NeMLA Bylaws

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Executive Council Policies and Procedures

Revised May, 2015


Section 1.01 Relevant Bylaws

(a) Article V: Executive Council: The Executive Council shall be composed of the officers of NeMLA, nine directors representing different academic areas, and as appropriate, representatives of caucuses within NeMLA. The Directors shall serve for terms of three years and shall represent the following areas: Anglophone/American Literature, Anglophone/British Literature, Comparative Literature, French Languages and Literature, German Language and Literature, Italian Language and Literature, Cultural Studies and Media Studies, Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing, Spanish Language and Literature. The term of the members shall commence with the end of the annual general meeting in the year of their election. The Editor of Modern Language Studies (MLS) shall serve as an ex officio member.

(b) Article IV: Officers: The officers of NeMLA shall be a President, a First Vice President, and a Second Vice President, each to serve for a non-renewable term of one year, and an Executive Director, to be appointed by the Executive Council for a three-year term renewable at the discretion of the Council. NeMLA shall be governed by its officers, with the advice and consent of Executive Council, subject in matters of policy to the agreement of the membership. The term of the officers shall commence with the end of the annual general meeting in the year of their election.

(c) Article VIII: Duties of Officers and Council Members: Section A: The President: The President shall be responsible, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council, for the administration of NeMLA. With the assistance of the First and Second Vice Presidents, and the Executive Director, the President shall formulate plans for the annual scholarly convention according to procedures established from time to time by the Executive Council. The President shall call and preside over meetings of the Executive Council at least twice a year and shall assign members of the Council, with their consent, to positions on standing or ad hoc committees. The President shall be responsible for securing the keynote speaker for the convention they preside over.

(d) Article VIII: Duties of Officers and Council Members: Section F: Members of the Executive Council shall carry out assignments the President requests and shall present reports, when appropriate, to the Council. A Council member who misses two consecutive meetings, in the absence of serious extenuating circumstances, may be dropped from the Council and replaced for the duration of the Council member’s term by an appointee designated by the Executive Council.

(e) Article VII: election and Nominations: Section C: Representatives of Caucuses to the Executive Council.

(i) Item 2. A caucus shall qualify for voting representation on the Executive Council when: a. it is formed by a substantial number of NeMLA members, b. the caucus has met during the NeMLA conference to transact business and elect a representative, and c. it is approved by the Executive Council. Caucus representatives to the Executive Council shall serve a three-year term.

(ii) Item 3. To be represented on the Council, a caucus must certify each year to the Council that it has met with a reasonable number in attendance and has elected a representative. Otherwise, representation shall be lost.

(iii) Item 4. Any caucus which can show satisfactory alternative evidence of democratic consultation amongst its membership may be exempted from the requirement that it meet once a year (see C. 3 above), and, not withstanding the required meeting, a constituency which is shown not to consult democratically amongst its membership shall not be represented on the Executive Council.

(iv) Item 6. The legitimate interest of any constituency is NeMLA’s declared area(s) of concern and shall be subject to the Council’s assessment; but, if the Executive Council refuses to accept a caucus representative, it must report its reasoning to the next annual general meeting, at which time its decision may be overturned.

Section 1.02 Composition

(a) The Executive Council is composed of four groups: elected officers, directors, caucus representatives, and members-at-large and ex officio members.

(b) The elected officers are the President, the First Vice President, and the Second Vice President. As described in the policies for the nominating committee, they represent the major languages.

(c) There are nine directors. Two represent English and American literature. One represents each of the major languages and literatures: French, German, Spanish, and Italian. One represents Comparative Literature, one represents Cultural Studies and Media Studies, and one represents Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing.

(d) There is one representative for each of the certified caucuses.

(f) The Board may create a temporary, renewable elected position: Member-at-Large. These positions will be created to serve a specific, identified need.

Section 1.03 Terms

(a) Terms are staggered for the elected officers and directors so that a new Vice President and two or three new directors enter each year.

(b) Caucus representatives are selected by their respective caucuses for three-year terms.

(c) The Executive Director and the editor of MLS are appointed by the council to renewable, three-year terms.

(d) Elected terms are nonrenewable, and the President is not allowed to succeed him or herself as President.

(e) Terms begin and terminate with the end of the convention, i.e. Saturday at midnight.

(f) By vote of the council, terms may be extended for a period not to exceed one year. The single exception is that of the elected officers who may not succeed themselves.

(g) By vote of the council, council members may be terminated for failure to attend two consecutive meetings. The council will then appoint a replacement to complete that term, ensuring that terms remain staggered.

(h) By vote of the council, the Executive Director and editor of MLS may be terminated for incompetence or failure to perform.


Section 2.01 Elected Officers

(a) As a body, the elected officers are responsible for the governance of NeMLA. Ultimately, any decision they make affecting NeMLA policies must be approved by vote of the Executive Council at the very next semiannual meeting of the Executive Council, but in the interim, they may make any decision required for the health or advancement of NeMLA. All large, unbudgeted purchases (greater than $1,000) must be approved by the officers, and officers must be kept informed of any significant events.

(b) President: The President has final authority in governance. The President presides over and sets the agenda for meetings of the Executive Council, of the officers, as well as for the annual business meeting at the convention. After asking for volunteers, the President appoints council members to all committees (except the standing committees: Nominating) and assigns a chair for each. The President’s other great responsibility is planning the program for the annual convention. Working closely with the Executive Director, the other Elected Officers, and the local host committee, the President plans special opportunities for scholarship and social interaction, including general sessions, special sessions, special sequences, Sunday workshops, and evening entertainment. In all of this, the Executive Director is responsible for logistics while the President is responsible for the vision. The President is finally responsible for the advancement of scholarship in the modern languages and literatures as expressed in the convention and the journal. At the semiannual meeting of the Executive Council, the President must present a report. A copy of this report should be provided via email or electronic file-sharing to each council member at least two weeks prior to the meeting.

(c) Vice Presidents: The duty of the Vice Presidents is to assist the President and Executive Council whenever required, filling in for the President when needed. Their chief responsibility is to begin planning the convention over which they will preside by working with the local host committee and finding speakers for the general sessions, special sessions, special sequences, and Sunday workshops and events. Their goal is to make their convention a unique contribution to the field of literary study. At the semiannual meeting of the Executive Council, the Vice Presidents must each present a report detailing the progress on the convention plans. A copy of this report should be provided via email or electronic file-sharing to each council member at least two weeks prior to the meeting. The First Vice President serves as chair of the nominating committee.

Section 2.02. Directors

(a) The directors serve on NEMLA’s committees. These are the Nominating Committee, the book awards committee, and the fellowships committee. Committee chairs should provide via email or electronic file-sharing a copy of a report detailing the activities of the committee to each council member at least two weeks prior to a meeting of the Executive Council. At each meeting, whether of the council or of a committee, the directors should represent the interests of the membership as a whole as well as of their particular language constituency. As the officers plan the conventions, the directors should make sure that each language is fairly represented, and they should work to help the officers find speakers and pursue possibilities.

Section 2.03 Caucus Representatives

(a) The representatives share the directors’ responsibilities as described in Section 2.02. In addition, they serve as liaisons to their caucuses, explaining the actions of the Executive Council.

(b) At the October business meeting of the Executive Council, the caucus representatives must each present a report describing the activities of the caucus. The representatives should provide via email or electronic file-sharing a copy of the report to each council member at least two weeks prior to the meeting. This report must include evidence for the continuance of the caucus as described in the bylaws (see 1.01.e, above, especially item 3). This evidence includes attendance at caucus events and an election report that includes the number of votes cast and description of the procedure for the selection of the candidates.

(c) Each fiscal year, NeMLA budgets $500 for the maintenance of each caucus. This amount must be spent within the fiscal year and does not roll over. The caucus representative works directly with the Executive Director in the spending of these monies.

(d) Each caucus has been given one slot on the convention program. Caucuses that want to have additional slots may request the Executive Director for them.

(e) Caucuses frequently plan social events at the convention. The planning of these events should be coordinated with the Executive Director and with the hotel’s convention services manager.

Section 2.04 Ex Office Members

(a) Executive Director: In addition to the duties described elsewhere, the Executive Director has the following responsibilities toward the Executive Council. The Executive Director is an ex officio member of the nominating committee. The Executive Director supplies whatever support is required by the activities of the Executive Council, maintains the NeMLA handbook, and makes travel arrangements for committee and council meetings. The Executive Director must ensure that elected officers remain informed about critical issues and must consult with the elected officers before making significant decisions. Large, unbudgeted purchases (greater than $500) must first be approved by the elected officers. At least two weeks before each meeting of the Executive Council, the Executive Director must provide via email or electronic file-sharing each council member a copy of the agenda prepared by the President, any supporting materials for the meeting, and a report detailing his or her activities. This report includes information on finances, membership, the office, and the newsletter. The October report includes a detailed analysis of the convention. As managing editor of Modern Language Studies, the Executive Director also prepares and circulates a report describing the finances and subscribers of the journal.

(b) Editor of Modern Language Studies: In addition to the duties described elsewhere, the editor must provide via email or electronic file-sharing to each council member two weeks in advance of each semiannual meeting a report that includes information on publication dates, plans for future issues, and submissions received.


Section 3.01 Principles

(a) If, in order to make a meeting on time, a council member must arrive a night earlier, then NeMLA will pay for that night at the convention hotel.

(b) Travel by automobile to the October meeting is reimbursed at the standard mileage rate established by the Internal Revenue Service, including all tolls and parking.

Section 3.02 Practice

(a) Generally, council members receive at least one night at the convention.

(b) Generally, at the convention, the Executive Director receives three nights, and the President and the Second Vice President each receives two nights.


Section 4.01 Fall Business Meeting

(a) Time and place: the fall business meeting usually takes place at the upcoming convention site on a Saturday in October or November.

(b) Purpose of the Business Meeting: In addition to the regular business of the Executive Council, this meeting has these special agenda items.

(i) Meet with Local Host Committee: The first item on the agenda is to meet with a representative of the local host committee who will describe the plans for the upcoming convention.

(ii) Elections to fill vacancies on committees.

(iii) Site search: The council should provide a list of possible convention sites for the convention three years hence.

(iv) Approval of the budget: The Executive Director must submit a budget detailing expected revenues and expenses for the year currently in progress (i.e., the fiscal year that began in July).

(v) Approval of caucuses: The caucuses must submit a report detailing attendance and elections at the previous convention.

(vi) Interviews, appointments, and reappointments: If the terms of the then the council should meet candidates or vote on reappointment at this meeting.

Section 4.02 April Meeting

(a) Time and place: The meeting takes place in the convention hotel on the Thursday morning immediately preceding the convention.

(b) Purpose of the council meeting: In addition to the regular business of the Executive Council, the council will rank in order of preference the convention bids that have been received so that the Executive Director and Second Vice President can pursue a local host.

Membership, Registration, and other Fee Policies

Revised May, 2015


Section 1.01 Relevant Bylaws

(a) Article III: Membership: Teachers and scholars of modern languages (both those with academic affiliations and independent scholars) who are interested in the purposes of NeMLA may be admitted to membership on the payment of annual dues as established by the Executive Council and may be continued as members by annual payment of these dues. Registered students may become members upon payment of reduced annual dues. Members of the profession who are employed as adjuncts or who are unemployed may hold regular membership at a reduced rate, as established by the Executive Council. Libraries may join as non-voting institutional members.

(b) Article XI, Section B: Membership Year: The membership year shall begin on December 1 and shall end on November 30. Each person joining will receive one year’s subscription to Modern Language Studies and the program for the annual convention.

Section 1.02 Definition

(a) Memberships may be paid or complimentary. In either case, all members receive all NeMLA mailings. (Please note that institutional subscribers to MLS are not considered members.) Complimentary memberships can only be granted by the President, Executive Director, or Editor, who must first receive permission from the officers of NeMLA. Complimentary memberships are usually granted (1) as recognition for service, (2) as part of an ongoing relationship, or (3) because someone has been invited to participate in the convention program or in MLS. (For example, MLA and the other regionals have received complimentary memberships as part of our ongoing relationship, and the keynote speaker receives a complimentary membership because he or she has been invited to participate in the convention.) The intent of this third type of complimentary membership, which is usually granted for a single year, is to build membership. We hope that the receipt of further mailings will entice a keynote speaker into further participation in NeMLA. Such complimentary memberships should always be accompanied by a welcoming letter from the President or Executive Director.

(b) Persons from the local host institution who are staffing the convention registration table need not become members unless they plan to present their work at the convention. Staffers are welcome to attend any sessions.

(c) As described in Article III of the bylaws, membership in NeMLA is restricted to scholars and graduate students. Undergraduates are not eligible for membership and thus are not allowed to present papers at the convention. However, the program committee can make exceptions when undergraduates are part of a roundtable discussing pedagogy. These undergraduate participants do not receive other benefits of NeMLA membership.

Section 1.03 Membership Dues

(a) Beginning in November 2006, the dues for full-time employed members will be $79. The dues for contingent and two-year faculty will be $59. The dues for students, part-time employed, and retired members will be $39.

Section 1.04 Membership Year

(a) The membership year is from December 1 to November 30.

Section 1.05 Mailings

(a) Upon payments of dues, members receive the most recent issue of the Newsletter and any other relevant, informational mailings. They also receive the Winter and Summer issues of MLS produced during that membership year.

(b) The link to the Call for Papers, is emailed to current and lapsed members to provide a better response to the call.

Section 1.06 Renewals

(a) The June Newsletter, which includes the Call for Papers, serves as the renewal notice for members. It is the last regular mailing of the membership year.


Section 2.01 Definition

(a) All convention participants (i.e., those presenting papers and chairing sessions) must register for the convention.

(b) Registration fees are waived for exhibitors, registration table staff, and particular invited speakers.

(c) Local non-participating attendees from within a 25-mile radius are encouraged to attend but must register and pay a $15 auditor fee if they would like a program and name tag.

(d) Non-participating professional attendees should pay membership dues plus the $15 auditor fee.

Section 2.02 Registration Fees

(a) The registration fees, deadlines, and late fee rules are to be posted on the membership website.

(b) Registration fees may be refunded if the convention participant notifies the Executive Director of their need to withdraw from the program at least six weeks prior to the opening of the convention. Membership fees are non-refundable.

Section 2.03 Penalties

(a) Registration fees are due by 1 December.

(b) Convention participants will be surcharged after that date in the amount of $25.

Antidiscrimination Policy

1. NeMLA does not discriminate, nor tolerate harassment on the basis of race, creed, sex, disability, or sexual orientation in the administration of its membership, convention, prizes, awards, or publications.

2. Within the association, NeMLA actively promotes diversity in the composition of its governance structure, in its convention programming, and in its publications, and is committed to fostering a positive, supportive and inclusive professional environment.

3. As of October 1998, NeMLA will no longer enter a relationship with any host institution that does not respect NeMLA’s commitment to diversity.