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Constitution of the Philip Roth Society


Updated August 2013


Article I: Name


Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Philip Roth Society.  The Society shall be incorporated as a non-profit organization under the laws of the State of Texas or under the laws of the state to which the Society membership votes to move the Society hereafter.


Article II: Purpose


Section 1. The purpose of this Society shall be to encourage the scholarly study and the general appreciation of the writings of Philip Roth, and to facilitate the exchange of ideas and texts concerning Philip Roth.  The Society is a forum for research and the dissemination of this research globally, through the Philip Roth Society Newsletter, Society website, as well as through books, articles and publications, panels, and professional meetings deemed appropriate by the members of the Society.  The Society officers shall review all proposals to expand the Society internationally to determine if these international groups are financially viable and willing to abide by the Philip Roth Society Constitution.  No international organization may use the Philip Roth Society name without meeting these criteria.


Section 2. An important function of the Society shall be the sponsorship of the Philip Roth Society Sessions at the annual American Literature Association (ALA) Conferences.  It shall conduct its Annual General Meeting during each ALA Conferences.


Section 3.  The Philip Roth Society is organized and shall be operated exclusively for such charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes as the membership may approve at the Annual General Meeting and as are within the purposes herein expressed.  The Society is not organized for pecuniary profit, and shall not engage in any activities for any pecuniary profit and no officer, member or employee of the Society shall receive any pecuniary profit from the operations thereof except repayment of expenses reasonably incurred in effecting or carrying out one or more of its activities.  No part of any net earnings of the Society shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual.


Article III: Membership


Section 1. Any individual, business, educational institution, or corporation interested in the aims of the Philip Roth Society may join.


Section 2. Membership in this Society shall be through payment of annual dues, according to schedules determined by the Annual General Meeting of the Society.  These dues shall be used to support the services provided to the members of the Society.


Section 3.  Membership begins January 1 of each year.  Payment of dues shall allow the member to receive the Philip Roth Society Newsletter and any other publication determined by the Annual General Meeting of the Society for distribution to the entire membership.


Section 4. A member who has not paid dues for two years shall be classified as not in good standing; this being the case, all privileges and benefits will be terminated.


Article IV: Privileges


Section 1. All members in good standing shall have the right to stand for office, vote for officers of the Society and for session proposals for the ALA and other conferences, serve as a chair or organizer of an ALA or other conference session, and receive all publications issued by the Society, in accordance with the scale of dues set by the Annual General Meeting.


Article V: Officers


Section 1. The officers of the Society shall be a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Program Director, a Membership Chair, a Newsletter Editor, and the Executive Editor of Philip Roth Studies.  These six officers shall compose the Executive Council of the Society, and as such will make up the voting body of the organization.


Section 2. Officers shall serve without compensation. They shall be entitled to reimbursement for legitimate Society expenses.


Section 3. A vacancy in any of these offices occurring during the incumbent’s term of office because of illness, death, resignation, or any other reason shall be filled by a volunteer chosen by the remaining officers of the Society until such time as a new election can be held. In the event that an officer cannot fulfill his or her duties for any reason, a replacement shall be chosen by the remaining officers of the Society until the next election.


Section 4. The officers shall perform the following duties:


a. The President shall preside at the Annual General Meeting unless unable to do so. The President shall be responsible for assisting any member of the Executive Council of the Society to the best of his or her ability.


b. The Secretary shall take responsibility for generally communicating on behalf of the society.  The secretary shall maintain an on going history of the organization; oversee the responsibilities of maintaining the society web presence; promote the Society’s interests through the use of social media such as the Society Facebook and Twitter accounts; and work with the newsletter Editor in the compilation and distribution of the Society’s annual newsletter.


c. The Treasurer shall keep a record of moneys received and dispersed and prepare an annual report of the Society’s finances.  The treasurer will hold primary responsibility for the banking account and the Paypal account as well as prepare checks for any expenses incurred. The treasurer will also work closely with the Membership Chair to ensure society membership and promote annual renewal.


d. The Program Director shall work to secure Society-related conference activity as well as participation in other events that would benefit the Society.  He/she shall coordinate the Society’s activities, along with consultation with the rest of the Executive Committee, at various conferences throughout the year, including the national ALA Conference and sessions at other regional and national conferences.


e. The Membership Chair shall oversee all duties and responsibilities related to the recruitment and retention of Society members. Primary among these duties is to keep the Philip Roth Society membership up to date using information provided by the Secretary and Treasurer. The membership chair is also responsible for promotional material related to the society and implementing plans for membership development.


f. The Newsletter Editor shall prepare and edit the Society’s annual newsletter, the Philip Roth Society Newsletter, working with the Secretary / Treasurer.  The Newsletter Editor will:


i. Assemble a yearly calendar of appropriate conferences (see Article IX, Section 2d and 2e) and their deadlines;


ii. List new publications on Roth;


iii. Publish any open Call for Papers (CFPs);


iv. Report pertinent news regarding Philip Roth and/or his writings.


v. Include brief reviews and articles on texts and issues relating to Philip Roth.


g. The Executive Editor of Philip Roth Studies, in keeping with the current publications agreement, shall work closely with the Philip Roth Society and shall be responsible for conducting peer review of all articles submitted for publication in the journal according to standard scholarly procedures. A three-member publications subcommittee appointed by the Executive Council (minus the Executive Editor of the journal) and the immediate editorial team of Philip Roth Studies, will be responsible for overseeing the process of selecting the Executive Editor. The Executive Council will select two members of the subcommittee; the immediate editorial team will select one member of the subcommittee. This process will include collecting nominations, circulating curriculum vitae, soliciting input from the Society membership, and ultimately selecting the Executive Editor. Each publications subcommittee disbands with the successful appointment of an Executive Editor. The length of each term for the Executive Editor is limited to five years with the possibility of unlimited term renewals. The Executive Editor is selected independent of the triennial Officer elections and may not simultaneously serve as another Officer in the Executive Council. Anyone who wants to be considered for the position of Executive Editor must recuse him/herself in any of the selection committee process. No one may concurrently serve as Executive Editor of the journal and elected Society Executive Council member.


Section 5. Officers shall be elected triennially by the Society membership, by mail, e-mail, or vote at the Annual General Meeting, with the proviso that the selection of the Executive Editor of Philip Roth Studies is overseen by a publications subcommittee constituted for that purpose. Any member of the Society may submit names of nominees to the acting President. Terms of office shall be three years, beginning June 15.


Article VI: Meetings


Section 1. The Society will meet at least once a year for the transaction of business.  The Annual General Meeting shall be held in conjunction with the ALA Conference. Secondary business meetings may also be held at other conferences such as the Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention or the ALA Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Conference.  Special meetings may also be called by the President, for social and/or business purposes.


Section 2.  Voting by proxy shall be allowed.  Such votes can be brought to any of the officers of the Society.


Section 3.  Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern meetings, unless a majority determines that an alternative procedure is preferable.


Article VII: Funds and Liabilities


Section 1. The funds of this Society shall be collected and dispersed by the Secretary / Treasurer, for the Society’s needs and lawful expenditures. Disbursement of the Society’s funds will be in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation of the Philip Roth Society.


Section 2. No member of the Society shall be liable except for the payment of dues.


Article VIII: Procedures


Section 1.  Amendment to this Constitution shall be voted upon, by mail, e-mail, or vote at the Annual General Meeting, by the full membership; approval will need a two-thirds majority of those voting. Amendments may be proposed by the officers of the Society, or by petition signed by ten or more Society members in good standing.


Section 2. The Philip Roth Society will post CFPs online whenever a member wishes to chair a panel at a conference, edit a collection or journal issue.


a. Any member seeking to post a CFP on the Philip Roth Society Web site must Secure the permission of the Philip Roth Society officers before doing so. Each CFP should briefly (250 words or fewer) describe the topic, announce the deadline and provide an address for submissions. These CFPs will be publicized in the Philip Roth Society Newsletter.


b. If more than one member wishes to post a call for a single conference, and the conference organizers will only allow one Society panel to be sponsored, the membership will vote to select which CFP the Philip Roth Society will sponsor.


c. Anyone desiring to post a CFP must do so no later than a month before the submission deadline.


d. The Philip Roth Society particularly seeks to maintain a presence at the annual ALA Annual Conference.


e. The Philip Roth Society also encourages yearly participation at the regional MLA conferences, the MLA Convention, the ALA Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Conference, the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States (MELUS) Conference, and the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900.


Article IX:  Dissolution and Termination


Section  1. Upon termination and dissolution of the Society the Officers shall proceed to wind up affairs of the association in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas in such case provided, paying all bills and debts of the association, and distributing remaining assets, if any, to such similar non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable, or educational institution as the Officers shall in their best discretion deem advisable, which charitable or educational institution shall be an organization included in the provisions of Section 501 © (3), 1954 Internal Revenue Code as amended from time to time.  Upon dissolution and termination, no monies or profits whatsoever shall be paid to any officer or any other person except for compensation for services rendered or verified out-of-pocket expenses.

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