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Constitution & Bylaws

Article I. NAME
The name of this Association shall be:
THE AMERICAN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE ASSOCIATION.

Article II. OBJECTIVES
1. The aim of the Association is the support and strengthening of comparative literature studies.
2. The Association will strive to foster an interest in literature as a form of artistic, historical, and cultural expression beyond national and linguistic boundaries throughout the world. It will further strive to promote discussion among related disciplines, and to foreground, wherever possible, the integrity of the individual language. It is the Association's aim to help acquaint the community at large with the aims and values of comparative literature studies, and to help place young scholars in academic positions where they may be effective as teachers and scholar-critics. In order to achieve these goals the Association will:
(a) hold regular meetings for the purpose of presenting and discussing studies in comparative literature;
(b) aid individual members in their studies in comparative literature;
(c) support and strengthen the activities of the International Comparative Literature Association;
(d) cooperate with other organizations interested in the attainment of these objectives;
(e) publish a newsletter at least once a year.

Article III. MEMBERSHIP
Membership in the Association shall be open to anyone of any geographical, scholarly, and linguistic area who is interested in furthering its objectives upon payment of annual dues.

Article IV. OFFICERS
The Officers of the Association shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Second Vice-President, and a Secretary/Treasurer, all of whom shall be members in good standing of the Association.

Article V. ELECTION AND TERMS OF OFFICERS AND ADVISORY BOARD
The Second Vice-President shall be elected by the membership of the Association. The President, Vice-President, and Second Vice-President shall serve one-year terms. The Vice-President shall succeed to the Presidency. The Second Vice-President shall succeed to the Vice-Presidency; the outgoing President may not be elected to the Second Vice-Presidency. The Secretary/Treasurer, to be nominated and elected by the Executive Committee, shall serve for four years and may be re-elected for consecutive four-year terms.

Article VI. LOCATION
1. The Association shall have a mailing address and office, which shall be located at the institution at which the Secretary/Treasurer is employed.
2. The membership may at any time decide by majority vote to transfer the location of the Association.

Article VII. AMENDMENTS
1. Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Association shall be made only at a regular meeting and only by a majority vote of members present.
2. Proposed amendments shall be presented in writing to the membership at least four weeks before a regular meeting of the Association.

BY-LAWS
Article I. OFFICERS
President
1. It shall be the duty of the President to provide executive leadership in the activities of the Association.
2. The President shall preside at all regular meetings of the Association and the Executive Committee. In the event of a tie in the voting, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
3. The President, in consultation with, and subject to the approval of, the Executive Committee, shall appoint the chairs of all ad hoc Committees and, in further consultation with the chairs of these ad hoc Committees and the Executive Board, shall appoint members to them.
4. The President, in consultation with the other officers, shall perform all duties related to the corporate status of the Association, including the appointment of a member to be resident agent in the state of Maryland.

Vice-President
5. The Vice-President shall preside at meetings in the absence of the President and shall have the powers and duties of the President, should the President be incapacitated.
6. The Vice-President shall serve on a regularly constituted Nominations Committee. (See Article VII below.)
7. The Vice-President shall supervise fair representation in nominations, elections, and Committee assignments. (See Article VII below.)

Second Vice-President
8. The Second Vice-President shall preside at meetings in the absence of the President and Vice-President and shall have the powers and duties of the President, should the President and Vice-President be incapacitated, and shall have the powers and duties of Vice-President, should the Vice-President be incapacitated.
9. The Second Vice-President shall serve on a regularly constituted Program Committee. (See Article VI below.)

Secretary/Treasurer
10. The Secretary/Treasurer shall maintain the records of the activities of the Association.
11. The Secretary/Treasurer shall serve as Editor of the Newsletter.
12. The Secretary/Treasurer shall issue notices of all meetings and conduct the official correspondence of the Association, in consultation with the President.
13. The Secretary/Treasurer shall collect the dues of the Association and all other funds payable to it, and shall pay all bills incurred by the Association.
14. The Secretary/Treasurer shall keep a record of all income and expenditures of the Association, and shall make a report at each regular meeting, giving the condition of the treasury. The Secretary/Treasurer shall have the responsibility for the management of the funds of the Association, with the budget approved by the Executive Committee.

Article II. THE ADVISORY BOARD
1. The Advisory Board shall advise the President and other officers on the matters of both immediate and long-range interests.
2. The Advisory Board shall consist of not more than seven persons, all of whom shall be members of good standing of the Association. These include the chairs of the four standing committees (see Article V below); two student representatives, elected by the graduate student members of the Association; and the President of the Association of Departments and Programs of Comparative Literature (ADPCL), or another representative designated by the ADPCL.
3. The term of office for the chairs of the four standing committees is three years; the term of office for student representatives is two years. No member of the Advisory Board shall be eligible for immediate re-election or re-appointment to the position in which he or she currently serves.
4. During the intervals between regular meetings of the Association, the Advisory Board shall assist the officers in conducting the business of the Association.

Article III. THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
1. The Executive Committee of the Association includes the four officers and the members of the Advisory Board.
2. The Executive Committee shall assume responsibility for advancing and developing the aims and purposes of the Association.
3. The Executive Committee shall meet at every regular meeting of the Association, prior to the business meeting of the full membership. It shall present reports for consideration by the membership at the business meeting.
4. The Executive Committee is authorized to take all such action as will carry out the Association's purposes and promote its interests. The Executive Committee may authorize the award of grants and prizes, honorary fellowships and memberships, publications of the Association, and the establishment of contractual relationships with other organizations in order to support and carry out the policies and objectives of the Association.
5. If an elected member of the Executive Committee is unable to attend a meeting, he or she shall notify the presiding officer in writing of a designated substitute, who shall be a member of the Association in good standing.
6. The Executive Committee shall approve the Association's budget.
7. A quorum of six members of the Executive Committee is required for the transaction of business.

Article IV. HONORARY COMMITTEE
1. Former Presidents of the Association shall become members of the Honorary Committee. Each outgoing President shall be a non-voting member of the Advisory Board for one year leaving the Presidency.
2. Thereafter all members of the Honorary Committee shall be invited to advise the Executive Committee on all matters concerning the history and policy of the Association.

Article V. COMMITTEES
1. The President, in consultation with, and subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, shall appoint ad hoc committees. Ad hoc committees, appointed for the duration of their assigned tasks, will attend to matters related to the interests of the Association that come up from time to time (e.g., standards, constitution, etc.). A Report on the State of the Discipline must be issued at least every ten years.
2. The Association shall have four standing committees: Finance, Nominations, Program, and Publications. The chair of the Finance Committee is nominated by the President, and approved by the Executive Board. The chairs of the three other committees are elected to three-year terms by the membership of the Association.
3. The Finance Committee consists of three members: its approved chair and two members appointed by the chair and the Vice President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, to one-year terms. Its responsibilities include financial oversight of the Association’s budget, including oversight of the income and expenditures of the Secretariat; accounting oversight and coordination; and oversight of the Association’s investment and endowment portfolios.
4. The Nominations Committee consists of four members: its elected chair, the Vice-President, and two members appointed by its chair and the Vice President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, to one-year terms. Its responsibilities are outlined in Article VII, below. The Nominations Committee also nominates members to the Association’s various ad hoc prize committees; these members are approved by the President.
5. The Program Committee consists of three members: its elected chair, the Second Vice-President, and one member appointed by the chair and the Vice President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, to a one-year term. The committee provides support for and coordinates with a Local Program Committee (LPC), which is appointed by the local hosts of the Association’s annual conference, to solicit and select proposals for the content of the annual conference (whether these be for seminars, panels, invited speakers, or any other format). In years that the annual conference does not have a local host, the Program Committee will appoint members of the Association to an ad hoc LPC.
6. The Publications Committee consists of three members: its elected chair, and two members appointed by its chair and the Vice President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, to one-year terms. The committee oversees all aspects of the Association’s publication programs, including coordinating relationships with academic journals and presses.
7. Members appointed to one-year terms on ACLA committees may be re-appointed to those committees, according to the procedures outlined in V.3-6 above.
8.Committees are authorized to spend funds on the Association only after their requests for funds have been approved by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may authorize out-of-pocket expenditures up to a certain amount for each committee to cover routine operating expenses.

Article VI. MEETINGS
1. Regular meetings of the Association shall be held every year. The Association shall give whatever support it can to special meetings or conferences supported by its membership.
2. The time of the regular meeting shall be in the spring of each year. The place shall be determined by the Executive Committee. A standing Program Committee (See Article V, Section 5) shall assist local arrangements committees, supervise Calls for Papers, and respond to and transmit suggestions by the membership.
3. Upon due notice in writing, the President may call special meetings of the Association.
4. Upon petition of at least fifteen percent of the members in good standing, the President shall be required to call a special meeting with written notification of the meeting given four weeks in advance, time and place to be determined by the Executive Committee.
5. A quorum of at least six members of the Executive Committee (or their designated substitutes) must be present at a meeting for any votes to be taken.

Article VII. NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
1. The Nominations Committee shall each year solicit nominations for Second Vice-President and for all positions on the Advisory Board from the membership. All members may self-nominate. The committee may also nominate candidates. Nominees shall be asked to submit a short statement of interest and/or a brief vita to the committee. The committee shall draw up a slate of at least two candidates for the position of Second Vice-President, two for each elected chair of the standing committees, and two for each position of student representative. The committee will also forward the names of nominees to chair the Finance Committee to the President. The official ballot proposed by the Nominating Committee must be approved by the Executive Committee.
2. For the office of Secretary/Treasurer and only for it, the Executive Committee shall serve as a nominating and an electing committee.
3. In the event of a vacancy in office occurring between regular meetings of the Association, the President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall make an interim appointment.
4. Elections shall be carried out by mail or online ballot. Ballots shall be collected by the Secretary /Treasurer and then opened and counted in the presence of at least one other member in good standing of the Association.
5. Elections occur each year, with chairs of the three standing committees intercalated so that one chair is elected each year, and the student representatives intercalated so that one student representative is elected each year.

Article VIII. DUES
1. The annual dues shall be payable at the beginning of the calendar year. All members shall receive the Association's newsletter and may subscribe to selected journals at reduced rates available to members of the Association. Students shall pay reduced rates.
2. The payment of dues to the Association shall convey membership in the International Comparative Literature Association.
3. The right to vote or to stand for office in the Association shall be contingent upon payment of dues; and no one shall be considered a member of the Association whose dues are more than twelve months in arrears.
4.Honorary fellows or members of the Association shall enjoy life membership without payment of dues.
5. The annual dues shall be determined by the Executive Committee of the Association.

Article IX. AUDIT
The Finance Committee shall be responsible for inspecting the accounts of the Secretary/Treasurer and may, at its discretion, designate a commercial auditing firm to audit these accounts.

Article X. RULES OF ORDER
Traditional rules of parliamentary procedure shall be observed at all meetings of the Association.

Article XI. DISSOLUTION
The Association may be dissolved only at a special meeting called for the purpose, and in the manner prescribed by the laws of the state of Maryland, by vote of three-fourths of the members present. Subject to compliance with the applicable provisions of such laws, upon any such dissolution of the Association all its property remaining after satisfaction of all its obligations shall be distributed to such one or more learned societies organized and operated exclusively for literary or educational purposes, as the Executive Committee may select.