Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution and Bylaws of the Grupo de Estudios sobre la Mujer en España y las Américas (pre-1800)



This organization, founded as the Asociación de Escritoras de España y las Américas, (1300-1800), shall be called Grupo de Estudios sobre la Mujer en España y las Américas (pre-1800) and, informally, shall be referred to as GEMELA. The association name changed after a vote was put to the membership between 8/15/06 and 9/15/06 and more than two-thirds of the membership voted for the change.


GEMELA strives to unite scholars across traditional disciplinary boundaries through its focus on women’s cultural production in medieval and early modern Spain and colonial Latin America through 1800. Our purpose is to distribute information and knowledge about women and their role as cultural producers. Our conferences and publications encourage teaching and research based on all approaches related to our principal field of inquiry.

The original mission statement, amended by a two-thirds vote of the membership on 9/15/06, follows: The AEEA strives to unite scholars across traditional disciplinary boundaries as we focus on women as subjects of creativity through our primary interest in women writers of Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain and Colonial Latin America. Our purpose is to help disseminate information and knowledge about these women and their creative endeavours in order to facilitate teaching and research. In our annual conference, we welcome interdisciplinary approaches related to our principal field of inquiry.


3.1 Membership shall be open to all academics, graduate students, and other professionally interested/affiliated individuals.


4.1. The officers of the Association, whose composition will ideally reflect our diverse membership, shall be: Past President, President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Web Director.

4.2 The Officers shall be members in good standing of GEMELA for at least two years. All officers in the final year of their terms, except Past President, will be nominated by an electronic call to the full membership in April or May. All such officers will then be elected by an electronic ballot to the full membership at that time, or in late August/early September. They will take office in late September/early October at the Board meeting at the annual conference, assisting in transition the outgoing officers over the course of the summer.

4.4 All vacancies occurring among the officers shall be filled by an appointment (for the duration of the original term) that is put forth and approved by the Executive Board.

4.5. The officers of the Association shall constitute the Executive Board.


5.1 Optimally, GEMELA will hold a conference every two years, normally in late September or early October, under the auspices of the hosting Association member (in good standing) at his/her academic institution. Membership in good standing is required in order to attend the conference.

5.2 With limited assistance from the Conference Committee, the hosting Association member is fully responsible for the conference including: the budget for the (self-supporting) conference, any grant applications, all organizational details and arrangements (meeting rooms, hotel rooms, programs, keynote speakers, etc.), and selection of papers in keeping with the Association’s primary mission. S/he must be able to provide relevant announcements (calls, conference details/information) in a timely fashion to the Secretary for electronic posting to the membership, s/he will work with the Treasurer and the Officers and coordinate with the Executive Board as need be. Terms of the board’s agreement with the conference host regarding budget and distribution of responsibilities shall be established one year previous to the conference.

5.3 Since GEMELA welcomes interdisciplinary approaches related to our principal field of inquiry, the hosting member may organize a relevant interdisciplinary panel or session.

5.4 At each conference, the site of the next conference will be announced. In order to ensure suitable facilities, geographic rotation, etc. and to provide all members in good standing with the option of hosting a conference, members need to fill out the application form (available on our web page) in order to be considered as future hosts. One must be a member of GEMELA for at least two years in order to host this conference. Completed forms are due in February or March, the year before the anticipated conference. (For example, in February/March 2000 for September/October 2001). The Executive Board will determine the site in April/May to allow the hosting member ample time to prepare.

5.5 The Kate Reagan Memorial Award, in an amount to be determined by the Executive Board, will be presented to the top graduate student (at the time of submitting the paper, in response to the call) paper read, in person, at the annual conference. The award will be determined by the Past President, Second Vice President and, if necessary, by a third reader to be selected by them.


6.1 The Executive Board will have biannual meetings at the organization’s conference. When possible, annual board meetings in non-conference years will be held at the Modern Language Association or other national conference at which Board members are present.

6.2 There will be one meeting of the general membership at the organization’s conference. This meeting will address issues important to the membership and will be developed by the Executive Board with the guidance of any Committee and Liaison Chairs and the membership at large.

6.3 Special meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the President or a majority of the officers, with one month’s notice and at a mutually convenient location. The general purpose for the meeting shall be incorporated in the call.

6.4 Special meetings of the membership may be called by the President, a majority of the Officers, or at the written request of not less than ten active members, with at least one month’s notice. The location of the special meeting must be agreed upon by the President. The general purpose for the meeting shall be incorporated in the call.


7.1 Any proposed amendment to this Constitution shall be submitted in writing and read at a general meeting by an Executive Board member. Prior to voting on such amendment, the revised Constitution shall be circulated among the membership for notice and comment. After a specified period of time agreed upon by the Executive Board, the amendment will go back before the membership for a vote. If approved by two-thirds of the voting members (in good standing), then the amendment is officially adopted.



Dues for active members will be determined annually by the Executive Board. The dues will cover a membership period of one year which begins on January 1 and ends December 31. Members can join at any time during the one-year period, and memberships will not be pro-rated.


2.1 Past President. The Past President shall, among other responsibilities, oversee the yearly elections by soliciting nominations and receiving and counting the electronic ballots. The Past President also will serve on the Graduate Student Award Committee.

2.2 President. The President shall preside over all meetings and shall exercise general supervision over affairs and activities. The responsibilities of the President, in coordination with the Executive Board, shall include: serving as Co-Chair of the Conference Committee in conjunction with the Conference Host; selecting the next conference site(s), setting the yearly agenda of the organization, communicating with the membership on various issues, and developing a yearly agenda for membership meetings. Nomination for the presidency requires that the nominee already have served on the Executive Board for two years.

2.3 First Vice President. The First Vice-President shall, among other responsibilities, coordinate conference outreach at national and international level by organizing sessions at conferences not sponsored by the organization. In the absence of the President, the First Vice-President shall act on behalf of the President for the organization.

2.4 Second Vice-President. The Second Vice-President shall, among other responsibilities, serve as Chair of the Graduate Student Award Committee and coordinate, in conjunction with the First Vice President, international and national outreach on behalf of the organization.

2.5 Secretary. The Secretary shall, among other responsibilities, take minutes of all meetings, disseminate the minutes for review, finalize the minutes, and submit the minutes to the Web Director. Working in collaboration with the Treasurer, the Secretary shall maintain a current list of members’ electronic addresses, maintain records of all votes and communications with the membership, and distribute calls for papers for the organization’s conference.

2.6 Treasurer. The Treasurer shall, among other responsibilities, receive and disburse all Association funds, and maintain a current list of members. The Treasurer shall give a report on the finances of the organization at the annual conference meeting, and submit the finalized report to the Web Director.

2.7 Web Director. The Web Director shall, among other responsibilities, maintain and archive the organization’s home page and its pertinent links and information.


3.1 The terms of the office of Past President, President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Secretary are two years, renewable (by nomination and subsequent election); the terms of office of Treasurer and Web Director are three years, renewable (by nomination and subsequent election). The President automatically becomes the Past President for a two-year term.

3.2 Any Officer of the Association may be removed, with or without cause, by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall immediately elect a new Officer to fill the unexpired term of the removed Officer.


4.1 The Executive Board shall consist of the Officers and will formulate plans and procedures of the Association in consultation with the membership.


5.1 Standing Committees, special committees, and liaisons shall be appointed by the President, in consultation with the Executive Board.

5.2 The Standing Committees will be: Conference Committee, Graduate Student Paper Committee, and any other committee deemed necessary by the President, in consultation with the Executive Board. Standing Committees shall be disbanded by a vote of the Executive Board.

5.3 Special Committees. Special Committees will have a duration of two years, and will be required to give a yearly report to the Executive Board and the membership. A time extension to a special committee can be granted by the Executive Board.

5.4 Liaisons to groups must be appointed by the President, in consultation with the Executive Board. Liaison appointments will last for two years.


6.1 Each member in good standing is entitled to one vote on all Association matters subject to a vote.

6.2 Voting will be done by electronic ballot to the email address of record; it is therefore the responsibility of each member to ensure that the Secretary has a current email address.

6.3 The annual election of officers shall be open to all members in good standing. To be considered for nomination, one must have been a member of GEMELA for at least two years. To be considered for nomination to the office of President, one must be a past or current Officer.


7.1 Where the constitution does not specify rules of procedure, Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern.