Privacy Policy

Privacy Notice

At The British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS) we place great emphasis on the protection of your personal information and compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)*. This Privacy Notice relates to the collection, use, transfer, and retention of your personal data by BACLS.

*Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC.

1. Who are we and what we do

The British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS) is a scholarly association that brings together academics and practitioners from across the UK and beyond in order to explore the current moment and its contexts. We are committed to literary studies in the broadest sense, including written, visual, performative and audible texts, in English and in other languages. We aim to foster research at every level and to support both practice and pedagogy. The association was formally established in 2017.

The rationale for setting up a scholarly association dedicated to the field of contemporary literary studies was that we, as scholars of contemporary literature, felt this new and growing field is very vibrant both inside and outside the academy, but that this liveliness could be fostered by an association through which we would become more than the sum of our parts, and which could support our research, our students, the field and its pedagogy.

2. Contact details of the Data Controller


3. Contact details of the Data Protection Officer

Mike Witcombe (Membership Secretary)

4. What is the purpose for processing your data?

Your data is used by BACLS for a number of purposes in order to carry out academic activities and support the society's mission, including academic and community programming, services, volunteer engagement, and fundraising.

  1. What is our legal basis for processing your data?

As part of our work, we process and store personal information relating to members of the association and we therefore adhere to the applicable data protection rules. We take our responsibilities under these rules seriously and ensure the personal information we obtain is held, used, transferred and processed in accordance with the applicable data privacy rules. BACLS processes the information outlined in this Privacy Notice in pursuit of our legitimate interests in:

  • Communicating with members;
  • Providing benefits and services to members and the general community;
  • Enabling the Society to achieve its strategic and operational goals.

We may pursue these legitimate interests by contacting you by telephone, email, post, or social media. Information about how you can manage the ways that we contact you, including how to opt out from some or all contact from BACLS, is outlined in the ‘Your rights’ section below.

Although BACLS relies on legitimate interest as the legal basis for processing where this is not overridden by the interests and rights or freedoms of the data subjects concerned, it recognizes that it is not the only lawful ground for processing data. As such, where appropriate, BACLS will sometimes process your data on an alternative legal basis – for example, based on a legal obligation (when reporting may be required to the UK tax authorities, for instance) or when you give your explicit consent to us to do so.

5. What kind of personal data do we collect?

BACLS maintain records of all and former members of the Society. If we become aware that your personal data has changed we will update our records to reflect this. In subsequent instances where we provide for example your name (e.g. a class list) we will use your current name alongside any previous names (such as your maiden name) to ensure you can be identified correctly. The Society also maintains records of current and potential donors, partners, employers, and event attendees. The personal data we store and process, the majority of which is given to us by you but some of which we may obtain from other sources, may include:

  • Name, title, gender, and date of birth;
  • Contact details including postal address, email address, phone number and links to social media accounts;
  • Information about your time at the Society and other academic institutions;
  • Your occupation and professional activities;
  • Your recreations and interests;
  • Family and spouse/partner details and your relationships to alumni, supporters, and friends;
  • Records of donations, where applicable;
  • Information about your interests and capacity to support BACLS as a volunteer, advisor, or donor;
  • Records of communications sent to you by BACLS or received from you;
  • Volunteering by you on behalf of BACLS;
  • Information on your engagement in BACLS meetings, events, groups, or networks;
  • Information about your use of BACLS resources or facilities.

6. Who receives your information?

BACLS officers work closely together to provide a coordinated approach. Any transmission of data between BACLS personnel is managed through agreed processes which comply with relevant data protection legislation.

Unless we have a legal obligation to do so, we will not disclose your data to individuals, organizations, or other entities outside the Society other than those who are acting as agents and data processors working on our behalf.

For the purposes set out in section 4, we may need to pass your information to our third-party service providers, agents, subcontractors, BACL’s related organizations, or volunteers for the purposes of completing tasks and providing services to you on our behalf (for example to process donations, send you mailings, print our annual report, or volunteer on an advisory committee). However, with all external entities with whom data is shared, we share only those data needed to perform the specific service and require a contract and/or confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement to be signed before any data transfer—requiring them to keep your information secure and not to use it for their own purposes. We will not sell or rent your information to third parties.

When you are using our secure online donation or event registration pages, your donation or payment is processed by a third-party payment processor specializing in the secure processing of credit/debit card transactions. We do not retain credit card information for future use unless you authorize monthly or other periodic transactions.

We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law.

7. How long will your information be held?

We consider being a member of the BACLS community as a lifelong relationship. Generally, BACLS will look to retain personal data of our stakeholders until the individual asks us to remove it from our records. We will routinely remind you of your right to have us remove your personal data.

If you decide that you no longer wish to receive communication from BACLS, please be aware that we still need to retain a minimal amount of personal data so that we can keep a record that you have asked us not to contact you.

8. What are your rights?

You have a right

  • to access your personal information,
  • to object to the processing of your personal information,
  • to rectify,
  • to erase and
  • to restrict processing your personal information.

If you wish to exercise any of these rights, please email Mike Witcombe ( or write to us at [ADDRESS]. BACLS will make every effort to fulfill your request to the extent allowed by law and will respond in writing within 30 days of receiving your request.

Should you wish to request help from the relevant national authority, their details are available here:

9. Security of your information

We are committed to holding your data securely and treating it with sensitivity. All data are held securely and in accordance with the relevant data privacy laws and our internal policies. We do not sell to or trade your data with any other organizations. For further details please see BACLS’ Data Protection Policy.

Although most of the information we store and process stays within the UK, some information may be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). This may occur if, for example, one of our trusted partners’ servers are located in a country outside the EEA. Where these countries do not have similar data protection laws to the European Union, we will take steps to make sure they provide an adequate level of protection in accordance with EU data protection law.

10. Future changes

If our information policies or practices change at some time in the future, we will post the changes on our website.

11. How do you complain about BACLS’ handling of your data?

If you would like to complain about how we are holding your data then please contact the Information Commissioners Office: