Constitution and Bylaws of the Grupo de Estudios sobre la Mujer en España y las Américas (pre-1800)
ARTICLE I. NAME
This organization, founded as the Asociación de Escritoras de España y las Américas (1300-1800) in 1996, 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.
ARTICLE II. MISSION
GEMELA strives to unite scholars across traditional disciplinary boundaries by focusing on women's cultural production in medieval and early modern Iberia and colonial Latin America through 1800. We endeavor to disseminate information and support scholarship on women and their role as cultural producers. Our biennial conference and sponsored activities encourage mentorship, teaching, and research based on all approaches related to our fields of inquiry.
GEMELA is an international, interdisciplinary, multilingual organization with a long-standing dedication to demographic and methodological inclusivity. Our Membership comes from many places and is all the richer for its diversity. GEMELA seeks to foster a culture of belonging and mutual respect that supports the scholarly endeavors of the Membership.
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 endeavors to facilitate teaching and research. At our annual conference, we welcome interdisciplinary approaches related to our principal field of inquiry.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
3.1 Membership is open to all academics, graduate students, and other professionally interested/affiliated individuals
ARTICLE IV. EXECUTIVE BOARD AND OFFICERS
4.1. The Executive Board of GEMELA is composed of seven Officers: Past President, President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Managing Director, and Director of Communications and Member Relations. The composition of the Executive Board will ideally reflect our diverse Membership.
4.2 The Officers of the Executive Board are nominated and elected by a majority vote of the Membership and serve a two-year term. All GEMELA Members in good standing and who have been Members for at least two years are eligible for nomination to serve as Officers on the Executive Board. When vacancies on the Executive Board occur, nominations for all positions will be called for in the spring or early summer, with elections following. Newly elected Officers will join the Executive Board in September of the first year of service. At that time, Officers who have completed service on the Executive Board will cycle off.
4.4 Should an Officer have to step down during their elected term, the vacancy will be filled by appointment (for the remaining duration of the original term) that is put forth and approved by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE V. CONFERENCE
5.1 Optimally, GEMELA will hold a conference every two years, in the fall, under the auspices of the hosting Association Member in good standing at their academic institution or an appropriate conference venue. Membership in good standing is required to attend the conference.
5.2 With limited assistance from the Executive Board, the hosting Association Member and assembled Conference Committee are 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. They must be able to provide relevant announcements (call for papers and conference details/information) in a timely fashion to the Director of Communications and Member Relations for posting to the Membership and coordinate with the Executive Board as appropriate. Terms of the Executive Board's agreement with the Conference Host and assembled Conference Committee regarding budget and distribution of responsibilities shall be established one year previous to the conference and amended as needed.
5.3 Since GEMELA welcomes interdisciplinary approaches related to our principal field of inquiry, the hosting Member may organize relevant interdisciplinary panels or sessions.
5.4 At or around the time of each biennial conference, Members interested in hosting the next conference will self-nominate by filling out a proposal form made available on the Association's website. The deadline for submitting the proposal expressing interest in hosting the next conference will be February 30 of the following year. The board will review all submitted proposals, ask for additional information if needed, and reach a final decision on the host of the next biennial conference by May 15 of the same following year. When a decision is reached regarding the next host, the Membership of the Association will be notified promptly, and an announcement will be posted on the GEMELA website and its social media accounts.
To host the biennial conference, one must be a member in good standing of GEMELA for at least two years. The role of the Executive Board is to ensure that the host offers suitable facilities, geographic rotation, and adequate accessibility.
5.5 The Kate Regan and the Amy Williamsen Memorial Awards will be presented to two outstanding graduate students selected by the Graduate Awards Committee in an amount to be determined by the Executive Board. Eligible graduate students will self-nominate and submit their conference papers in full before the conference with a deadline set by the Graduate Awards Committee. Participation in the competition and subsequent acceptance of these awards includes a commitment to present the paper in person at the biennial conference. The award rules will be publicized on the website and in the CFP for the biennial conference. The Graduate Awards Committee will be composed of the Second Vice President as Chair, Past President, and, if necessary, a third reader to be selected by the Executive Board. If any of the Graduate Award Committee Members supervise a nominee, that Member will recuse themselves from the work of the Committee.
5.6 GEMELA Awards: At each biennial conference, the Association will announce the winners of the GEMELA Awards for the following categories: First Book, Book, Collaborative Project, and Article/Book Chapter. Members in good standing will be eligible to be nominated or self-nominate for each category following the announcement of the competition every two years. In consultation with the Executive Board, the President will coordinate the selection of and jury process, which will occur during the spring and summer preceding the biennial conference. Awardees will ideally be notified one month before the biennial conference, and an awards ceremony will be held at the biennial conference.
ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS
6.1 The Executive Board will hold meetings at the organization's biennial conference. When possible, annual board meetings in non-conference years will be held at the Renaissance Society of America Conference or at another conference or symposia at which at least three members of the Executive Board are present. Officers not present at the biennial conference or other face-to-face annual meetings held by the Executive Board may join, if possible, via a virtual meeting platform.
6.2 There will be one meeting of the General Membership at the biennial conference. This meeting will address issues of importance to the Membership and will be developed by the Executive Board with the guidance of 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 Executive Board may also meet via video conferencing, other virtual platforms, or conference calls. The general purpose of the meeting will be incorporated into the call.
6.4 Special Membership meetings 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 or may be held via video conferencing, virtual platform, or conference call. The general purpose of the meeting will be incorporated into the call.
ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENTS
7.1 Any proposed amendment to this Constitution will be submitted in writing to the Membership for notice, review, 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.
1. ANNUAL DUES
Dues for active members will be determined annually by the Executive Board. The dues will cover a one-year membership period, which begins on January 1 and ends on December 31. Members can join at any time during the one-year period, and memberships will not be prorated.
2. EXECUTIVE BOARD
2.1 The Executive Board consists of the Officers and will formulate plans and procedures for the Association in consultation with the Membership and in keeping with the mission of the Association.
3. DUTIES OF OFFICERS.
3.1 Past President. The Past President will provide continuity in leadership for the Executive Board, among other responsibilities. Additionally, the Past President will oversee the biennial Executive Board elections by soliciting nominations and receiving and counting ballots. The Past President will be invited to participate in all regular and special meetings convened by the Executive Board.
3.2 President. The President will preside over all meetings and exercise general supervision over affairs and activities. The responsibilities of the President, in coordination with the Executive Board, shall include the following: 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. In consultation with the other Officers, the President will also oversee the GEMELA Awards, including the announcement of the competition, the selection of the jury, the composition of subcommittees for each award category, and the assessment rubrics for each category.
3.3 First Vice President. The First Vice President shall, among other responsibilities, coordinate national and international conference outreach 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.
3.4 Second Vice President. The Second Vice President will oversee the mentorship program, including recruiting and matching mentors and mentees and organizing events and activities for the program. The Second Vice President will also chair the Graduate Student Awards Committee.
3.5 Secretary. The Secretary will, among other responsibilities, take minutes of all meetings, disseminate the minutes to the Officers for review, finalize the minutes, and submit the minutes to the Director of Communications and Member Relations for posting on the Association's website. Working in collaboration with the Managing Director and the Director of Communications and Member Relations, the Secretary will maintain a current list of members' electronic addresses, maintain records of all votes and communications with the Membership, and assist the President in the collection and acknowledgment of all nominations of the GEMELA Awards as needed.
3.6 Managing Director. The Managing Director shall, among other responsibilities, receive and disburse all Association funds and maintain a current list of members. The Managing Director will report on the organization's finances at the biennial conference meeting or as requested by the Executive Board and submit the finalized reports to the Executive Board for posting on the Association's website.
3.7 Director of Communications and Member Relations. The Director of Communications and Member Relations shall, among other responsibilities, maintain and archive the organization's web page and its pertinent links and information. In addition, the Director of Communications and Member Relations will oversee social media accounts and be the first point of contact for individuals seeking information on the Association and its activities.
4. TERMS OF OFFICE
4.1 The terms of the office of each of the Officers on the Executive Board are two years.
4.2 Any Officer of the Board 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.
5. COMMITTEES AND LIAISONS
5.1 Standing Committees, special committees, and liaisons (except for the Conference committee) will be appointed by the Executive Board.
5.2 The Standing Committees will be: Conference Committee (assembled by the Association Member chosen to host the biennial conference), Graduate Student Awards Committee (Kate Regan and Amy Williamsen), GEMELA Awards Jury, and any other committee deemed necessary by the President, in consultation with the Executive Board. A vote of the Executive Board shall disband Standing Committees.
5.3 Ad Hoc Committees. Ad Hoc Committees with a specific charge established by the Executive Board or by popular request of the Membership will report to the Executive Board and the Membership as appropriate. Ad Hoc Committees shall be disbanded by a vote of the Executive Board in consultation, as appropriate, with the Membership.
5.4 Liaisons to groups must be appointed by the President in consultation with the Executive Board. Liaison appointments will be canceled or renewed by the President in consultation with the Executive Board as appropriate.
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.
7. BIENNIAL EXECUTIVE BOARD ELECTIONS, NOMINATIONS, AND ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
7.1 Elections for the Executive Board will be held every two years on the same calendar year as the biennial conference. A majority membership vote must approve extraordinary postponement of the elections.
7.2 The standing Past President will seek nominations for Officers.
7.3 Nominees for Second Vice President, Secretary, Managing Director, and Director of Communications and Member Relations must be Members in good standing for at least two years.
7.4 Nominees for First Vice President must have served as an officer on the Executive Board for at least two years. If no current or former Officers are available to serve, the Executive Board will nominate a candidate from the general Membership who has been a member in good standing for at least two years.
7.5 Unless otherwise determined by an affirmative vote of the majority of the Executive Board, the standing First Vice President automatically becomes President for a two-year term. If the current First Vice President is unavailable to serve, the Executive Board will nominate a candidate from the Executive Board, if available, or alternatively of the general Membership who has been a Member in good standing for at least two years.
7.6 Unless otherwise determined by an affirmative vote of the majority of the Executive Board, the standing President automatically becomes Past President for a two-year term. If the current President is unavailable to serve as Past President, the Executive Board will nominate a previous Past President or otherwise suitable senior Member in good standing for the position.
8. RULES OF PROCEDURE
8.1 Where the Constitution does not specify rules of procedure, Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern.