Constitution and bye-laws

This version of the Constitution and bye-laws is in operation from 2014 pending ratification by the next AGM. 

To download the constitution, click here.

To download the bye-laws, click here.

Constitution

I. Name

The name of the Society shall be the International John Bunyan Society (IJBS).

II. Purpose

The aims of the Society shall be:

  • to promote scholarship devoted to the life, works and influence of John Bunyan (1628–1688), and to the literature, culture, history and heritage of British Nonconformity and Dissent;
  • to facilitate communication between scholars sharing an interest in Bunyan and Dissenting studies, by such means as shall be available (website, listserv, social networks, etc.);
  • to set up and maintain publications to promote scholarship in the fields of interest to the IJBS;
  • to organise a triennial international conference;
  • to encourage public awareness of Bunyan studies.

III. Membership

Any person interested in the purposes of the Society as listed in Section II of this Constitution can become a member by payment of a membership fee as determined by the Executive Committee

IV. Officers

  1. The elected officers of the Society shall be the President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Treasurer(s) and Editor of the Newsletter. The elected officers shall serve for a term of three years, renewable once, except for the President and Vice-President whose terms are generally non-renewable. In exceptional circumstances, elected officers may serve for another term.
  2. The Vice-President is the automatic nominee for the position of President upon the current President’s retirement, and is acclaimed as President if he or she accepts the nomination.
  3. Names of candidates for the offices of Vice-President, General Secretary, Treasurer(s) and Editor of the Newsletter shall be proposed by the Executive Committee to members and honorary members at least sixty days in advance of the triennial Business Meeting. The officers will then be elected by a show of hands at the Business Meeting by a majority vote of members who are either present at, or have registered a proxy vote for, the meeting.

V. Executive Committee

  1. There shall be an Executive Committee, composed of the elected officers as described in Section IV.1 of the Constitution.
  2. One of the editors of Bunyan Studies shall be an ex officio member of the Executive Committee.
  3. The Executive Committee may appoint other ex officio

VI. Triennial conference

There shall be an international conference organised every three years by the President.

 VII. Triennal Meeting

The Society shall hold a Business Meeting at least once every three years, normally at its triennial international conference. Ten members of the Society shall constitute a quorum. This meeting may be cancelled by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. If a Business Meeting is cancelled, the Executive Committee shall continue to serve until such time as an election by mail (or other secure means) can be held.

 VIII. Amendments

Amendments to this Constitution shall be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee and ratified by a majority vote of members who are either present at, or have registered a proxy vote for, the Business Meeting.

Bye-laws

I. Membership

Paying members are entitled to certain advantages such as receiving the official publications of the Society, using a moderated listserv, proposing papers or panels to the triennial conference.

 II. Honorary Membership

Life-membership may be conferred upon scholars, experts, or public personalities of international standing whose life and work have promosted awareness of Protestant Dissenting history and literature and/or contributed significantly to research, teaching and public engagement in the field of Protestant Dissenting studies. Honorary members shall receive the same privileges as full members. A nomination for Honorary Membership must bear the signatures of at least five members and be received by the General Secretary at least sixty days in advance of the triennial Business Meeting. The Executive Committee shall determine which nominations shall go forward for election.

 III. Institutional Membership

Institutional membership of the Society shall be available at a rate determined by the Executive Committee for a period of five years. Institutional members shall receive the Society’s publications and, with the Executive Committee’s approval, shall be able to advertise academic programmes and library collections at the triennal conferences.

 IV Executive Committee and Officers

  1. The Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall administer the affairs of the Society. All decisions shall be by a simple majority. In case of a tie, the President shall have the casting vote. The Executive Committee normally conducts business by email but meets in person at the triennial conference. Proxy votes for the conference meeting should be submitted in writing or email to the General Secretary at least seven days before the meeting. No officer can carry more than two proxy votes. Three officers, present or represented by a proxy vote, constitute a quorum.
  2. The President. The President shall be the chief executive officer of the Society and, in consultation with the General Secretary, shall act on behalf of the Executive Committee in the administration of the Society. The President shall be responsible for the intellectual, strategic and administrative leadership of the Society and for holding the international triennial conference at his/her institution or other suitable venue. The President shall chair the meetings of the Executive Committee and the triennial Business Meetings. The President shall nominate the Chair and the members of the Greaves Committee.
  3. The Vice-President. The Vice-President shall assist the President in any matters assigned by the President and serve as a key advisor to the President and the Executive on all matters that may arise or require consultation. In exceptional circumstances, and if agreed by a majority of the other members of the Executive Committee, the Vice-President shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the President.
  4. The General Secretary. The General Secretary shall serve as the overall coordinator of the Society and manage its daily activities in accordance with the decisions and policies of the Executive Committee and in consultation with the President. The General Secretary shall be responsible for all matters pertaining to the membership and honorary membership of the Society, as well as its communication strategy and the promotion of its activities. The Secretary maintains continuity by ensuring that nominees are available for positions on the Executive Committee. The General Secretary shall report on the activities of the Society at the triennial Business Meeting.
  5. The Treasurer(s). The Treasurer(s) shall, in accordance with the decisions and policies of the Executive Committee and the President, manage the financial assets of the Society and the collection and disbursement of its funds. The number of Treasurers shall be determined by the Executive Committee in accordance with prevailing circumstances.
  6. The Editor of the Newsletter. The Editor shall ensure the regular publication of the Newsletter. The editor shall determine the editorial policy and contents of the Newsletter in consultation with the President and Executive Committee.
  7. The Editorial representative of Bunyan Studies. The Editorial representative, together with other members of the editorial team, shall ensure the regular appearance of the official publication of the Society and arrange for peer-review of submissions. The editorial

 V. Greaves Committee

The Richard L. Greaves Prize shall be awarded at the triennial conference for an outstanding book-length work of scholarship devoted to the history, literature, thought, practices and legacy of Anglophone Protestantism to 1700. The Prize is funded by a grant in perpetuity from the family of the late Richard L. Greaves. The Greaves Committee shall comprise a Chair and between two and four members nominated by the President for three years, generally non-renewable.

 VI. Business Meeting

  1. At the triennial conference a Business Meeting shall be convened for a report on and review of the actions of the Executive Committee and for the transaction of other business including the election of officers.
  2. Voting shall be conducted in accordance with Sections I and II of these bye-laws, each member having one vote. Proxy votes should be submitted in writing or email to the General Secretary at least thirty days before the Business Meeting.

VII. International Gatherings

The Executive Committee shall seek to affiliate the IJBS with other learned societies and to organize panels at international scholarly conferences and gatherings. With the executive committee’s approval, IJBS members may organise informal meetings on such occasions and may present resolutions to the Executive Committee.

 VIII. Regional Gatherings

Members of the IJBS may propose regional meetings to the Executive Committee, to be held between triennial conferences. These may take the form of one-day meetings of IJBS members, or of one-day conferences, colloquiums and symposiums open to non-members, followed by an informal meeting of IJBS members. Such informal meetings may present resolutions to the Executive Committee.

 IX. Resolutions

  1. The Executive Committee may propose resolutions, to be adopted by a majority vote of those members present, or having registered a proxy vote in the manner described in Section VI.2 of the bye-laws, at the triennial Business Meeting.
  2. The Executive Committee shall receive resolutions submitted by members of the Society or by regional meetings. All resolutions must bear the signatures of at least five members and be received in writing or email by the General Secretary at least sixty days before the Business Meeting.
  3. The Executive Committee shall determine if a resolution shall go forward to the Business Meeting.
  4. No resolution may be proposed on the floor of the Business Meeting.

 X. Amendments

  1. The Executive Committee may propose amendments to the bye-laws, to be ratified by the majority vote of members present, or having registered a proxy vote in the manner described in Section VI.2, at the triennial Business Meeting.
  2. The Executive Committee shall receive proposed amendments submitted by members of the Society. All proposed amendments must bear the signatures of at least five members and be received in writing or email by the General Secretary at least sixty days before the Business meeting.
  3. The Executive Committee shall determine if a proposed amendment shall go forward to the Business Meeting.
  4. No amendments may be proposed on the floor of the Business Meeting.

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