Constitution of the Association
Article I. NAME AND OBJECT
Sec. 1 - This society shall be known as the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association.
Sec. 2 - Its object shall be the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of ancient and modern languages and literatures.
Article II. OFFICERS
Sec. 1 - The officers of the Association shall be a President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, General Editor of Pacific Coast Philology, and Executive Director. The President and Vice Presidents shall be elected for one-year terms with a pattern of succession at the end of the term as follows: the Second Vice President shall become the First Vice President; the First Vice President shall succeed to the Presidency. The General Editor and Executive Director shall be appointed for a renewable three-year terms.
Sec. 2 - There shall be an Executive Committee composed of the above officers, the immediate past President, and six other members. The immediate past President will serve for one year. The six other members of the Executive Committee shall be elected for three-year terms with two members elected each year. In addition, one graduate student member shall be elected for a two year term.
Sec. 3 - The above officers and members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by mail ballot and their names announced at the annual Plenary Session. Their term of office will begin at the conclusion of that Plenary Session.
Sec. 4 - Officers and Executive Committee members, with the exception of the General Editor and the Executive Director, ordinarily may not be re-elected to succeeding terms in the same office.
Article III. MEMBERS
Sec. 1 - Anyone interested in language and literary studies may become a member of the Association upon application to the Executive Director and the payment of the first year's annual dues.
Sec. 2 - The amount of annual dues shall be determined by the Executive Committee, with the approval of the members.
Article IV. MEETINGS
Sec. 1 - The Association, which first met in San Francisco in 1899, shall hold an annual fall conference at a western city determined at the preceding conference of the Association.
Sec. 2 - There shall be a regular Plenary Session at each conference, at which time the Executive Committee shall present an annual report on the progress of the Association.
Sec. 3 - Action on any item at the annual Plenary Session, including resolutions, amendments to the Constitution, and changes in operating procedure, will require a quorum equal to ten percent of the membership listed on record. If such a quorum is not present, the Executive Committee is empowered to act on the agenda of the Plenary Session unless ten percent of those in attendance request a mail ballot on action items. If the mail ballot produces less than a ten percent response, the Executive Committee shall be empowered to act on the item(s).
Sec. 4 - The general arrangements of the proceedings of the conference shall be directed by the Executive Committee.
Sec. 5 - Special meetings may be held at the call of the Executive Committee, when and where they may decide.
Article V. PAPERS AND PUBLICATIONS
Sec. 1 - All papers to be read at the conference must be approved in advance by the presiding officers of the appropriate Sessions. When called upon, the Executive Director shall make the final decision concerning papers.
Sec. 2 - Publications of the Association, of whatever kind, shall be made only under the authorization of the Executive Committee.
Article VI. AMENDMENTS
Sec. 1 - Amendments to this Constitution may be made by a vote of two-thirds of those present at the regular Plenary Session subsequent to that in which they have been proposed, providing a quorum is present.
Sec. 2 - Changes in the operating procedure of the Association, as distinct from its Constitution, may be made by a majority vote of those present at any regular Plenary Session, providing a quorum is present.
Standing Operating Procedures
The operating procedures of the Association are generally determined by the Executive Committee in conformity with the Constitution. Members may propose changes by writing to the Executive Committee. The Committee presents its decisions for approval to the members at the next annual Plenary Session.
Invitations to the Association from institutions that wish to host the annual conference are received by the President and acted upon by the Executive Committee. Each year at the regular Plenary Session, an invitation is accepted for the following year. It is the responsibility of the Second Vice President to secure an invitation for the year in which he or she will serve as President. This invitation should be in hand by the conference one year prior to the conference date.
A Local Committee of members from the host institution is responsible for securing and providing facilities for the conference, for securing funds for the Plenary Speaker in an amount determined by the Executive Committee, and for reporting its arrangements to the Executive Director. The President appoints the chair of this committee, who, in turn, selects its other members.
At each conference, the President, in meeting with the Executive Committee, appoints an Auditing Committee, consisting normally of two members, which examines the books of the Executive Director and reports to the other members at the Plenary Session.
Anyone submitting a paper for possible presentation at the conference or serving as an officer, discussant, or participant in the sessions, workshops, seminars, or panels must be a dues-paid member of PAMLA for the current calendar year. By reciprocal agreement, PAMLA members may participate in the Northeast MLA annual conference (March) and NEMLA members will be accepted by the PAMLA.
SUBMISSION OF PAPERS
The same paper may not be submitted to more than one session, but presiding officers may reroute a paper to a second session. More than one paper may be submitted to different sessions, provided the presiding officers are informed at the time of submission. Presiding officers may not accept more than one paper from a colleague or graduate student in their own institution. Normally, presiding officers may not read a paper in the same session over which they preside. A member may preside over only one session, may not present more than one paper at a conference, nor have a paper read in absentia. The Executive Director and presiding officers shall resolve any conflicts that may arise.
The following General Sessions present programs at the Association's annual conference: African American Literature, American Literature before 1865, American Literature after 1865, Ancient-Modern Relations, Asian Literature, Asian American Literature, Autobiography, Beowulf and Related Topics, Chaucer and Related Topics, Children's Literature, Classics (Greek), Classics (Latin), Comparative Literature, Comparative Media, Composition and Rhetoric, Critical Theory, East-West Literary Relations, English (to 1700), English (1700 to present), Film and Literature, Film Studies, Folklore and Mythology, French, Gay and Lesbian Literature, Germanics, Graphic Novels, Indigenous Literature, Italian, Italian Cinema, Jewish Literature and Culture, Latina/o Literature and Culture, Linguistics, Literature & the Other Arts, Literature & Religion, Medieval Literature, Modern Austrian Literature, Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Culture, Oceanic Literatures and Cultures, Poetry and Poetics, Postcolonial Literature, Postcolonial Women's Writing, Rhetorical Approaches to Literature, Romanticism, Scandinavian Literature, Science Fiction, Shakespeare and Related Topics, Spanish and Portuguese (Latin American), Spanish and Portuguese (Peninsular), Teaching with the Internet and Technology, Travel and Literature, Women in Literature.
The General Sessions are open-topic, paper-reading sessions. Any General Session that does not convene for two consecutive years will be struck from the roster. It may be reinstated upon written request by twenty members of PAMLA. Each General Session has its presiding officer. At the conclusion of each Session's program, the presiding officer calls for nominations from the floor for the office of presiding officer and conducts an election by written ballot. Candidates for the office must be members of PAMLA. The nominee receiving the most votes will be presiding officer the following year. In the event that any presiding officer is unable to serve, the Executive Director of the Association, acting for the Executive Committee, will designate another member to take his or her place.
The presiding officers are responsible for drawing up the programs of their own sessions and for submitting them to the Executive Director. The presiding officer will also file a report with the Executive Committee immediately following the conference. This report will include a brief summary and evaluation of the Session's program, the results and statistics of any elections, as well as attendance figures. The presiding officers should include evaluations and suggestions from those in attendance. The Executive Committee will use these reports, and other appropriate information, to review the sectional structure of PAMLA and, as needed, make suggestions for modification at the next annual Plenary Session.
The presiding officer of a general session may recommend outstanding papers to be submitted by their presenters in triplicate to the General Editor (and his/her committee) for possible publication in Pacific Coast Philology. Deadline for this submission is January 15 following the conference in which the paper was presented.
Workshops, seminars, or panels on any topic with a special focus and more specific focus than those of the General Sessions may be proposed for each conference at the written request of any member of PAMLA. Proposals should be sent to the First Vice President by December 15 of the year preceding the conference so that they may be evaluated and selected with a view to a balanced program. The workshop, seminar, or panel presiding officer will be responsible for inviting participants, designing the program, and submitting it to the Executive Director. No more than one presenter may be from the presiding officer's own institution.
The presiding officer of a special session may recommend outstanding papers to be submitted by its presenter in triplicate to the Association's President (and his/her committee) for possible publication in Pacific Coast Philology. Deadline for this submission is January 15 following the conference in which the paper was presented.
After meeting for a period of three consecutive years, a special session may be considered for general session status upon petition from at least two PAMLA members.
Sessions last for one and a half hours. In drawing up the program of their own sessions, presiding officers are responsible for the format and for ensuring that a minimum of 15 minutes be allowed for discussion, including participation from the audience, which they shall facilitate. They shall accordingly adjust the number and length of presentations in their session.
ALLIED ORGANIZATION STATUS
An organization may apply for allied status to PAMLA, to be granted at the discretion of the Executive Committee for a five-year renewable term. Allied organizations may hold one session, not to exceed one and one-half hours, at the PAMLA conference. Participants in such special sessions must be members of PAMLA.
PACIFIC COAST PHILOLOGY
Pacific Coast Philology will annually publish PAMLA members' essays. Participants in the annual conference are encouraged to develop their presentations into publishable articles. The journal will also annually publish up to five reviews of recent works by PAMLA members, and members may be solicited to submit their books for review. Supplemental issues of the journal and additional monographs serving the interest of the Association may be published, when funds are available, under the authorization of the Executive Committee.
Due to the diversity of the readership, all essays submitted to Pacific Coast Philology should be in English. PAMLA membership must be current at the time of submission of essays, as well as during the year of publication.
Pacific Coast Philology is edited by the incoming President of PAMLA, in consultation with the First and Second Vice- Presidents and the General Editor. The Executive Committee shall appoint an advisory board as referees to judge those manuscripts having the best potential for publication. The President shall make the final selection of essays. The Executive Director is authorized to pay expenses for one editorial conference each year.
Pacific Coast Philology is managed by a General Editor, appointed for renewable three-year terms by the Executive Committee. The General Editor receives and distributes submitted essays to members of the Editorial Committee; receives books for review and obtains reviewers; handles correspondence with authors, reviewers, and subscribers; copy-edits and proofreads the annual conference program (which is subsequently published on the PAMLA website); copy-edits and proofreads all materials for the journal and sees the journal through the publication process; maintains the subscription database; oversees mailing of the journal; and approves permissions to republish materials from the journal. The General Editor sits on the Executive Committee in an ex officio capacity, making annual reports on the production and finances of the journal and presenting proposals concerning the journal.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS OF PAMLA
Each year the president appoints a Nominating Committee, consisting of the three most recent former Presidents of the Association. When it is impossible for a past-President to serve, the current President may fill that vacancy. The Nominating Committee shall nominate two candidates for each vacant office (except the President and First Vice President when succession follows the order described in the Constitution, Article II, Sec. 1; the General Editor; and the Executive Director), giving fair representation to the several geographical areas and literary and linguistic fields of the members. The individuals nominated as General Editor and Executive Director will be approved by the Executive Committee before taking office. In addition, any member of the Association may initiate a petition nominating additional members as candidates for the office of Second Vice President and for each of the vacancies on the Executive Committee. Petitions must be signed by at least 25 members of the Association and presented to the Executive Director by March 1.
The Executive Director shall prepare an official ballot of the nominations proposed by the Nominating Committee and any additional nominations proposed by petition of members of the Association (see preceding paragraph). The ballot will be mailed with the dues notice in April. Members must return ballots by mail in time to arrive at the office of the Executive Director by June 1. The nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected, and their names shall be announced at the Plenary Session.
Annual dues to the Association are $50.00 regular membership, $30.00 for lecturers, $80.00 joint membership, and $25.00 for graduate students and emeriti. A regular multi-year membership (three years) is available for $135.00 and lifetime membership for $420.00. All persons attending conferences of the Association will be charged a registration fee beyond the regular membership fee sufficient to help defray expenses of the conference.
At the beginning of each calendar year, the Executive Director sends to all members of record at the close of the preceding year for a Call for Papers to be given at the conference in the fall. This mailing will also include the minutes of the last Plenary Session, as well as a report of all actions taken by the Executive Committee, and any other information of interest to the membership. The immediate past President will approve the minutes before they are mailed, and the members will approve them at the next Plenary Session.
The Executive Director is responsible, with the assistance of the Sessions' presiding officers and the chair of the Host Committee, for the preparation and publication of a program of the conference. Conference participants who are not members by the time of publication of the conference program will be dropped from the program.
Remuneration of the Executive Director, and allotments to him or her for secretarial assistance, are determined by the Executive Committee, subject to approval by the members. By decisions of the Executive Committee as ratified in the Regular Plenary Sessions of 1967 and 1973, the Association pays for expenses incurred by the Executive Director in attending the conference or other meetings on behalf of the Association and not reimbursed from other sources. The financial allowance made by the Association to the Executive Director was set in 2010 at a total of eight thousand dollars, out of which he or she pays any assistance that he or she might employ. Members of the Executive Committee may be reimbursed, if funds are available, for travel on behalf of the Association.
The Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association has been affiliated since its founding as the Philological Association of the Pacific Coast in 1899 with the American Philological Association, and since 1917 with the Modern Language Association of America. Proceedings of the conferences of the PAMLA are published in PMLA. The Executive Director or a representative of PAMLA is a voting member of the MLA Delegate Assembly representing the region.