Bellagio, June 1, 2000
The International American Studies Association (IASA) was founded today by twenty-two scholars from around the world, committed to the study of America—regionally, hemispherically, nationally, and transnationally.
Rooted in various fields of study, the IASA will provide a space for interdisciplinary dialogues about American culture and society. To this purpose, it will promote international exchanges of teachers, scholars, and students and generate debates, publications, and conferences.
Convened by Professor Djelal Kadir (Penn State University, USA) at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Conference and Study Center, in Bellagio, Italy, were participants from twelve countries and members of eleven national and multinational American Studies Associations. Those present were: Greg C. Cuthbertson (South Africa), Philip Davies (United Kingdom), Theo D’Haen (Netherlands), Emory Elliott (USA), Winfried Fluck (Germany), Michael Frisch (USA), Cristina Giorcelli (Italy), Ramón Gutiérrez (USA), Heinz Ickstadt (Germany), Josef Jarab (Czech Republic), Mary Kelley (USA), Rob Kroes (Netherlands), Maureen Montgomery (New Zealand), Carla Mulford (USA), Gönül Pultar (Turkey), Hiroko Sato (Japan), Neusa da Silva Matte (Brazil), Werner Sollors (Germany), Tao Jie (China), Sonia Torres (Brazil), and Lois Parkinson Zamora (USA).
They are members of the following associations: American Studies Association (USA), American Studies Association of Turkey, Associação Brasileira de Estudos Americanos, Associazione Italiana di Studi Nord-Americani, Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association, British Association for American Studies, Czech and Slovak Association for American Studies, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien, European Association for American Studies, Japanese Association for American Studies, and the Netherlands American Studies Association.
The work of IASA supports, complements, and internationalizes ongoing efforts by regional, national, and multinational associations of American Studies. The IASA welcomes individual, institutional, and associational memberships to its ranks from all professional Americanists in the social and natural sciences, the humanities and the arts, from intellectuals, artists, journalists, public officials, and all those active in matters concerning the study of America.
Articles of the International American Studies Association (IASA)
Article I Name and Object
The Name of the Association shall be International American Studies Association. Acronym: IASA. The Association will be registered under Dutch Law, in Leiden, in the Netherlands, as a nonprofit international academic organization.
The object of the Association shall be to further the international exchange of ideas and information among scholars from all nations and various disciplines who study and teach America regionally, hemispherically, nationally, and transnationally.
Article 2 Members
The members of the Association shall be:
- Any person interested in the study of America, upon payment of one year’s individual member dues. Only individual members in good standing have the right to vote and hold office in the Association;
- Any national association, joint regional and/or multi-national association, or federation of associations, or any cultural or educational non-profit association, whose application to join is approved by a simple majority of the Executive Council [q.v. Article IV, infra], may affiliate itself upon payment of one year’s institutional dues.
Article III Officers
The organization shall have four Executive Officers. These Executive Officers shall be titled: President; Vice President; Treasurer; and Executive Director. The President, Vice President, and Treasurer shall be elected from among members in good standing. The Executive Director shall be appointed by the three elected Executive members, with the ratification of his/her appointment by the Executive Council. The Executive Officers, each of whom, ideally, should have his/her principal professional appointment in a different country, shall be responsible for the administration of the organization and for overseeing its successful operation. They will represent the Association in all matters of policy, administration, and finance. The Executive Officers shall consult with the Executive Council as necessary and present for its ratification of any fiscal and governance policy when such fiscal and governance decisions involve more than routine operational matters. The Executive Officers will duly report to the General Assembly. The initially appointed officers serve pro-tem until an election has taken place according to the procedures to be established by the first congress.
The President shall serve a two-year term, once renewable. The President shall preside at meetings of the General Assembly, the Executive Council, and congresses of the Association. The President, in collaboration with the other Executive Officers, will be responsible for the formulation of policies and projects and for receiving motions and resolutions formulated and voted on by members of the General Assembly for presentation to the Executive Council for disposition and implementation.
The Vice President shall serve a two-year term, once renewable. Should the term of the standing President, through any cause, become vacant, the Vice- President assumes the office of President for the remainder of the President’s term.
The Executive Director, who serves a two-year term, once renewable, shall be the chief administrative officer of the Association. With the concurrence of the President and the Executive Council, he/she shall oversee the administrative affairs of the Association and its operations, co-ordinate the work of its committees, participate in the formulation of policies and projects submitted to the Executive Council and co-ordinate the disposition and implementation of initiatives of the General Assembly and decisions of the Executive Council, of which the Executive Director should be an ex-officio member.
The Treasurer, who serves a two-year term, shall oversee the financial affairs of the Association and its operations. So that financial accounts need not be transferred unnecessarily, there is no limit on the number of consecutive two year terms a treasurer may serve.
Article 4 Executive Council
The Executive Council serves as consultative and as governance board that considers ratification of annual budgets, elections by the membership, and appointments to positions within the organization that are other than elected (such Executive Director or Ad Hoc committees), and determines the disposition of motions and resolutions originating in the General Assembly. The Executive Council shall set the Association’s fiscal policy, fix the amount and schedule of dues, and appoint such committees as it deems necessary. The Executive Council sets the date and venue of Association congresses, meets annually for a business meeting for the election of members to committees, approval of the budget, consideration of reports of the Executive Officers, consideration of motions and resolutions by the General Assembly, and the discussion of general policy and the transaction of other Association business as may come before it. The Executive Council may appoint sub-committees from among its own membership for the transaction of Association business as necessary. The Executive Council shall publish its decisions and actions through means mechanical, electronic, or otherwise to the membership of the Association.
The Executive Council shall consist of the three elected Executive Officers, the Chairs or Co-Chairs of the Association’s Standing Committees, and any additional at-large representatives (pro-tem) that may be necessary, all as elected by the General Assembly Ex-officio. The Executive Director is also part of the Executive Council.
Article V General Assembly
The General Assembly is the main body of IASA and is comprised of the active membership of the organization. The Association’s Executive Officers shall be members (Ex-Officio) of the General Assembly and its meetings shall be presided over by the President of the Association. The Executive director shall serve as Recorder of the Assembly meetings.
The General Assembly shall be the deliberative body of the Association, where issues pertaining to the field, to Association policy, and to the interests of the constituent members shall be discussed. The General Assembly will vote, in person or by proxy, on the President’s general report, the Executive Director’s administrative report, the Treasurer’s financial report, and the reports of the Standing Committees. The Assembly shall forward such motions and resolutions it approves by majority vote to the Association’s Executive Council for appropriate disposition.
The General Assembly will meet on the occasion of the Association’s world congress. The final announcement to such a world congress, to be published not later than two months prior to the congress, and to be distributed to the Association’s members by the means mechanical, electronic, or otherwise appropriate, will include a call for the General Assembly meeting.
Association members unable to attend the General Assembly may submit a proxy in writing, hard or verifiable electronic copy, to the Executive Director prior to the meeting.
Article VI Standing Committees
The Executive Council shall appoint such committees, standing and ad-hoc, as necessary to the advancement of the activities of the Association and as recommended by the Executive Officers. All committees shall operate at the discretion of the Executive Council, which shall define their jurisdiction, approve their basic procedures and policies, and determine and dispose of any relevant budgetary allocations.
The Executive Officers shall maintain committee membership so as to assure representation of the diversity of the Association’s membership, with “diversity” meaning both international and disciplinary diversity.
Standing Committees shall be chaired or co-chaired by active members of the Association, with chairs or co-chairs originating in different national areas so as to assure global participation in the leadership of the organization. Each Standing Committee shall consist of no fewer than five members, nominated by the Nominations and Elections Committee and ratified by the Executive Council, from the active membership of the organization. The chairs or co-chairs shall be appointed by the General Assembly from among the members of each committee, upon proposals by the nominating committee.
Membership on Standing Committees, including Chairs, shall be for three-year staggered terms, once renewable. The nature of the activities of the Standing Committees requires that the chairs maintain regular contact with the Executive Officers of the organization.
The chairs shall be expected to obtain the approval of the Treasurer before incurring any significant expenditures on behalf of the organization. The Executive Director shall sign any financial commitments on behalf of the Association in any case.
Committee chairs are responsible for reporting annually, through the Association’s Executive director, on committee activities to the Executive Council one month prior to the annual meeting of the Council.
The Association shall have as one of its standing committees the Program Committee. The Program Committee shall oversee the development of programs for the Association, including planning for future conferences and the development of conference topics and a roster of future conference sites. The Committee shall always work with the designated local arrangements committee members to develop conference programs for individual sites. The Program Committee shall coordinate with analogous joint regional and/or multi-national associations, or federation of associations for joint conferences as well as for the general congress of the Association itself. The Committee’s work shall be coordinated by its chair or co-chairs.
The Association shall have as one of its standing committees the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall oversee, promote, and coordinate membership in the Association by working with joint regional and/or multi-national associations, or federation of associations and with scholars and students in the field of American Studies and related fields and disciplines. The Membership Committee shall define dues structures and membership categories. It will work in conjunction with the Executive Director and Treasurer with the aim of encouraging the broadest possible international participation.
The Association shall have as one of its standing committees the Finance and Development Committee. The Finance and Development Committee shall review the annual budget of the organization and coordinate the efforts for the support and development central to the future solvency, fiscal maintenance, and programmatic underwriting of the Association and its initiatives. The Committee’s work shall be coordinated by its two Co-Chairs, one of whom is always the Treasurer of the Association. The Executive Director is an ex-officio member of the committee.
The Association shall have as one of its standing committees the Publications and Communications Committee. The Publications and Communications Committee shall be responsible for serving as the informational link among the members of the organization and between the membership and the Executive Officers, and it shall develop and sponsor the initial materials that shall serve as the primary vehicles for disseminating information about the organization and publicizing its programs. The Publications and Communications Committee shall have oversight for electronic and for all other media used to disseminate and coordinate the Association’s work. As the Association shall endeavor to develop and maintain its own international publications, such as a printed or electronic journal and a scholarly series of books, the Publications and Communications Committee shall work to cultivate both ideas, authors, and editors for the publishing goals of the organization. The Committee’s work shall be coordinated by its chair or co-chairs.
The Association shall have as one of its standing committees the Nominating and Elections Committee. The Nominating and Elections Committee shall be responsible for presenting to the General Assembly a slate of nominees for positions and committee chairs in the organization. The Nominating and Elections Committee shall be responsible for preparing the ballot for conducting the necessary elections for Executive Officers from a slate of nominees it generates and any who may self-nominate or who may be nominated by write-in ballot by the membership of the organization. The Committee’s work shall be coordinated by its chair or co-chairs.
Article VII Meetings and Congresses
The Executive Council, in conjunction with the Program Committee, shall schedule an international world congress of the Association within three years of its founding, with the aim of subsequent meetings occurring every three years thereafter. The Program Committee shall work with a Local Organizing Committee to coordinate efforts for the congress.
The Executive Council shall select a site for each congress well in advance of the congress date, wherever possible in cooperation with joint regional and/or multi-national associations, or federation of associations. Sites for the congress shall be selected on the principle of geographical rotation.
The chair of the Local Organizing Committee shall be approved by the Executive Council at least two years in advance of the congress date. The chair shall appoint the members of the Local Organizing Committee at his/her discretion.
The Association’s standing Program Committee shall approve the theme of the congress and review the procedures for evaluating proposals and the content of the congress. Each of the Association’s standing committees shall have at least one slot reserved on the program of the congress. A meeting slot shall be reserved for the Executive Council and one for the General Assembly at each congress.
The Executive Council of the Association shall consider invitations to hold its annual meetings in conjunction with the meeting or congress of a national, joint regional, or multi-national American Studies association.
Article VIII Amendment of the Charter
This Charter may be altered or amended at a General Assembly. Members should be notified at least seven days prior to said general meeting of amendments proposed to the Charter. Amendments will be carried if adopted by a two-thirds majority of the voting members of the Association.
Charter Council of the International American Studies Association (IASA)
Greg C Cuthbertson (South Africa)
Philip Davies (Great Britain)
Maureen Montgomery (New Zealand)
Carla Mulford (USA)
Gönül Pultar (Turkey)
Hiroko Sato (Japan)
Neusa da Silva Matte (Brazil)
Werner Sollors (USA)
Tao Jie (Peoples’ Republic of China)
Sonia Torres (Brazil)
Lois Parkinson Zamora (USA)
Mary Kelley (USA)
Rob Kroes (The Netherlands)
Emory Elliott (USA)
Winfried Fluck (Germany)
Michael H. Frisch (USA)
Cristina Giorcelli (Italy)
Ramón Gutierrez (USA)
Theo D’haen (The Netherlands)
Heinz Ickstadt (Germany)
Joseph Jarab (The Czech Republic)
Djelal Kadir (USA)