Constitution

ISTW Constitution – September 2001, as amended, March 2006
& February 2011

1. The name of the organization is The International Society for Travel Writing (ISTW).

2. Its goals are to encourage and foster the work of scholars, critics, and practitioners of travel writing through conferences, conference sessions, informal meetings, and electronic media.  In the future, ISTW may sponsor formal publications, including, for example, conference proceedings, bibliographies, anthologies, and a scholarly or scholarly-creative journal.

3.0 ISTW recognizes (full) members of the Society and affiliates.

3.1 Members pay dues to the Society (or have those dues exempted as outlined in  3.5 ).  Dues will be collected annually ; the conference organizing committee may also serve as the Treasurer's proxy in this function.  The amount of the dues will be determined by the officers and steering committee. New members wishing to join during the year should consult the membership officer.

3.2  Dues include a reduced annual subscription to Studies in Travel Writing, an entitlement to reduced fees for Society conferences when feasible (i.e. when the Society’s funds allow), and other benefits to be determined by the officers and steering committee. Members already receiving Studies in Travel Writing (e.g.  from existing private subscriptions or in receipt of complimentary copies as editorial  board members) may choose either to take a second copy or to forego it and to donate their full membership fee to the Society.

3.3 All paid-up members (and only paid-up members) may vote in elections and in referenda which the officers or steering committee puts forward.   All elections will be conducted electronically; all decisions will be based on the number of votes cast by the date specified in the ballot.

3.4 The dues collected may also be used to support activities of the Society intended to increase the visibility of the Society; to create opportunities for publication by members of the Society; to disseminate published work by members of the Society; and to support special events or projects, such as those related to conferences that the Society sponsors.

3.5  At the determination of the officers, dues may be waived or reduced for members from countries where the additional cost would prove prohibitive to participation.

3.6 All current recipients of the “Snapshot Traveller” mailing list are affiliates of ISTW; other people become affiliates by contacting the executive secretary. In all cases interested parties are strongly encouraged to take out full membership of the Society.

4.0 The officers will be a president, two vice presidents (only one of whom may be from North America), a treasurer, and an executive secretary.   Officers will be elected by Members of ISTW.

4.1 Officers’ duties include recruitment of new members, keeping up-to-date membership lists (Membership Officer), publicizing, promoting and developing the activities of the Society, assisting in the preparation of conferences, conduct of elections (see clause 6), and other responsibilities as agreed by the Steering Committee.

4.2 The president and vice presidents will decide, in consultation with the steering committee, on the sites and sponsorships of ISTW conferences, implement proposals approved by the steering committee or the membership at large. 

4.3 The president will work actively for the future of ISTW, for example, by seeking out opportunities for publications, proposing standing panels at national and international conferences and applying for grants directly or through the steering committee. The president will write an annual report to the membership on ISTW activities, which will incorporate  details of finances and membership prepared by the Treasurer and Membership Officers respectively.

4.4 The executive secretary will publish agendas and minutes for all formal meetings of the officers and the steering committee, and will conduct elections and referenda as necessary. The executive secretary will inform members, affiliates, or both about anything related to the Society’s mission by regular publications such as Snapshot Traveller.

4.5 The Treasurer will be responsible for handling all the income and expenses of the Society

4.6  Leadership of the Society will also include the advisory office of immediate past president, to be filled by the outgoing president for a period of four years.  The immediate past president will serve as an ex officio member of the steering committee.

4.7 The President and Vice Presidents will serve for four-year terms.

4.8 Should a vacancy occur, the remainder of the term will be filled by conducting a special election.

4.9 The executive secretary and Treasurer will be appointed by the other officers, and will serve at their pleasure.

5.0 The Society will have a steering committee of eight members, elected by the members This committee should represent broad constituencies, for example  travel writers, scholars from several relevant academic fields and people of various academic ranks, including graduate students.

5.1 The president will chair the steering committee; the other officers will be ex officio members of that committee

5.2 The steering committee will seek ways to increase the presence and membership of the society, advise the officers on opportunities for grants, public forums, publishing opportunities, and the like, and propose activities which will further the goals of the Society.

5.3 Members of the steering committee will be asked to take on specific duties and responsibilities.  These will include conducting elections (see section 6.0 below), coordinating the Society’s web site and publicity, being liaison to  the local committee organize conferences, and keeping track of membership.

5.3 The steering committee may create task groups to carry out projects of interest to the society, for example, on pedagogy and curriculum or on access to archives.  

5.4 The steering committee members will serve for four years.

5.5 The steering committee will formally meet at each Society-sponsored conference.  However, the committee may conduct its business through electronic and surface means.  The committee will formally act upon proposals from the president, and it may propose initiatives of its own.  It will also periodically seek suggestions from the membership at large.

6.0 One member of the steering committee will conduct elections, serving as Elections Officer. This person cannot be a candidate for office.  This person will seek nominations, including self nominations from the membership. Those standing for election must be paid-up members at the time of election.

6.1 The Elections Officer  will gather brief biographies of the candidates to go out with the ballot,  will also certify the results of each election, and will devise means to resolve tie votes.

7.0 The ISTW fiscal year will start on January 1.  Election ballots, referenda (if any), and the presidential reports will be circulated to the membership around the turn of each year—ballots must be returned by four weeks after this date.

8.0 The Society must take special care not to incur debts. 

9.0 This Constitution may be amended by a majority of members’ votes cast.  Amendments may be proposed by the President, the steering committee, or any group of twenty members.

10.0 The Society may dissolve itself by a majority of votes cast.  If, at the time of dissolution, the Society has money in its treasury after paying any sums owed to Taylor & Francis for the discounted copies of Studies in Travel Writing or to other parties for contracted services or goods, the disposal of those funds will be specified.