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Feb. 1 | CFP 2015 Annual Meeting
Click here. The submission site will automatically shut down at 11:59 PM (Pacific) on February 1, 2015.

Mar. 1 | 2015 Franklin Prize
Nominations for 2015 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for the best-published book in American Studies due

Mar. 1 | 2015 Romero Prize
Nominations for 2015 Lora Romero Publication Prize for the best-published first book in American Studies due.

Mar. 1 | 2015 Community Partnership Grants
Applications for the 2015 Community Partnership Grants Program to assist American Studies collaborative, interdisciplinary community projects due

Mar. 1 | 2015 Regional Chapter Grants
Applications for the 2015 grants program to assist regional American Studies conferences and projects due

About

Constitution and Bylaws

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ARTICLE I: Name and Object

Sec. 1. The name of this society shall be the American Studies Association

Sec. 2. The object of the association shall be the promotion of the study of American culture through the encouragement of research, teaching, publication, the strengthening of relations among persons and institutions in this country and abroad devoted to such studies, and the broadening of knowledge among the general public about American culture in all its diversity and complexity.

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ARTICLE II: Members

Sec. 1. The members of the association shall be:

(a) Any person interested in the study of American culture, upon payment of one year's individual dues;

(b) Any cultural or educational non-profit organization interested in the study of American culture, upon the payment of one year's institutional dues; and

(c) Any honorary members of the association. Honorary members shall be elected by an affirmative vote of two thirds of the voting members of the National Council and be exempt from the payment of dues.

Sec. 2. Any member whose dues are six months in arrears shall be dropped from the rolls. Members who are so dropped may be reinstated at any time by the payment in advance of one year's dues.

Sec. 3. Only individual members in good standing shall have the right to vote or hold office in the association.

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ARTICLE III: Affiliated Societies

Sec. 1. Any society committed to the study of American culture may be admitted to the status of Affiliated Society by an affirmative vote of two- thirds of the voting members of the National Council.

Sec. 2. Any Affiliated Society which at any business meeting of the Council shall announce its intention to terminate its affiliation with the association may at the succeeding business meeting effect such termination.

Sec. 3. A Society's affiliation with the association may be terminated for sufficient reason by a vote of two-thirds of the voting members of the Council.

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ARTICLE IV: Officers

Sec. 1. The elected officers shall be the president and the vice president. The appointed officers shall be the executive director, the editor of the Encyclopedia of American Studies, and the editor of the American Quarterly.

Sec. 2. The president shall serve a one-year term, following a one-year term as vice-president. The president shall preside at meetings of the Council, of the Executive Committee, and of the Association. It shall be his or her duty, to formulate policies and projects for presentation to the Council and to fulfill the chartered obligations and purposes of the Association.

Sec. 3. The vice president shall be elected for a one-year term followed by a one-year term as president. The vice president shall preside at meetings of the Finance Committee. He or she shall be a member of the Council and of the Executive Committee. If the office of the president shall through any cause, become vacant, the vice president shall thereupon become president for the remainder of the president's term, followed by the normal one-year term as president.

Sec. 4. The executive director shall be the chief administrative officer of the association. It shall be his or her duty, under the direction of the president and Council, to oversee the affairs of the association, to have responsibility for the continuing operations of the association, to supervise the work of its committees and staff, to assist in the formulation of policies and projects for submission to the Council, to execute instructions of the Executive Committee and of the Council, and to perform other such duties as the Executive Committee and the Council may direct.

Sec. 5. The editor of the American Quarterly shall insure that the Quarterly fulfills its stated aim to aid in giving a sense of direction to studies in the culture of the United States, past and present, and that the Quarterly conducts its affairs in a manner consistent with the aims of the association.

Sec. 6. The editor of the Encyclopedia of American Studies shall be concerned with the development and maintenance of the Encyclopedia and shall insure that it functions as a resource consistent with the aims of the association.

Sec. 7. The appointed officers shall be designated by the Executive Committee with the ratification of two-thirds of the voting members of the Council for specified terms of office not to exceed three years and shall be eligible for reappointment as designated in the association's bylaws. They shall receive such compensation as the Executive Committee may determine with ratification by the Council.

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ARTICLE V: Council

Sec. 1. There shall be a Council, constituted as follows:

(a) The president and the vice president;

(b) The immediate past president, who shall serve a one-year term;

(c) Thirteen members elected in a national election by the membership-at-large, five to be elected every first year, and four to be elected every second and third year, serving staggered three-year terms;

(d) Two student members elected in a national election by the membership-at-large, to be elected every first and third year, serving staggered three-year terms.

(e) One member, who is a secondary educator, elected in a national election by the membership-at-large, to be elected every third year, serving a three year term; and

(f) One international member elected in a national election by the membership-at-large, to be elected every third year, serving a three-year term.

(g) The executive director, the editor of the Encyclopedia of American Studies, and the editor of the American Quarterly, serving as non-voting members.

Sec. 2. The Council shall conduct the business, set fiscal policy, and oversee the general interests of the association. The Council shall fix the amount of dues and the date upon which any change of dues becomes effective. It may appoint such committees as it deems necessary. It shall call a meeting of the association at a time and place it deems appropriate. The Council shall hold at least one business meeting annually, at a time and place to be determined by the Executive Committee, for the election of members to committees, for the approval of the budget, for the consideration of reports and recommendations from the officers and committees, for the discussion of policies and of instructions that should be given to the elected or appointed officers, and for the transaction of other such business as may come before it. It shall report on its deliberations and actions through the publications of the association.

Sec. 3. To transact the necessary business in the interim between the annual business meetings of the Council, there shall be an Executive Committee constituted as follows:

(a) The president and the vice president;

(b) The immediate past president, who shall ex officio serve a one-year term; and

(c) Three voting members of the Council, elected annually by the Council. The Executive Committee in the conduct of the Association's business shall be subject always to the general direction of the Council.

Sec. 4. For the general management of the financial affairs of the Association, there shall be a Finance Committee constituted as follows:

(a) The vice president, serving as chair;

(b) Three voting members of the Council, elected annually by the Council; and

(c) The executive director, serving as a non-voting member.

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ARTICLE VI: Elections

Sec. 1. There shall be a Nominating Committee, consisting of six members elected in a national election by the membership-at-large for staggered terms of three years, two members to be elected annually. The president shall annually appoint the chair of the Nominating Committee from among the committee's membership for a one-year term.

Sec. 2. The Nominating Committee shall nominate candidates for the office of vice president, member of the Council, and members of the Nominating Committee. It shall present two nominees for each elected position. Nominees shall be representative of the diversity of the association's membership. With the exception of the student, international, and the secondary educator positions on the Council, candidates shall be listed in alphabetical order without further distinctions.

Sec. 3. Nominations may also be made by petitions carrying in each case the signatures of at least twenty-five members of the association in good standing and indicating in each case the particular vacancy for which the nomination is intended. The chair of the Nominating Committee must receive nominations by petition at least four weeks before the committee makes its own nominations. The chair shall ascertain that all candidates nominated by the committee or by petition have consented to stand for election.

Sec. 4. The ballot shall be distributed to the full membership of the association at least six weeks after the completion of the nominations. No vote received after the due date specified on the ballot shall be valid. Election shall be by a plurality of the votes cast for each vacancy. The votes shall be counted, sealed, and deposited in the headquarters of the association, where they shall be kept for at least one year. In the case of a tie vote, the choice among the tied candidates shall be made by majority vote of the voting members of the Council.

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ARTICLE VII: Regional Chapters

Sec. 1. The Council and officers of the association shall seek to promote the welfare of the regional chapters. The Council and officers of the association shall also encourage the regional chapters to further the objectives of the association and shall support the chapters in this effort.

Sec. 2. Each regional chapter shall have a constitution approved by the Council. The Council shall insure that the constitutions of the regional chapters are consistent with the provisions of the constitution of the association. The Council shall also insure that the elections of the regional chapters are conducted openly and fairly.

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ARTICLE VIII: Various

Sec. 1. The Council may receive gifts and may take, receive, hold, and convey funds and property, both personal and real, necessary for the purposes of the association's incorporation, and other real and personal property the income of which shall be applied to the purpose of the association, to the extent authorized by the District of Columbia.

Sec. 2. The Council shall adopt bylaws consistent with the provisions of the constitution, upon any matter of concern to the association.

Sec. 3. The Council shall adopt such regulations and rules as maybe necessary to give full force and effect to the constitution and bylaws and to determine their procedures.

Sec. 4. Amendments to this document may be proposed by the Executive Committee or by petitions carrying the signature of at least twenty-five members of the association in good standing. Such proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to the members of the Council at least thirty days prior to any business meeting of the Council. At this meeting, the amendments shall be submitted to a vote, a favorable vote of two-thirds of the voting members of the Council being required for approval by the Council. Amendments approved by the Council shall be submitted to the members of the association by a mail ballot within three months of the Council's approval. Ratification shall require a favorable vote of the majority of the members voting.

Sec. 5. The Council shall, upon adoption of this constitution, have the power to decide upon the details of the transition from the existing organization to the one embodied in this document.

Sec. 6. The Trust and Development Fund shall be administered by a Board of Trustees. The vice president of the association shall serve as the chair of the Board. The president, with the advice and consent, of the Council shall appoint five other trustees. No more than two of the appointive trustees shall be currently serving as members of the Council. Each appointed member shall serve a term of five years, except in the case of an appointment to complete an unexpired term. The Fund shall consist of all endowment and trust funds and other such funds as may be assigned to it by the Council, and with appropriate professional advice, the Board of Trustees shall direct the investment of the Fund's resources in a fiscally sound and socially responsible manner. At least once annually, the Board shall publicly issue an official accounting of the Fund's receipts, investments, and expenditures. The Council may, at its pleasure, assign any surpluses from the general operating funds to the Trust and Development Fund. No appropriation shall be made from the Fund's capital except upon the request of at least two-thirds of the voting members of the Council approved by at least four members of the Board of Trustees. The Finance Committee of the Council shall meet at least once each year with the Board of Trustees of the association to discuss investment policies and the financial needs of the association.

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Bylaws, Article I: Dues

Sec. 1. Individual member dues shall be based on a calendar year.

Sec. 2. Institutional member dues shall be based on a fiscal year.

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Bylaws, Article II: Officers

Sec. 1. If the office of vice president shall, through any cause, become vacant, the Council shall elect an ad interim vice president from its membership. He or she shall be eligible to succeed himself or herself in accordance with Article VI, Section 2, of this constitution.

Sec. 2. Whenever the vice president shall have succeeded to the office of president in accordance with the provisions of Article IV, Section 3, of this constitution, he or she shall be eligible to succeed himself or herself in accordance with Article VI, Section 2, of this constitution.

Sec. 3. The executive director shall be appointed in accordance with Article IV, Section 7, of this constitution. The executive director may be reappointed, by a vote of two-thirds of the voting members of the Council, for additional terms of office not to exceed three years each. The executive director shall be notified in writing by the president at least one year before the expiration of a given term if the appointment will not be renewed. The executive director's performance shall be reviewed annually by the elected officers at the spring business meeting of the Executive Committee.

Sec. 4. The editor of the American Quarterly shall be appointed in accordance with Article IV, Section 7, of this constitution. The term of office shall be three years and may be renewed, for a maximum of two additional terms, by a vote of two-thirds of the voting members of the Council. The editor shall be notified in writing by the president at least one year before the expiration of a given term if the appointment will not be renewed.

Sec. 5. The president and the vice president shall serve without compensation.

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Bylaws, Article III: Board of Editors

Sec. 1. The Executive Committee shall, upon recommendation by the editor in consultation with the executive director, appoint a Board of Advisory Editors of the American Quarterly, to assist the editor on matters of general editorial policy and scholarly orientation. The Advisory Board shall consist of at least twelve members. Only individual members of the association in good standing shall have the right to serve on the Board of Advisory Editors. Their terms shall be for three years and are renewable for one additional term. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the Board of Advisory Editors, without vote.

Sec. 2. The Executive Committee shall, upon recommendation by the editor in consultation with the executive director, appoint a Board of Managing Editors of the American Quarterly, to advise the editor about the disposition of manuscripts submitted to the journal. The Managing Board shall consist of at least eight members. Only individual members of the association in good standing shall have the right to serve on the Board of Managing Editors. Their terms shall be for three years and are renewable for one additional term. The Editor may, at his or her discretion, designate any member of the association in good standing, to serve pro temp for a one-year maximum term as a visiting member of the Board of Managing Editors. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the Board of Managing Editors, without vote.

Sec. 3. The Executive Committee shall, upon recommendation by the editor in consultation with the executive director, appoint Associate Editors of the American Quarterly, to assist the editor with his or her duties. Only individual members of the association in good standing shall have the right to serve as the Associate Editor. The term of the Associate Editor shall be for three years and is renewable for two additional terms.

Sec. 4. The Executive Committee shall, upon recommendation by the editor in consultation with the executive director, appoint a Book Review Editor of the American Quarterly, to assist the editor with the book review section of the journal. Only individual members of the association in good standing shall have the right to serve as the Book Review Editor. The term of the Book Review Editor shall be for three years and is renewable for two additional terms.

Sec. 5. The Executive Committee shall, upon recommendation by the editor in consultation with the executive director, appoint an Exhibition Review Editor of the American Quarterly, to assist the editor with the exhibition review section of the journal. Only individual members of the association in good standing shall have the right to serve as the Exhibition Review Editor. The term of the Exhibition Review Editor shall be for three years and is renewable for two additional terms.

Sec. 6. All appointments to editorial boards and offices commence on July 1.

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Bylaws, Article IV: Council

Sec. 1. The Council may, at its discretion, fill any vacancy in its elected membership by designating any member of the association in good standing to serve as Council member ad interim until the close of the next annual business meeting.

Sec. 2. Whenever any vacancy shall occur in the membership of the Executive Committee or of the Finance Committee, the president may, at his or her discretion, designate a voting member of the Council to serve ad interim as a member of the committee in question.

Sec. 3. Council meetings shall be open to all members of the association.

Sec. 4. The executive director, under the direction of the president, shall prepare the agenda for the business meetings of the Council. Agendas, including the complete texts of all proposals requiring formal action by the Council, shall be sent to all Council members at least four weeks in advance of the meeting. Agendas shall also be available for distribution to all other members of the association attending the meeting.

Sec. 5. Council Members unable to attend a business meeting for a valid reason may submit a proxy vote in writing to the executive director prior to the business meeting. The proxy vote shall address itself to a specific resolution, shall be in writing, and shall include the caster's name. A proxy vote shall not be applied to a resolution introduced subsequent to the proxy. The proxy shall be considered valid if it addresses the sense of the resolution even if that resolution is amended in minor elements. If a question shall arise in this regard, the presiding officer of the association shall determine the applicability of the proxy.

Sec. 6. Except where specified in the association's constitution or bylaws, a majority vote by all voting members of the Council, including those casting proxy votes, will be sufficient for approval of a proposal.

Sec. 7. The president shall preside at the business meeting. In his or her rulings from the chair, the provisions of the constitution and bylaws shall guide him or her, and where not in conflict with these, by the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. The president shall cause official minutes of the business meeting to be prepared, which shall include a record of all motions and their disposition, together with all votes cast thereon, when recorded.

Sec. 8. The president may, at his or her discretion, appoint an official parliamentarian from among the voting members of the Council. The parliamentarian shall hold office for a term of one year. He or she shall advise and assist the president in the conduct of the business meeting, and shall perform such additional duties as are appropriate to his or her office.

Sec. 9. The Executive Committee shall transact the necessary business of the association in the interim between the annual business meetings of the Council. The executive director, under the direction of the president, shall prepare the agenda for the annual spring business meeting of the Executive Committee. All Council members shall receive the agenda, including the complete texts of all formal proposals requiring formal action by the Executive Committee, at least four weeks in advance of the annual spring business meeting of the Executive Committee.

Sec. 10. The Finance Committee shall consider the budget prepared by the executive director and submit it to the Council for approval in accordance with Article IV, Section 4, of these by-laws. The budget shall be available for distribution to the membership of the association at the Council's meeting. A public accountant at the end of the association's fiscal year shall review the financial accounts of the association. The association shall have a June 30 fiscal year-end. The executive director shall be bonded.

Sec. 11. The Council may elect the same three voting members of the Council to concurrent terms on the Executive and Finance committees.

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Bylaws, Article V: Committees

Sec. 1. The Council shall appoint such committees as it deems necessary. In order to advance the activities of the association, there shall be both standing committees, as designated by the bylaws, and ad hoc committees, as recommended by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council. All committees are bodies of the association and shall function at the discretion of the Council and with the Council as the final supervisor of their activities.

Sec. 2. In pursuance thereto, the Council shall define the jurisdiction of each committee, shall determine its budget, and shall decide upon its basic policies and procedures.

Sec. 3. All standing and ad hoc committees shall report in writing to the executive director at least one month in advance of the annual business meeting of the Council. The executive director shall distribute such reports to the members of the Council and they shall be published in whole or in substance in the American Studies Association Newsletter.

Sec. 4. Close attention shall be given in the composition of all committees to the diversity of the association's membership.

Sec. 5. The Executive Committee shall, at its annual spring business meeting, review all applications and nominations for appointment to the boards and standing committees of the association. Applications and nominations for board and committee positions shall be due on April 1. An applicant or nominee must be a current member of the association, must have indicated his or her willingness to serve, and must have supplied appropriate information on scholarship, teaching, and university and public service. All appointments shall commence on July 1.

Shortly after the spring business meeting of the Council, the Executive Director, under the direction of the President, shall prepare a list of appointments that the meeting produces and circulate it among the Council for ratification. If a member of Council objects to an individual, his or her appointment shall be suspended until the Executive Committee has reconvened to consider the objection either by electronic or telephone conference. If a member of Council raises a problem with a category of appointment, the Executive Committee, at its regular meeting on the evening preceding the annual fall business meeting of the Council, shall consider the problem and present the Council with formal recommendations for resolving it.

Sec. 6. International Committee. The association shall have as one of its standing committees the International Committee. The International Committee shall have as its function to keep the Council and the association's membership informed of the issues affecting international scholars and students in the profession and shall have responsibility for special tasks involving international scholars and students in the membership. The International Committee shall be composed of ten members of the association, one of whom shall be the international member of the Council. The nine non-Council members shall be named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. Each of these nine members shall serve three-year, non-renewable, staggered terms. Five of these members shall come from, and represent the interests of, the five separate regions of the world. The chair of the International Committee shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council and shall serve a single term not to exceed three years. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the International Committee.

Sec. 7. Women's Committee. The association shall have as one of its standing committees the Women's Committee. The Women's Committee shall have as its function to keep the Council and the association's membership informed of the issues affecting women in the profession and shall have responsibility for special tasks involving women in the membership. The Women's Committee shall be composed of seven members of the association named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. Each of these seven members shall serve three-year, non-renewable, staggered terms. One of these members shall be an international member of the association. The chair of the Women's Committee shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council and shall serve a single term not to exceed three years. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the Women's Committee.

Sec. 8. Students' Committee. The association shall have as one of its standing committees the Students' Committee. The Students' Committee shall have as its function to keep the Council and the association's membership informed of the current interests, needs, and professional orientations of American Studies students. The Students' Committee shall be composed of eight members of the association, two of whom shall be the student members of the Council. These six non-Council members shall be named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. Each of these members shall serve three-year, non-renewable, staggered terms. For this purpose, student members of the association shall be defined as undergraduate or graduate students officially enrolled, at the beginning of their term, in a degree-granting program. The chair of the Students' Committee shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council and shall serve a single term not to exceed three years. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the Students' Committee.

Sec. 9. Minority Scholars' Committee. The association shall have as one of its standing committees the Minority Scholars' Committee. The Minority Scholars' Committee shall have as its function to keep the Council and the association's membership informed of the issues affecting minority scholars in the profession and shall have responsibility for special tasks involving minority scholars in the membership. The Minority Scholars' Committee shall be composed of six members of the association named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. Each of these six members shall serve three-year, non-renewable, staggered terms. The chair of the Minority Scholars' Committee shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council and shall serve a single term not to exceed three years. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the Minority Scholars' Committee.

Sec. 10. Committee on American Studies Departments, Programs and Centers. The association shall have as one of its standing committees the Committee on American Studies Departments, Programs and Centers. The Committee on American Studies Departments, Programs and Centers shall have as its function to keep the Council and the association's membership informed of the current interests, needs, and professional concerns of American Studies departments, programs, and centers and shall have responsibility for special tasks involving the association's institutional membership. The Committee on American Studies Departments, Programs and Centers shall be composed of six members of the association named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. Each of these six members shall serve three-year, non-renewable staggered terms. They shall hold appointments in an American Studies department, program, or center at the time of appointment. The chair of the Committee on American Studies Departments, Programs and Centers shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council and shall serve a single term not to exceed three years. Ex officio members may be appointed from time to time to assist in the work of the standing committee. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the American Studies Departments, Programs and Centers.

Sec.11. Committee on Regional Chapters. The association shall have as one of its standing committees the Committee on Regional Chapters. The Committee on Regional Chapters shall have as its function to keep the Council and the association's membership informed of the current activities, interests, and needs, of the regional chapters; to act as a liaison between the association and the regional chapters; and to have responsibility for special tasks involving the association's regional chapters. The Committee on Regional Chapters shall be composed of one member of the association from each of the regional chapters. The members shall be named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following a request to the regional chapters for their recommendations, and an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. Each of these members shall serve three-year, non-renewable staggered terms. They shall be members in good standing of their respective chapters, as well as of the association. The chair of the Committee on Regional Chapters shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council and shall serve a single term not to exceed three years. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the Committee on Regional Chapters.

Sec.12. K-16 Collaboration Committee. The association shall have as one of its standing committees the K-16 Collaboration Committee. The K-16 Collaboration Committee shall have as its function to keep the Council and the association's membership informed of the current interests, needs, and professional orientations of K-16 educators involved with American Studies programs or curricula. The K-16 Collaboration Committee shall be composed of at least six members of the association, one of whom shall be the member of Council elected to the secondary educator's slot. The non-Council members shall be named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. Each of these members shall serve three-year, non-renewable, staggered terms. The majority of the K-16 Collaboration Committee shall be practitioners in the field of secondary education. The chair of the K-16 Collaboration Committee shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council and shall serve a single term not to exceed three years. It is possible for the Chair and the member of Council elected to the secondary educator's slot to be the same person. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the K-16 Collaboration Committee.

Sec. 13. Committee on Critical Ethnic Studies. The association shall have as one of its standing committees the Committee on Critical Ethnic Studies. The Committee on Critical Ethnic Studies shall have as its function to keep the Council and the association's membership informed of the current activities, interests, and professional concerns affecting Ethnic Studies programs, departments, and scholars; to act as a liaison among association standing committees; to be responsible for liaison with other ethnic studies organizations, and to have responsibility for special tasks involving Ethnic Studies scholars and scholarship. The Committee on Critical Ethnic Studies shall be composed of six members of the association named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. Each of these six members shall serve three-year, non-renewable, staggered terms. The chair of the Committee on Critical Ethnic Studies shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council and shall serve a single term not to exceed three years. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the Committee on Critical Ethnic Studies.

Sec. 14. Committee on Graduate Education. The association shall have as one of its standing committees the Committee on Graduate Education. The Committee on Graduate Education shall have as its function to keep the Council and the association's membership informed of the current issues affecting graduate education in American Studies, Ethnic Studies, and other interdisciplinary graduate-level instruction; to act as a liaison between the association and national organizations concerning graduate education in the field, such as, but not limited to, the National Research Council; to act as a liaison among association standing committees on issues concerning graduate education; and shall have responsibility for special tasks involving the association's institutional members that have Ph.D. and M.A. degree granting programs concerning graduate education. The Committee on Graduate Education shall be composed of six members of the association named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. Each of these six members shall serve three year, non-renewable staggered terms. They shall all hold appointments in an American Studies, Ethnic Studies, or our other interdisciplinary departments or programs which offer the Ph.D. or M.A. degree, and at least half of the members of the committee shall be current or former Directors of Graduate Studies at their respective institutions. The chair of the Committee on Graduate Education shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council and shall serve a single term not to exceed three years. Ex-officio members may be appointed from time to time to assist in the work of the standing committee. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the Committee on Graduate Education.

Sec. 15. Prize Committees. The Council shall appoint such prize committees, as it deems necessary. Each prize committee shall function at the discretion of the Council and with the Council as the final supervisor of their activities. The Council shall define the purpose of each association prize, the frequency with which it shall be awarded, the amount of each award, the terms of each prize committee, and each prize committee's basic policies and procedures. Each prize committee shall have as its function to administer the awarding of a prize designated by the association and to submit nominees for such prizes to the Council for its approval. There shall be a single winner each prize each year. There may also be named up to five finalists for a prize. Each prize committee shall be composed of three members of the association named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, following an open call to the membership for self-nominations and suggestions. The chair of each prize committee shall be named from the committee's membership by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council.

A. The Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize shall be awarded periodically to an individual for outstanding contribution to American Studies and for lifetime achievement. Each of the three prize committee members shall serve three-year, non-renewable terms.

B. The Mary C. Turpie Prize shall be awarded periodically to an individual for outstanding abilities and achievement in American Studies teaching, advising, and program development at the local or regional level. Each of the three prize committee members shall serve three-year, non-renewable terms.

C. The John Hope Franklin Publication Prize shall be awarded annually to the best-published book in American Studies. Each of the three prize committee members shall serve one-year, non-renewable terms.

D. The Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize shall be awarded annually for the best-published first book in American Studies that highlights the intersections of race with gender, class, sexuality and/or nation. Each of the three prize committee members shall serve one-year, non-renewable terms.

E. The Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize shall be awarded annually to the best doctoral dissertation in American Studies. The competition is limited to candidates receiving the Ph.D. degree in American Studies, American Ethnic Studies, or American Women's Studies. Each of the three prize committee members shall serve one-year, non-renewable terms.

F. The Constance P. Rourke Prize shall be awarded annually to the best article published in American Quarterly. Each of the three prize committee members shall serve two-year, non-renewable terms.

G. The Gene Wise - Warren Susman Prize shall be awarded annually for the best paper presented by a graduate student at the annual convention. Each of the three prize committee members shall serve two-year, non-renewable terms.

H. The Yasuo Sakakibara Prize shall be awarded annually for the best paper presented by an international scholar at the annual convention. Each of the three prize committee members shall serve two-year, non-renewable terms.

Sec. 16. Whenever any vacancy shall occur in the membership of a standing committee, the Executive Committee may, at its discretion, designate any member of the association in good standing to serve ad interim as a member of the committee in question.

Sec. 17. Ex officio members may be appointed to the standing committees by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council to advise and assist the committee in question.

Sec 18. A member of the Council, named by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council, shall serve, ex officio, on each standing committee and task force of the association.

Sec. 19. Ad hoc committees may be created from time to time by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Council as deemed necessary to carry on the work of the association. The functions of such a committee shall be specified when the committee is designated, and the committee shall cease to exist upon the completion of the task assigned, or, automatically, at the end of a maximum three-year period. The Executive Committee with the approval of the Council for maximum three-year terms shall name the chair and members of such a committee. The Executive Committee may at its discretion, fill any vacancy in the membership of an ad hoc committee to serve as a committee member ad interim until the completion of the committee's tasks or term.

Sec. 20. Committee member responsibilities. In addition to specific roles required by membership on individual committees, members of American Studies Association committees are expected to actively participate in the work of the committee, provide thoughtful input to committee deliberations, and focus on the best interests of the association and committee goals rather than on personal interests.

Members should

  • Review all relevant material before committee meetings.
  • Attend committee meetings and voice objective opinions on issues.
  • Pay attention to association activities that affect or are affected by the committee's work.
  • Support the efforts of the committee chair and carry out individual assignments made by the chair.
  • Work as part of the committee and staff team to ensure that the committee's work and recommendations are in keeping with the general association mission and goals.

Sec. 21. It is possible to remove a member from a committee if that individual is ineffective, works against the committee, or gives out inaccurate information on behalf of the committee. Discussing and removing committee members should be done under conditions of strict confidentiality. The chair should talk with the ineffective board member. If the majority of the committee is in agreement, the chair should set up a time to discuss the situation. Schedule a leave of absence if there are legitimate reasons for the ineffective behavior. The leave should cover the rest of his or her term or designate a period for the leave, after which the chair should reevaluate the member. The chair may informally ask for a resignation from the member. If the committee member is non-responsive, or fails to resign, then the chair may formally request a resignation his or her resignation.

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Bylaws, Article VI: Delegates to Other Organizations

Sec. 1. The president of the association shall as appropriate, in consultation with the Executive Committee and the ratification of the Council, appoint delegates to the meetings of various professional organizations.

Sec. 2. The president of the association shall, in consultation with the Executive Committee and with the ratification of the Council, appoint a delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies for a term of four years, with new terms of office commencing January 1.

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Bylaws, Article VII: Conventions

Sec. 1. The Council shall call an annual meeting of the association at a time and place it deems appropriate. To plan and organize an annual meeting, there shall be a Program Committee and a Site Resource Committee.

Sec. 2. The Executive Committee shall select a site for each convention at least three years in advance of the convention date. The Executive Committee shall consider the fiscal condition of the association, our ability to safely meet and freely conduct our business at the convention site, the amount of local and regional support, the adequacy of the conference facilities, the employment practices of conference hotels and vendors, and the proximity of the meeting site to the majority of association members, when selecting future convention sites. The Executive Committee shall, whenever possible, respond to invitations from regional chapters willing to host the convention. The principles involved in the selection of the convention site shall include geographical rotation in order to maximize attendance, diversify participation, and insure a reliable budgetary surplus of convention revenues over expenditures.

Sec. 3. The chair(s) of the Site Resource Committee shall be named by the president-elect, in consultation with the executive director and the members of the Executive Committee, approximately eighteen (18) months in advance of the convention date. The chair(s) shall, in consultation with the president-elect, the executive director, and the program committee chair(s), name the members of the Site Resource Committee.

Sec. 4. The chair(s) of the Program Committee shall be named by the president-elect, in consultation with the executive director and the members of the Executive Committee, approximately eighteen (18) months in advance of the convention date. The chair(s) of the Program Committee, in consultation with the president-elect, the executive director, the members of the Executive Committee, and the chairs of the standing committees of the association shall name the members of the Program Committee. The chair(s) shall name at least nine (9) but no more than twelve (12) Program Committee members. The nominations, together with appropriate biographical material on all nominees, shall be submitted for approval to the Executive Committee at least two months in advance of the annual fall business meeting of the Council. Only members of the association in good standing shall have the right to serve on the Program Committee. Prospective members of the Program Committee must have indicated a willingness to serve and must have supplied appropriate information on scholarship, teaching, and university and public service. The chair(s) when preparing recommendations for Committee members shall choose the best qualified members consistent with reasonable representation of the major fields of American Studies scholarship and the diversity of the association's membership in order to maintain a balance of age, racial, ethnic, regional, and gender participation. When approaching ASA members about possible service on the Program Committee, the chair(s) should make clear that the Executive Committee votes on the appointments to the Committee.

Sec. 5. The Program Committee shall, in accordance with the Guide to the Work of the Program Committee, determine the convention theme, the procedures for evaluating proposals, and the general content of the meeting. One slot shall be reserved for the Council for a general meeting session.

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Bylaws, Article VIII: Elections

Sec. 1. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a ballot to be sent to the executive director no later than January 1 for electronic polling of the membership with elections to be completed by March 1.

Sec. 2. The ballot shall present the names of any persons nominated by petition as specified in Article VI, Section 3, of the constitution. Nominations by petition must be in the hands of the Nominating Committee no later than October 1.

Sec. 3. The Council may, by resolution, provide for additional nominations to be made for any position where there is a vacancy through death or by resignation of a candidate.

Sec. 4. Whenever prospective vacancies of one year or more occur in the offices of president, vice president, elected Council members, and members of the Nominating Committee, the Nominating Committee shall nominate at least two candidates for the unexpired term of any such office.

Sec. 5. Annually the executive director shall publish a "nominations announcement" in the June and September issues of the Newsletter. The announcement shall list all association positions for which elections are to be held in the forthcoming calendar year, and shall invite all members of the association to submit to the chair of the Nominating Committee on or before October 1 any recommendations for nominations thereto.

Sec. 6. On or before February 1 the chair of the Nominating Committee, or the executive director acting on his or her instructions, shall post an electronic ballot on a secure web server, accessible to the full membership of the association, together with candidates' statements and appropriate biographical material on all nominees. Such ballots shall identify as such all nominations submitted by the Nominating Committee and all nominations submitted by petition. Ballots shall be marked clearly with a due date of March 1, and no ballot submitted after that time shall be counted. The right to a secret ballot shall be insured.

Sec. 7. The Nominating Committee, or the executive director acting on its instructions, shall thereafter count and record the election results in such manner that insures the integrity of the counting and recording process. The chair of the Nominating Committee, or the executive director acting on his or her instructions, shall notify all candidates forthwith of the results of the election, and the executive director shall prepare an announcement of such results for the June edition of the Newsletter.

Sec. 8. In the event of a tie in the balloting for any office, the chair of the Nominating Committee, or the executive director acting on his or her instructions, shall prepare an electronic ballot listing the tied candidates and the Council shall decide between such candidates no later than April 1.

Sec. 9. All persons elected to association office in the annual winter election shall assume office on the following July 1.

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Bylaws, Article IX: Regional Chapters

Sec. 1. The Council shall pay such annual rebates to each regional chapter as it deems appropriate, consistent with the goal of fostering the general health and fiscal stability of both the association and the regional chapters. By a two-thirds vote, the Council shall fix the amount of chapter rebates and the date upon which any change of rate becomes effective. The amount shall be based on individual members dues received by the American Studies Association during a calendar year.

Sec. 2. A chapter's rebate shall be paid within one month of the executive director's receipt from the appropriate chapter officer of a detailed accounting of the chapter's income and expenditures for the immediately preceding year.

Sec. 3. The executive director shall provide annually without charge to each chapter a list of association members in that chapter.

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Bylaws, Article X: Professional Ethics

Sec. 1. Individuals with powers of nomination may not nominate their own spouses or family members to offices in the association. In the case of nominations made by the Executive Committee, the Council, the Nominating Committee, or any other association board, committee, or body, individuals who are part of such nominating bodies should disqualify themselves from discussion or consideration of spouses or family members for association offices.

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Bylaws, Article XI: Public Issues

Sec. 1. The Executive Committee is empowered to speak for the association on public issues where these directly affect our work as scholars and teachers. Such issues include, but are not restricted to, academic freedom; freedom of access to information; appointments to and policies of granting and funding agencies.

Sec. 2. The Executive Committee is empowered to speak for the association on public issues where these directly affect our ability to safely meet in national or regional conventions, and freely conduct our business. Such issues include, but are not restricted to, the passage or existence of anti-sodomy laws; laws and regulations which restrict freedom of speech, or the availability of abortion (considered as a health measure); or laws and regulations tending to discriminate against particular classes or groups of association members.

Sec. 3. Should an issue arise which, in the opinion of the Executive Committee or Council, seems to require public action, speech or demonstration by the association at a particular annual meeting, the Council shall meet to formulate a response. The Council shall convene an emergency meeting of the membership on the first full day of the annual meeting, to recommend a course of action, and conduct a public discussion of the issue(s); and the vote of two-thirds of those in attendance may approve the recommended action.

Sec. 4. The association may not intervene, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign for or against a candidate for public office. The association may not endorse candidates, contribute to campaigns, raise funds, distribute statements or become involved in any other activities that may be beneficial or detrimental to a candidate.

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Bylaws, Article XII: Association Trust and Development Fund

Sec. 1. The Trust and Development Fund shall have as its main purpose to insure the long-term, financial stability of the association in accordance with Article VIII, Section VI, of the Constitution of the American Studies Association. The Fund may also from time to time make small grants in support of the projects, activities, or prizes of the association.

Sec. 2. The Executive Director shall deposit all funds contributed to the American Studies Association, its projects, activities, or prizes, in the Trust and Development Fund. All such contributions shall be promptly acknowledged in accordance with Internal Revenue Service rules and regulations for 501(3) (c) tax-exempt organizations.

Sec. 3. The interest and dividend income of the Trust and Development Fund may be used during the fiscal year for the purposes of the association's incorporation to the extent authorized by the Internal Revenue Service and the District of Columbia. No expenditure shall be made from the Fund's principal balance or capital gains. All surpluses at the end of the fiscal year shall be assigned to the Fund's principal balance.

Sec. 4. The fiscal year budget for the Trust and Development Fund shall be available for distribution to the membership of the association at the annual business meeting of the Council. A public accountant at the end of the association's fiscal year shall audit the financial accounts of the Fund. The Fund shall have a June 30 fiscal year-end.

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Bylaws, Article XIII: Amendment of the Bylaws

Sec. 1. These bylaws may be altered, amended, or repealed at any business meeting of the Council by a resolution adopted by two-thirds of the voting members, provided that such changes have been set forth in the notice of such meeting mailed to the Council members at least thirty days prior to the meeting. Council members unable to attend a business meeting for a valid reason may submit a proxy in writing to the executive director prior to the meeting in accordance with Article IV, Section 5, of these bylaws.

Last updated May 2013

ASA Conflict of Interest Statement

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