The Polish Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies was founded in Warsaw in 1996. It gathers historians of literature, theatre, art and philosophy, and political, social and intellectual historians interested in the broadly understood Age of Enlightenment, which in Poland lasted until about 1830. Members of the Society come from Poland and more than a dozen other countries. The mission of PSECS is facilitating contacts between researchers of the eighteenth century as well as inspiring and organizing common scholarly ventures.
The exchange of information is served by the Biuletyn, annually published since 1997, which contains information on the latest publications of members of the Society, on research currently conducted by them and their doctoral students, on grants won and in progress, and also on conferences that are planned or which have already been held.
The Society organizes, by itself or in cooperation with other institutions, national and international conferences. These are occasions for the exchange of information about research in progress, and often also the start of cooperation and important scholarly ventures. They leave a lasting impact on research in the form of collective publications and editions of sources. During the twenty-two years of the Society’s existence, it has participated in the organization of several dozen such scholarly meetings. For example, in 1998 PSECS organized a conference on the two-hundredth anniversary of the death of King Stanisław August; in 2001 the Society contributed to many diverse ventures associated with the bicentenary of the death of Ignacy Krasicki. In 2002 it organized the international conference Freedom: Heritage of the Past or an Idea of the Enlightenment?; in 2017 it co-organized, inter alia with the Chancellery of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland and the Royal Castle in Warsaw, a conference on the tercentenary of the Silent Parliament, and in 2018 a conference devoted to the idea of sovereignty in the old Commonwealth. Since 2016 the Society is the co-organizer of Franco-Polish scholarly meetings devoted to various aspects of research on the eighteenth century. Under the patronage of the Society cycles of lectures and other events have been held which have sought to popularize knowledge and understanding of the eighteenth century. The most important scholarly events organized by the Society are the quinquennial Congresses of Researchers of the Eighteenth Century, which gather more or less the entire group of Polish dix-huitièmiestes as well as guests from abroad. Successive congresses have been held in Wrocław (2006), Kraków (2011) and Poznań (2016). The next, IV Congress is planned to take place in Toruń in 2021.
The Society constitutes part of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies / Société internationale d’étude du dix-huitième siècle – by the same each member of PSECS is also a member of the international organization. The Polish Society was a partner of SIEDS/ISECS in the creation and implementation of the scholarly programme of the great world congresses of dix-huitièmistes in Dublin (1999), Los Angeles (2003), Graz (2011) and Rotterdam (2015). Recognition of the dynamically developing PSECS came with the entrusting to it of the organization in Warsaw of a session of the Executive Committee of ISECS/SIEDS in 2002. Subsequently, at the Congress in Los Angeles the President of PSECS – Professor Teresa Kostkiewiczowa – was elected as First Vice-President of SIEDS/ISECS and Anna Grześkowiak-Krwawicz was elected as a member of the Executive Committee. PSECS currently has 235 Polish and foreign members, among whom are many illustrious scholars of the eighteenth century. The Society’s ambition is the further deepening of studies on this era, thanks to the creation of fora in which all those interested can meet.
Polish Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
ul. Nowy Świat 72
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