters concerning the Society’s activities in the field of publication (printed and/or on-line); negotiation of relationships with other learned societies.

In the event of the death or resignation of an office holder, the Executive Committee may appoint a replacement to serve until the next General Business Meeting in consultation with the Advisory Board. In years when the Society’s International Conference is held, the principal organizer of that conference shall consult regularly with the Executive Committee.

4. The Advisory Board

The Advisory Board consists of scholars who have an active and established interest in the field, drawn from the various countries and disciplines in which emblem studies are being pursued. Individual members of the Advisory Board:

  • further the interests of the Society in their own country or area of study;
  • advise the Executive Committee concerning national and regional interests and wishes;
  • offer advice on the location, policy, and academic content of the Society’s international conferences.

The Advisory Board shall consist of eight members elected to serve a term of six (6) years, half of whom shall be replaced or re-elected at each General Business Meeting (see article 8).

5. National Representatives

The Executive Committee has the authority to appoint National Representatives to assist in maintaining membership details and remitting subscriptions.  The role of National Representatives is:

  • to help maintain membership lists and to recruit new members to the Society;
  • to contribute items of interest to the general membership about activities in their region for publication in the Newsletter;
  • to accept dues payments from their members who do not use electronic communications. The Society’s National Representatives, while not members of the Advisory Board, may from time to time be consulted on Society matters by the Executive Committee or the Advisory Board.

6. The President

The office of President of the Society is held by a distinguished scholar who has by his or her work contributed significantly to the advancement of emblem studies. The role of the President shall be to represent the Society externally and to provide advice to the Chair and to the Executive Committee as requested. If necessary, the Executive Committee shall nominate a candidate for the office of President no less than three months prior to the start of the International Conference, who shall serve a single six-year term, subject to ratification by a secret ballot conducted at the General Business Meeting.

7. The Nominating Committee

At the General Business Meeting (see article 8), members of the Society shall name one continuing and one new Advisory Board member to serve as members of a Nominating Committee of which the President of the Society shall serve as the chair.

  • No later than six months prior to the opening date of each international conference, the President shall convene the Nominating Committee, which shall issue a call for nominations for all Executive and Advisory Board offices needing to be filled.
  • In addition, the Nominating Committee shall seek the advice of the Advisory Board and the Executive Committee in order to ensure that sufficient candidacies are forthcoming.
  • The names of all candidates identified by the Nominating Committee shall be circulated to the membership in advance of the General Business Meeting, at which further nominations may be made from the floor, subject to the proviso that all candidates must be members of the Society in good standing at the time of the election.
  • If an election is required for any office, it shall be conducted by secret ballot.

8. General Business Meeting

A General Business Meeting is held at the International Conferences of the Society and is open to all members in good standing.

The Meeting shall consider:

The Society’s Current State:

  • Reports shall be presented by the Chair and the Treasurer/Membership Secretary.


  • Advisory Board: the members of the Society shall elect new Advisory Board members to replace those whose term of office has expired and to fill vacant positions, subject to the following provisos:

o no Advisory Board member shall serve more than two full consecutive terms; o an Advisory Board member elected to fill a vacancy shall complete the term of the member she or he is replacing, but may subsequently serve two full consecutive terms if elected.

  • Executive Committee: Officers shall be elected or re-elected by a ballot of members present at the meeting, subject to the proviso that no member of the Executive Committee shall serve more than two consecutive full terms.
  • President: if any two members of the Society request a ballot no less than two months prior to the General Business Meeting, a secret ratification ballot shall be conducted; if the candidate nominated by the Executive Committee does not receive the approval of a simple majority, the current President shall continue in office until the next General Business Meeting.
  • All members of the Society in good standing as certified by the Treasurer/Membership Secretary are eligible to vote; those unable to attend the General Business Meeting may submit their vote in confidence to the Treasurer/Membership Secretary, who shall certify that they are in good standing and who shall ensure that their votes are counted.

The International Conference:

  • The location of the Society’s next international conference will normally be decided at the General Business Meeting by simple majority vote on the basis of proposals made to the Executive Committee and considered by the Advisory Board, following a general call circulated to the membership. If no proposals have been forthcoming prior to the meeting, or if the Society declines all proposals previously submitted, additional proposals may be submitted to the membership for consideration at the time of the meeting.

Other Competent business:

  • Items for consideration at the General Business Meeting shall be intimated to the Chair of the Society no later than six weeks prior to the Meeting.


  • The Agenda for the General Business Meeting shall be approved by the Executive Committee and circulated electronically to the membership by the Treasurer/Membership Secretary no later than one month prior to the start of the International Conference, and shall concurrently be published on the Society’s website.

9. Subscription

Members of the Society pay an annual subscription at a rate to be recommended by the Executive Committee and subject to approval either by a simple majority of the membership either by electronic ballot or at the General Business Meeting.

10.  Affiliated Groups and Associated Institutions

Groups of scholars or institutions that carry out programs of research, study or teaching may be granted formal affiliation with the Society. Their activities may be reported in the Newsletter, and such groups may organize activities in association with or on behalf of the Society. The Society will ensure that its announcements and calls for papers are circulated to all such groups and institutions concurrently with circulation to its own members.

 (modified 2017)