IGA Constitution

I. Origins

The International Gothic Association (initials: IGA) was established at the University of East Anglia in June 1991.

II. Purpose

The Association unites teachers, scholars, and students from around the world interested in Gothic fiction, drama, poetry, art, film, and other forms from the eighteenth century on (including the prior sources of Gothic). Its purpose is to exchange and expand knowledge of and research on the Gothic as widely and effectively as possible.

III. Specific Objectives

The Association will organise conferences as close to every other year as possible and will attempt to draw upon host institutions from all over Europe and North America.

The Association will publish a journal, Gothic Studies: An International Journal of Criticism, Theory, History, and Cultural Studies , which will combine criticism, history, art history, film study, and cultural studies, the widest possible range of advanced approaches to the study of the Gothic.

The Association will issue a directory of members and their interests based on their membership forms.

The Association is a non-profit organisation and collects membership fees to cover the costs of its publications and their distribution, plus the society’s administrative costs, which it will strive to keep small.

The Association aims to reach a broad membership and will, whenever possible, offer reduced membership fees to students and retired members.

IV. Officers

The Association has two elected officers, a President and a Secretary-Treasurer. Both will be elected for two-year terms and may be reelected if either one accepts renomination. Procedures for election are outlined below in VII. ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS. The central mailing address of the IGA will be the professional address of the Secretary-Treasurer. The Secretary-Treasurer will report at least every other month on the IGA’s financial state to the Executive Committee and the IGA Advisory Board (electronically, if necessary), with advance versions of these reports going to the President first.

V. Standing Committees of the Association

The work of the Association will be carried out by the following three committees, all members of which should be members of the IGA.

a. The Executive Committee

The day-to-day work of the Association will be carried out by an Executive Committee, consisting of the President, the Secretary-Treasurer, the Chair of the IGA Advisory Committee, and the journal and/or newsletter editor(s).

b. The I.G.A. Advisory Committee

The Executive Committee will consult with and be subject to review by a larger Association Advisory Committee, which will consist of all Executive Committee members plus the Past President, the Review Editors for the journal, and 15 at-large members, who will serve for two-year periods and may be renominated. This group can be drawn from the Editorial Board for the Association’s journal.

Board for the Association’s journal. An absolute majority vote of this Committee can negate a decision of the President or the Executive Committee if an appeal of that decision is moved by two members of the IGA Advisory Committee. Such votes will be conducted by the Secretary-Treasurer and can be done in person or electronically.

c. The Conference Committee

Subject to review by the IGA Advisory Committee, the President will appoint a Committee for the next conference shortly after the completion of the last one. The membership of this Committee will include the Executive Committee of the IGA, the local arrangements coordinator for the conference, one to three assistants selected by the coordinator, and at least 2 other people, at least one of which is drawn from the IGA Advisory Committee. This group will be responsible for organising all aspects of the next conference, including the programme, and may vet conference proposals with appropriate members of the IGA Advisory Committee or appropriate members of the Association. The term of membership on this committee ends with each conference, but members may be reappointed if they accept renomination.

VI. Meetings of the Association

There will be an annual meeting of the Executive Committee and the IGA Advisory Committee, plus the local arrangements coordinator for the current or upcoming conference (this will be called the ‘Executive Advisory meeting’). In conference years, this meeting will be held at the conference and be followed by a meeting of the general membership (called ‘general membership meeting’ below). In non-conference years, the Executive Advisory meeting may be held electronically. General membership meetings will be held only at IGA Conferences. All such meetings will be chaired by the President, with the Secretary-Treasurer presiding in the President’s absence, and the Chair of the IGA Advisory Committee presiding in the absence of both officers.

VII. Elections and Appointments

Officers are elected, usually, only at meetings of the general membership. The chair of the meeting will take nominations from the floor for each office and continue the voting by written secret ballots until one candidate achieves a majority of those present and voting. Unopposed candidates can be elected by acclamation. If the chair of the meeting becomes a nominee, he or she will turn the chair over to another Executive Committee member until voting is completed. Other members of the Executive Committee and the IGA Advisory Committee, after volunteers for each are requested, will be proposed to the general membership by the new officers and be voted on (‘Yes’ or ‘No’) in secret ballots, with a majority of ‘Yes’ votes (among those voting) being required for ratification of each person. This ratification vote may take place at a meeting of the general membership or by mail ballot to all members, which can be responded to electronically or by mail.

In non-conference years, replacements for resigning officers or Executive or Advisory Committee members will be voted on, after nominations are requested, at the annual Executive Advisory meeting. If the President resigns, the Secretary-Treasurer becomes the chief executive until that vote. If other officers or Advisory Committee members resign, the President will appoint replacements to serve until the next Executive Advisory meeting or general membership meeting, whichever comes first. Such decisions, like all others, are subject to review by the IGA Advisory Committee in the manner prescribed above. If there are no general membership meetings for more than two years, an election of new officers will be done by mail ballot to all members. In that case, the Executive Committee will receive nominations from all members, will vet them with the entire IGA Advisory Committee to produce two nominees for each office (unless there is only one nominee), and will send out a mail ballot to all members; the newly elected officers in this event will be those chosen by a majority of those casting ballots with the Secretary-Treasurer electronically or by mail.

NOTE: The initial appointment of Executive and Advisory Committee members under this constitution will be made by the President at the time (subject to IGA Advisory review), with all subsequent appointments of these kinds being subject to the procedures just outlined.

VIII. Membership Fees

The annual fees for membership in the IGA will include the cost of the journal and/or newsletter and will be determined (or simply renewed) annually at the Executive Advisory meeting and, in conference years, at each general membership meeting. Whenever payment is rendered, the amount shall be taken to cover a year from the time the payment is received by the Secretary-Treasurer. In the event that a new IGA publication appears during that year, a paid-up member will be given a one-time membership rate for the purchase of that publication. Future yearly rates will then reflect the cost of that publication for all new and renewing members.

IX. Amendments to the Constitution

This constitution may be amended, normally, only at a general membership meeting of the IGA and only by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at that meeting. Proposed amendments for such meetings will be submitted in writing to the President by at least two members of the Association, and members should normally be notified of the exact wording of proposed amendments in advance of the general membership meeting at which a vote will be taken. Emergency amendments, however, can be proposed by two members of the Association for discussion at an annual Executive Advisory meeting. The Executive Committee will decide if the proposal is of such urgency as to require being placed on the agenda of such a meeting, in which case the amendment will pass if it is agreed to by two thirds of the total membership of the IGA Advisory Board. Any Executive Committee decision of this sort is, like others, subject to the review of the Advisory Board in the manner prescribed above.

X. Unused Funds of the Association

If the Association dissolves or is otherwise unable to use funds it holds for purposes appropriate to the IGA under this Constitution, these funds shall be donated to other programmes involving the furtherance of Gothic studies, and the exact ones will be determined by an absolute majority vote of the IGA Advisory Committee at a special meeting of that group, which can be held electronically. Dissolution of the IGA shall become official only upon a two-thirds majority vote of those casting ballots to that effect either at a general membership meeting or on a mail ballot sent to the entire membership. The IGA is strongly committed to expanding its scope, membership, and effectiveness in all of the ways proposed in this Constitution.