ACLS is a federation of 81 scholarly societies. This singular network of national or international organizations works collectively in addressing common challenges facing societies of all sizes and representing a variety of humanistic fields, particularly those related to maintaining and improving conditions for research, education, and communication among scholars.

ACLS provides a variety of resources and supports for our member societies, which represent the rich diversity of humanistic scholarship and the outstanding scholars engaged in a broad variety of research.

Collaborating on solutions to today’s most pressing issues in academia.
Bringing together societies, scholars, and university administrators on solutions to advance equity, inclusion, and justice within the academy.
ACLS helps to elevate the collective voice of scholarly institutions on important issues facing the academy.

Community and Connection

All CEO members have access to a private discussion forum for confidential communication between the executive directors of our member societies. Members use this platform to get support and counsel on operational aspects of running a learned society from recommendations on member engagement software to examples and insights on creating sponsor packages for online convenings to guidance on board governance and more.

ACLS also hosts an extranet for all CEO members that includes a library of current and past CEO meeting agendas, as well as webinars, presentations, and other resources by other members in the group on a variety of topics including diversity initiatives and best practices, governance, growth strategies, and more.

In addition to the ACLS Annual Meeting each spring, ACLS hosts annual in-person working retreats for member society leaders. The fall workshop, held each year in New York City, is designed especially for executive directors and their new or incoming presidents with sessions focused on successful co-governance, fundraising, member retention, and more. The spring workshop takes place immediately following the ACLS Annual Meeting in the same host city and provides opportunities for in-depth discussions on topics impacting societies and their memberships including the growing influence of AI, how best to serve members outside of the academy, and issues related to diversity, access, and inclusion.

Organizational Supports

ACLS provides exclusive professional consultations for member societies. Recent initiatives include a six-month initiative with Wellspring Consulting supporting work to clarify and amplify the value propositions that shape their membership strategies and choice of activities.

ACLS also organizes brokered services for IT and insurance for member societies.

Collective Advocacy

ACLS helps amplify statements issued by member societies and affiliate organizations on issues of concern to our community on our website, through our monthly newsletter, and on social media.  ACLS also invites member organizations to endorse ACLS statements on the importance of upholding the central role of humanistic study in higher education.


Join Us!

For more information on ACLS Learned Society and Affiliate Memberships please contact James Shulman, ACLS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

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More About Our Member Societies