CONSTITUTION OF THE AMERICAN
HUMOR STUDIES ASSOCIATION
I.1 NAME The name of the
organization shall be THE AMERICAN HUMOR STUDIES ASSOCIATION.
II.1 PURPOSE The purpose
of the Association shall be to foster and to promote study, criticism,
and research in American humor in all its varied aspects.
III.1 FINANCES The Association shall be a not-for-profit organization
whose revenues shall support the aforementioned purposes within the meaning
of Section 501-(c)-(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Such sections of
the Internal Revinue Code as bear on 501-(c)-(3) corporations, including
501-(c)-(3) (1954), 501 (h), 509 (a), 4942, 4941 (d), 4943 (c), 4944,
4945 (d) or corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal tax laws
shall be presumed to define the limits of activities by the Association.
III. 2 The Association shall be financed by annual membership dues. The
amount of the dues shall be determined by the Governing Board.
III. 3 The finances of the organization shall be audited each year, and
the result of the audit shall be included in the annual financial report
of the Treasurer to the Association.
IV. 1 MEMBERSHIP Membership is open to all persons.
IV. 2 Active membership in the Association shall begin when the Treasurer
receives the first payment of annual dues. Any member whose dues are in
arrears one month after the mailing of a second notice to the last recorded
address shall be dropped from membership rolls. Members who have been
thus dropped may be reinstated upon payment of one year's dues in advance.
No retroactive dues, payments, or penalties shall be assessed. Only active
members may vote or hold office in the Association.
IV. 3 Scholarly institutions and organizations may have institutional
memberships in the Association. Universities and similar organizations
interested in promoting the study of American humor may become institutional
IV. 4 The Governing Board may designate one person each year as an Honorary
Life Member. Such persons shall be exempt from paying dues but shall enjoy
all the privileges and benefits of active members.
V. 1 OFFICERS The officers shall be a President, First Vice-President,
Second Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Director, and editors
of the publications of the Association. Offices other than the three Presidential
successions and the editorships may be combined as best suits the smooth
functioning of the organization. Terms of office shall be for one year
with the exception of the Executive Director, which will be for five years.
Upon expiration of the President's term, the Vice-Presidents will advance
VI. 1 ADMINISTRATION The administration of the Association shall be in
the hands of the Governing Board, which shall consist of the Officers
of the Association, the past-President of the Association in the year
following the term of office, the editors of the journal and newsletter
of the Association and elected members up to a total of fifteen. Past
Presidents may remain ex officio members of the Board, serving in an advisory
capacity if they do not seek active membership on the Board.
VI. 2 The Governing Board shall be responsible for the general policy
and conduct of the Association.
VI. 3 The President and Executive Director, or their designees, shall
be responsible for implementing the policy of the Association and organizing
professional programs for scholarly meetings. The President shall preside
over at least one annual MLA convention program by virtue of the office.
The Executive Director shall preside over the meetings of the Governing
Board by virtue of the office and conduct the day-to-day business of the
VI. 4 The Secretary shall maintain membership rolls and take minutes of
meetings of the Governing Board and of the Association for publication
in the newsletter or independently to the members of the Board. The Treasurer
shall receive, disburse, and record funds and shall be responsible for
making an annual financial report in writing to the Board. The Vice-Presidents
shall assist the President as required, advancing one rank per year to
that office. The editors of the journal and newsletter will be responsible
for conducting those matters with the approval of the Board, in conformity
with its broad policies.
VI. 5 By-laws for the governance of the Association shall be made by the
Governing Board. The by-laws may be amended by a majority vote of the
membership at a general meeting which has been announced by mail at least
one month in advance and takes place at an annual meeting of the MLA or
VI. 6 Robert's Rules of Order, current edition, governs the conduct of
VI. 7 The Governing Board shall meet at least once a year.
VII. 1 PUBLICATIONS The Association shall sponsor the publication of a
scholarly journal and newsletter as official publications of the Association
for the benefit of the general membership. A portion of each member's
dues shall be assigned to those publications to pay their costs. Each
member shall receive such publications as are issued during the period
of his membership.
VII. 2 The publications shall remain independent from the Association,
affiliated by voluntary agreement, which may be terminated with one year's
notice by either party, or immediately by mutual consent, or upon the
termination of publication of either entity or termination of the Association.
VII. 3 The editors shall make annual reports to the Association. Their
files and records shall be open to the Governing Board.
VIII. 1 ELECTIONS A Nominating Committee made up of the present elected
officers of the Association shall put forth the names of candidates for
offices in the Association at the annual meeting of the Governing Board.
Any member of the Association may be nominated for the offices of Second
Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, or Executive Director upon presenting
a petition containing the signatures of 10 members of the Association
three months prior to the annual meeting. In such cases where more than
a single candidate is nominated for an office, an election shall be held
by mail ballot two months prior to the annual meeting with any run-off
election occurring one month prior to the annual meeting.
VIII. 2 The Governing Board shall be elected by voluntary appearance up
to the limit of 15 at the annual meeting of the Governing Board. Officers
of the Association and editors of its publications shall be automatic
members of the Governing Board. In the event that more than 15 people
wish to participate in the governance of the Association, the Board may
(a) expand its numbers, or (b) submit all the names of potential board
members to mail vote by the full membership, suspending all business other
than reports until the next meeting of the Board.
VIII. 3 Election results and the names of officers shall be announced
in the newsletter.
IX. 1 MEETINGS An annual meeting of the Association and its Governing
Board will be held at a suitable time and place, with preference given
to the annual convention of the Modern Language Association or the American
Literature Association, in order of length of time affiliated, as long
as the American Humor Studies Association remains affiliated with them.
This provision will be automatically altered to reflect changes in affiliate
status as appropriate.
X. 1 AMENDMENTS Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by a majority
vote of the Governing Board or a majority vote at a general meeting that
has been announced by mail at least one month in advance of an annual
meeting. Such proposed amendments shall be submitted by mail, either separately
or within the newsletter as a separate page, to the general membership.
A majority of persons returning ballots shall determine approval or denial
of the proposed amendment. VI.3, VI.5, and IX.1 will be altered automatically
to reflect any change in affiliate status with cooperating scholarly organizations.
XI. 1 DISSOLUTION The Association may be dissolved upon recommendation
of the Governing Board and a two-thirds majority vote of the members.
A meeting called for the purpose of dissolution must be announced by mail
at least one month in advance.
XI. 2 In the event of dissolution of the Association, all assets left
after the liabilities have been met shall be disposed of in a way amenable
to Section 501-(c)-(3) and other pertinent sections of the Internal Revenue
This Constitution was adopted by the Association on December 26, 1975
and revised on December 29, 1991. A copy of this Constitution will be
mailed to all new members upon joining the Association upon request.
- On December 26, 1975, through the efforts of
Professor Jack Meathenia of Southwest Texas State University, the American
Humor Studies Association came into being, dedicated to the study of
all areas of American humor, including belles lettres, popular comics,
film, television, and other multimedia.
- At AHSA’s first formal meeting the membership
adopted a constitution and extended a life membership to Walter Blair
for services to the profession. Arlin Turner and M. Thomas Inge reported
on the state scholarship in American Humor.
- MLA Convention and American Literature Convention
programs provide AHSA with annual forums and major events.
- AHSA presents two sessions annually at both
MLA and ALA conventions. Previous sessions have covered early humor,
comics, graphic art, cross-cultural, cross-regional, Jewish, postmodernist,
and political humor.
- Both Studies in American Humor and
To Wit (newsletter) are published under AHSA auspices.
- AHSA has sponsored joint conferences with the
Mark Twain Society of America in Cancun, Mexico.
Copyright © 2000-2011
American Humor Studies Association