By-Laws

Ratified: 26 June 2010, Bologna, Italy

Article I. Name

1.  The name of this organization is and shall be Women and Film History International, hereinafter referred to as WFHI or “the organization.”

Article II. Purpose

1.  WFHI is an exclusively educational organization existing to promote the study of women’s participation in film histories worldwide, to encourage public awareness of such participation, and to further historical, theoretical, political, and/or aesthetic evaluations of film culture that understand women’s participation as a defining feature. WFHI: provides a clearinghouse for information relevant to its mission; encourages collaboration among sister organizations; and supports film programs, congresses, conferences, and symposia. The organization developed through the 1999 Utrecht Gender and Silent Cinema conference and subsequent Women and the Silent Conferences. It supports work on all periods of film history.

Article III. Membership

1.   Membership. Any individual sharing the aims of the organization may join it at any time by subscribing to its electronic mailing list.

2.   Should WFHI decide to collect membership dues, only those individuals paying their dues in advance of the next regular biennial meeting shall be considered members as described herein. In that event, WHFI shall continue to welcome interested parties to join its electronic mailing list, but such affiliation shall not, in and of itself, constitute membership in the organization.

3.  The amount of dues and the schedule for their collection shall be proposed by the Steering Committee and ratified by a two-thirds vote of members present.

Article IV: Officers

1.  WHFI shall have the following officers: a Steering Committee Chair, an Executive Secretary, and a Membership Secretary.

  1. The Steering Committee Chair shall be responsible for convening and directing physical and electronic meetings of the Steering Committee and for communicating decisions of the Steering Committee to the membership.

b.  The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for implementing decisions of the Steering Committee, convening and presiding over meetings of the membership, maintaining the archives of the organization (including meeting minutes), and for public communications of the organization as directed and approved by the Steering Committee. The Executive Secretary serves as WHFI’s liaison to other organizations.

  1. The Membership Secretary shall maintain a current list of members, record all votes of the Steering Committee and membership for entry into meeting minutes, and, should the members vote to levy dues, shall collect and disburse WHFI’s monies at the direction of the Steering Committee.

2.  Offices may be held concurrently by two persons.

3.  No person may hold more than one office.

4.  Officers shall serve for at least two years, or from one business meeting to the next.

5.  The membership shall directly elect the Executive Secretary and the Membership Secretary during its regular biennial business meeting as part of the process of electing the Steering Committee (see Article V).

6.  The Steering Committee shall elect its chair from among its members in a meeting held specifically for that purpose following the regular biennial business meeting.

7.  No officer shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms.

8.  Officers may be removed from office at any time for failure to carry out their responsibilities or for disrupting or otherwise impeding the work of the organization.

9.  The procedure for removing an officer shall be as follows:

  1. A majority of Steering Committee member shall sign a written notice to the officer in question explaining the reason for removal and the timetable outlined herein.

b.  The officer shall have 2 weeks from the date of the notice to respond in writing.

  1. After two weeks, a vote of all members of the Steering Committee (excluding the person being removed) shall be held on the question of removal.

d.  A unanimous vote will be required to remove the officer in question.

10. Should an officer resign or be removed from office, the Steering Committee shall ratify by majority vote an interim appointment from among the membership.

Article V: Steering Committee

1.  The First Steering Committee shall comprise organizers of Women and the Silent Screen Conferences and others instrumental in the establishment of the organization: Kay Armatage, Sofia Bull, Mark Cooper, Monica Dall’Asta, Bryony Dixon, Annette Förster, Jane Gaines, Christine Gledhill, Amelie Hastie, Itzia Hernandez, Joanne Hershfield, Jennifer Horne, Cristina Jandelli, Antonia Lant, Mariann Lewinsky, Rosanna Maule, Giuliana Muscio, Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi, Catherine Russell, Astrid Söderberg Widding, Shelley Stamp. Kim Tomadjouglou, Patricia Torres San Martin, Eva Warth.

2.  Subsequent Steering Committees shall comprise: the officers as described in Article IV; the principal organizers of the Women and Silent Screen conferences immediately preceding, concurrent with, and immediately following the regular biennial business meeting in which the other Steering Committee members are elected; and three (3) additional at-large members elected from the general membership.

3.  The Steering Committee shall include members from no fewer than three different nations.

4.  The Steering Committee shall have the authority and responsibility to oversee the administration of all aspects of WFHI including:

  1. defining and administering policies concerning WHFI’s sponsorship of conferences, symposia, congresses, screenings, and other public events as well as its participation in publication projects and grants.

b.  fostering affiliations with other learned societies

  1. collecting and disbursing funds acquired from dues and other sources

d.  nominating candidates for office and for the Steering Committee

  1. creating ad hoc or standing committees as necessary
  2. communicating with members via the electronic lists and web sites
  3. developing guidelines and requirements for membership, including the schedule of dues, subject to approval by the general membership

h.  proposing and revising nominating and election procedures, subject to approval by the general membership

  1. proposing amendments to the bylaws, subject to approval by the general membership

5.  The Steering Committee may make decisions on behalf of WHFI regarding issues requiring resolution that arise between regular biennial business meetings.

6.  The Steering Committee may deliberate in person or via electronic communications. No decision of the Steering Committee may be considered binding unless all members of the Steering Committee are given two weeks (14 days) in which to participate in it.

7.  The elected Steering Committee members (Executive Secretary, Membership Secretary, and three at-large members) shall be selected as follows:

  1. No fewer than four (4) months in advance of the next regular biennial meeting, the Steering Committee shall solicit from the membership nominations for positions to be filled and invite members to nominate themselves or others for those positions.

b.  No fewer than two (2) months in advance of the next regular biennial meeting, the Steering committee shall propose a slate of candidates to the WFHI membership. In finalizing such a slate, the committee shall attempt to ensure that nominations represent the intellectual and demographic diversity of the organization, including graduate student representation.

  1. In addition, candidates may be nominated or nominate themselves from the floor at the regular biennial meeting.

d.  In the event of a contested election, a majority vote by secret ballot of those present shall elect.

8.  No at-large Steering Committee member shall serve in that capacity for more than three (3) consecutive terms.

9.  At-large Steering Committee member may be removed from office at any time for failure to carry out their responsibilities or for disrupting or otherwise impeding the work of the organization. Removal from office shall follow only upon a unanimous vote of all members of the Steering Committee (excluding the person being removed).

  1. Should an at-large Steering Committee member resign or be removed from office, the Steering Committee shall ratify by majority vote an interim appointment from among the membership.

Article VI: Meetings and Voting

1.  WHFI convenes both voting and non-voting informational meetings.

2.  The regular biennial business meeting occurs in conjunction with the Women and the Silent Screen Conference. This is the primary voting meeting.

3.  In addition, WHFI convenes non-voting informational meetings at conferences, congresses, symposia, and other public fora of interest to its membership.

4.  The Steering Committee may call a special voting meeting at any time and place it decides a sufficiently large and representative proportion of the membership can convene. In this case, the Steering Committee shall provide the general membership no fewer than two (2) months advance.

5.  20 members in full in addition to Steering Committee members present shall constitute a quorum in voting meetings.

Article VII. Amendments

1.  Recommendations for amendments to these by-laws may be submitted by any member at any time to the  Steering Committee Chair, who may or may not submit the matter at any time to the whole Committee for consideration. Recommendations for amendments may also be submitted by petition of 20 members or more to the Steering Committee as a whole. In order to be considered at the next regular biennial business meeting, such petitions must be submitted to an officer no fewer than five months prior to that meeting, whereupon such petitions shall be forwarded immediately to all members of the Steering Committee for consideration as a ballot issue.

2.  The Steering Committee shall forward all proposed amendments, along with its recommendation regarding such amendments, to the membership no later than four months prior to the next scheduled voting meeting. Normally, this would coincide with notification of nominations of Officers and at-large Steering Committee members. The Steering Committee may, however, convene a special voting meeting for the purpose of amending the by-laws in accordance with Article VI.

  1. Amendments must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of members attending.

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