Constitution and Bylaws
The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts
Constitution and Bylaws of the
International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts
Updated June 2019
ARTICLE I—NAME OF THE ORGANIZATION
The organization is called The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts; acronym: IAFA. It is a non-profit organization, incorporated as a 501(c)(3) under the laws of the State of Florida.
The purpose of the organization is to promote and recognize achievements in the study of the fantastic; in English and other languages, in drama and film, in art and graphic design, and in related academic disciplines. The traditional venues for these activities include:
- Organization and management of an annual academic conference, the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA);
- Publication of a scholarly journal, The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts (JFA);
- Sponsorships and administration of a series of awards for scholarship and for fiction writing, presented annually during the conference;
- Publication of a news blog and maintenance of other social media accounts;
- Maintenance of a website on the Internet and an email list to serve the interests of scholars in the field; and such other projects as may appear desirable from time to time.
ARTICLE III—MEMBERSHIP IN THE ORGANIZATION
Membership is open to all—including academics, editors, publishers, writers, artists, and fans—upon payment of the annual membership dues established by the Executive Board. Membership is required of all who present papers at the annual ICFA; benefits of membership include the IAFA Directory, JFA, and the right to vote in any election or other votes called by the IAFA.
Benefits do not include registration in the annual conference.
Other benefits may be offered.
Membership runs from January 1st to December 31st.
All officers of the IAFA must be members in good standing. To be eligible for the office of President, a member must have served either as a Division Head or as a member of the Executive Board. All Executive Board officers, whether elected or appointed, will have equal vote on IAFA issues that come before the Executive Board.
Section 1: Executive Board. Members of the Executive Board include the six elected officers: President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Public Information Officer, Immediate Past President, and Student Caucus Representative. Appointed Officers are limited to the Conference Director, Registration/Membership Coordinator, and Treasurer. Appointments to the Board are made by the President, after formal discussion and majority vote of the other elected officers. Two thirds of the Board members, both those elected and those appointed, constitute a quorum for conducting business.
Section 2: Terms of Office. The elected officers customarily serve three-year terms, staggered to prevent the rotation of all officers at once. When unplanned vacancies occur, appointments to fill them for shorter terms may be made by the President, after formal discussion and majority vote of the Board. (For election procedures, and job descriptions, see the accompanying Bylaws.) Terms are three years unless otherwise stipulated.
Section 3: Division Heads. Organization and refereeing of academic paper sessions at ICFA is under the direction of Division Heads, appointed by the First Vice President after formal discussion and majority vote of the Board. At present there are eight Divisions: Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Art, Fantasy Literature, International Fantastic Literature, Gothic and Horror Literature, Science Fiction Literation, Film and Television, Visual and Performing Arts and Audiences, and Fairy Tales and Folk Narratives.
General business meetings open to all members are conducted annually at the ICFA. In addition, Division Heads must meet at least once annually under the leadership of the First Vice President, usually at the ICFA. Board members and those appointed to report to the Board meet at the ICFA; a smaller subgroup of this body meets again at a special planning meeting conducted by the President each summer. The officers who attend the summer planning meeting, at the organization’s expense, are the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Public Information Officer, Student Caucus Representative, Conference Director, Conference Director Associate, Registration/Membership Coordinator, Treasurer, and Chief Technology Officer. The President may also, at her or his discretion, decide to invite other Board members or those reporting to the Board to attend all or part of this meeting, via Skype or in person. If such a person is required to travel to the meeting for the full meeting, the IAFA will also fund this person’s travel and accommodation. Future conference guests and themes will be decided at the meeting at the ICFA, which includes all Board members and all those reporting to the Board. In addition, for this decision, the First Vice President will also seek input from the Division Heads and present their views at the meeting. Only the Board votes on the selection of guests, after consultation with this extended group of people in service to the organization.
ARTICLE VI—BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS
Details of governance are outlined in the accompanying Bylaws and Articles of Governance of the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts; this document also establishes procedures for amending the constitution.
Bylaws and Articles of Governance
An active member is one whose annual dues are paid. Voting rights are held by members whose dues are paid for either the year in which the vote is held or the previous year.
The Election Committee for the IAFA will be chaired by the Immediate Past President and will include two other members chosen from the Executive Board by the Executive Board.
The election process will typically span several months, from the summer preceding the voting period through to the announcement of the results at the business meeting during the ICFA.
All notifications, announcements, and ballots shall be distributed through electronic means (via the Internet via email or secure website).
The Elections Committee will announce upcoming elections with a call for nominations, including self-nominations. The opening date for nominations will be on 30 September. The closing date for nominations will be on 30 October.
The Election Committee will notify each nominee of her or his nomination and will provide each with the names of everyone else who has accepted nomination during that election cycle.
Candidates declining nomination must notify the Elections Committee immediately upon notification of their nomination.
Candidates eligible for the offices to which they have been nominated and willing to run for those offices will be asked to submit position statements by 20 November of the year preceding the vote.
The Election Committee will distribute position statements and ballots to the membership on or about 10 December, and ballots must be returned by 10 January of the following year.
The Election Committee will count the ballots immediately after the 10 January deadline, and if no candidate has a clear majority (51% or more), a run-off election will be held between the two candidates who have received the most votes. The run-off election will be conducted promptly, will appropriate announcements, and with ballots being distributed by 10 February, and a final vote deadline of 1 March of the election year.
The Election Committee will announce results of the election at the IAFA business meeting during the annual conference of the election year, with additional announcements in appropriate IAFA venues thereafter.
The election calendar described here serves as a guideline rather than as a table of fixed deadlines; when circumstances require it, the Election Committee will adjust the calendar for the election process in order to insure an orderly, open, and fair process.
Elected Officers are automatically members of the Executive Board, as are the Immediate Past President and the Student Representative (the latter elected by a separate vote by the student caucus). Appointed members are limited to the Conference Director, Registration/Membership Coordinator, and Treasurer. Appointments are made by the President, after formal discussion and majority vote of the other elected officers. Elected terms are three years unless otherwise stipulated; appointed officers are renewed annually. Elected officers are limited to two consecutive three-year terms but may seek re-election after they have left the board for a term. Appointed members are not subject to term limits, but appointments will be reviewed annually, with the exception of the JFA Editor and the Crawford Award Director, who each serve five-year, renewable terms.
IV: Duties of the Officers of the Association
The Executive Board
The President is the chief executive officer, responsible for directing and coordinating all functions of the organization, including the annual conference, the quarterly journal, other sponsored publications, the Awards Program, and public relations of all kinds. The President sets the agenda for, and presides at, all meetings of the Executive Board and the annual business meeting at the ICFA. The President is also the chief planning officer, responsible for setting agenda in all Association projects. The President oversees the work of the other officers, recruits special guests, seeks institutional support, confirms non-elected Board members, etc. The President is elected by majority vote of the IAFA members who participate in the election.
First Vice President
The First Vice President coordinates the ICFA Program, overseeing the work of the Divisions Heads and scheduling paper sessions for the Annual Conference Program. The First Vice President also consults with the President and Second Vice President concerning appearances by special guests in panels, readings, and lectures, and with the Conference Director about physical arrangements such as AV equipment, room assignments, etc. The First Vice President substitutes for the President when necessary. The First Vice President also oversees the IAFA Graduate Student Award, including the following: advertising the award, organizing the prize committee, and collecting and forwarding submissions to the committee for a blind reading process. The First Vice President is elected by majority vote of the IAFA members who participate in the election.
Second Vice President
The Second Vice President oversees and develops the programming track of creative guests, maintaining a current email list, contacting writers to solicit proposals, organizing sessions, and consulting the First Vice President to schedule the creative track. The Second Vice President also collects biographies and photos of the invited attending writers for publication in the program book and passes this information on to the Program Book Coordinator. The Second Vice President is elected by majority vote of the IAFA members who participate in the election.
Public Information Officer
The Public Information Officer edits and distributes promotional materials and forms publicity liaisons with other organizations where appropriate. The Public Information Officer maintains and regularly updates the website and blog, creates and distributes information from the Board such as the Call for Papers and election material, and contributes photos and promotional copy to the IAFA website. The Public Information Officer maintains and regularly updates the social media feeds, responds to inquiries via the social media feeds, and monitors the IAFA’s public image on social media. The Public Information Officer takes Executive Board minutes, disseminates them, archives them, and makes them available for archival use. The Public Information Officer is the recorder of motions and amendments at official meetings. The Public Information Officer maintains the IAFA electronic archive. The Public Information Officer is elected by majority vote of the IAFA members who participate in the election.
The Treasurer maintains a bank account for the Association, prepares the annual budget, and handles accounts for all monies received or disbursed by the organization. The Treasurer also represents the Association in filing returns with the IRS and in other legal matters. The Treasurer’s Annual Report is presented at the Annual Business Meeting of the ICFA and becomes basic data for future budgets; thus, the Treasurer works closely with the President. The Treasurer is appointed by the President, after formal discussion and majority vote of the other elected officers. Candidates for the position of Treasurer must demonstrate appropriate money management skills and fiscal knowledge in order to be confirmed.
The Conference Director handles the physical and financial arrangements for staging the annual conference, representing the conference in negotiations with the hotel staff and working with the other officers in assigning spaces and times for various functions. Room rates and luncheon/banquet ticket prices are negotiated by the Conference Director, in consultation with the President and the hotel staff. The Conference Director prepares the annual budget for the ICFA, for approval at the summer board meeting. Room Reservations for IAFA officers and Conference Guests are handled by the Conference Director, who also makes hotel arrangements for the annual Board Meeting. The Conference Director supervise arrangements with the hotel during the conference in concert with the President and the Chief Technology Officer. The Conference Director is appointed by the President, after formal discussion and majority vote of the other elected officers.
Immediate Past President
The Immediate Past President continues as a Board member for three years. The Immediate Past President chairs the elections committee and supervises the work of the awards committees. She or he ensures that winners are named within stated guidelines for rendering a decision and arranges for the engraving and delivery of award plaques for Crawford, Distinguished Scholarship, Collins, and Donaldson Awards. The Immediate Past President presents or arranges for presentation of awards at the annual banquet and performs other duties as assigned by the President.
This officer oversees the operation of the IAFA membership and the ICFA registrations, corresponding with members regarding their membership dues and payments, taking in membership and registration fees, collecting and verifying accurate membership and registration statistics and accounts of tickets, and distributing registration packets and badges as well as tickets for luncheon and banquet programs at the conference. Fee structures and forms of membership, established by the Executive Board, are administered by the Registration/Membership Coordinator. This officer also oversees the maintenance of membership mailing lists. The Registration/Membership Coordinator is appointed by the President, after formal discussion and majority vote of the other elected officers.
Officers Reporting to the Executive Board
Conference Director Associate
The Conference Director Associate works with the Conference Director regarding all physical arrangements for the annual conference, including negotiations with the hotel staff and working with the other officers in assigning spaces and times for various functions. The Conference Director Associate supervises all food functions to ensure their quality and appropriate fiscal management of tickets and costs. The Conference Director Associate also takes on other duties, as assigned by the Conference Director. The Conference Director Associate is appointed by the Conference Director, in consultation with the President, after formal discussion and majority vote of the other elected officers.
Chief Technology Officer
The Chief Technology Officer works with the Conference Director and the On-Site Technology Officer to manage conference AV needs and provides primary support and maintenance for the IAFA’s online resources, such as the registered domain name (iafa.org), the websites, (IAFA, JFA), and the organization’s email discussion lists (IAFA-L, DIV-HEADS, IAFA-BOARD, JFA-STAFF). The Chief Technology Officer is responsible for technology acquisitions and advises the President and Executive Board on policy matters relating to information technology. The Chief Technology Officer is appointed by the President, after formal discussion and majority vote of the other elected officers.
On-Site Technology Officer
The On-Site Technology Officer oversees the set-up and maintenance of all the AV equipment used during the conference in support of paper presentations and panel discussions, keynote addresses, and evening programming. She or he provides ongoing support to resolve technical issues during the conference, and, in consultation with the Chief Technology Officer, transmits of list of requested equipment purchases for ongoing support of the conference for approval from the Board at the meeting after the conference.
The Editor-in-Chief of the Association’s scholarly journal, the JFA Editor presents an annual report of the journal’s activities at the annual business meeting of the ICFA and transmits a detailed report on the status of the journal’s editorial projects at the Board meeting following the conference. The JFA Editor is appointed by the Present to a five-year term, after formal discussion and majority vote by the other elected officers. There are no limits to the number of consecutive appointments to this role. Members of the JFA’s Editorial Board and editorial staff are appointed by the JFA Editor.
Book Room Liaison
The Book Room Liaison plans and conducts the assembly, display, and disposition of books of interest to scholars of the fantastic. The Book Room Liaison is responsible for receiving shipments of books from publishers and arranging for their display, and reporting to the President during the conference. In consultation with the President and the Treasurer, the Book Room Liaison arranges for the books of the guest author to be available at the conference; all other attending authors are responsible for making their own arrangements to have their publishers ship books to the Book Room Liaison. The Book Room Liaison also arranges for autograph sessions by guest authors and distributes books as luncheon favours for attendees. The Book Room Liaison is appointed by the Present after formal discussion and majority vote of the Board.
Crawford Award Director
The Crawford Awards Director develops and directs procedures for selecting the annual Crawford Award winner and shortlist. She or he arranges for the award jury, notifies the winner, and working with the Registration/Membership Coordinator and Conference Director, arranges for the winner to attend the ICFA when possible. The Awards Director is appointed by the President for a five-year term, after formal discussion and majority vote of the other elected officers.
Program Book Editor
The Program Book Editor, in consultation with the First Vice President, the Second Vice President, the Public Information Officer, and the Registration/Membership Coordinator, is responsible for the layout, proofreading, editing, printing, and delivery of the annual conference program book. The Program Book Editor also liaises with one or more printers to find an economical method of delivering this publication to the membership in a timely manner. The Program Book Editor is appointed by the President, after formal discussion and majority vote of the other elected officers.
Each Division Head organizes and supervises all conference activity within a subdivision of fantastic scholarship. Division Heads work under the guidance of the First Vice President. Division Heads are responsible for recruiting session proposals and papers and are responsible for formatting these to the requirements of the First Vice President Division Heads are responsible for forwarding all information to the First Vice President in a timely fashion. Division Heads have the responsibility to check the draft program for accuracy and AV needs. Division Heads are expected to liaise with other Division Heads and the First Vice President. The First Vice President is the final arbiter of the program under the aegis of the Executive Board. At the conference the Division Heads oversee sessions in their respective Divisions and collect suggestions for future topics, special guests, etc.
The eight Divisions of the Conference Program are Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Art, Fantasy Literature, International Fantastic Literature, Gothic and Horror Literature, Science Fiction Literation, Film and Television, Visual and Performing Arts and Audiences, and Fairy Tales and Folk Narratives. These may be altered by a decision of the Executive Board. Division Heads are appointed by the First Vice President, who chairs the Council of Division Heads, after formal discussion and majority vote of the Board. A call for applications open to the full membership will be used to generate the names of candidates to be considered for such appointments.
Division Heads serve for three-year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms of service. After a period outside of Division Head service, a candidate may seek reappointment for another term, which is again renewable for a total of six years of continuous service.
V: Amendments to Constitution and Bylaws
Procedural Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws may be initiated by any Association member or conference officer and ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board and overturned by a two-thirds vote of the full membership of the IAFA following a petition to the Board by 25% of said membership.
VI: Action by Petition
Any action of the Board may be challenged through a petition signed by 25% of the total membership of the IAFA and overturned by a two-thirds vote of the full membership of the IAFA.
Any member of the Executive Board may be challenged through a petition signed by 25% of the total membership of the IAFA and recalled by a two-thirds vote of the full membership of the IAFA.
Any active member may initiate an action through a petition signed by 25% of the total membership of the IAFA and enacted by a two-thirds vote of the full membership of the IAFA.