Approved 24 May 1991; revised 24 May 2003; 27 May 2004; May 2008; May 2012; May 2014
I. NAME: The name of the organization is the Research Society for American Periodicals.
II. PURPOSE: The Research Society for American Periodicals is organized to offer scholars in American literature and culture, and all interested persons, an opportunity to share in the study and appreciation of American periodicals. A nonprofit organization, the Research Society for American Periodicals—through such outlets as its annual meetings, scholarly panels, special symposia, miscellaneous publications, and a website—provides a medium of communication among interested scholars and expands the possibilities of scholarly and critical study of an important part of American literary and cultural history. The sole purposes of the Research Society for American Periodicals are educational and literary within the meaning of those terms in section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the 1954 or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code, and the Research Society for American Periodicals shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under that section. No substantial part of the activities of the Research Society for American Periodicals shall be carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation—except as otherwise provided by Internal Revenue Code section 501 (h)—and it will not participate in, or intervene in(including the publication or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office; no part of the earning of the Society shall inure to the benefit of any member or other individual—except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the Society; and in any taxable year in which the Society may become a private foundation as described in IRC section 509 (a), it shall distribute its income for that period at such time and manner as not to subject it to tax under IRC section 4942, and shall not (1) engage in any act of self-dealing as defined in IRC section 4941 (d), or (2) retain any excess business holdings as defined in IRC section 4943 (c), (3) make any investments in such manner as to subject it to tax under IRC section 4944, or (4) make any taxable expenditures as defined in IRC section 4945 (d) or corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal tax laws.
III. DISSOLUTION OF THE ORGANIZATION: Upon dissolution of the Research Society for American Periodicals, all assets belonging to the Society after the discharge of any and all outstanding obligations shall become the property of an academic institution approved by the Officers and Advisory Board. Such institution must qualify as a tax-exempt institution under the terms of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code. No member or other individual be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the Society’s assets on dissolution of the Society.
IV. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION: Proposed amendments shall be submitted by email or through the RSAP website or other approved mail ballot to the entire membership of the Society and shall require approval by two-thirds of the members returning ballots. All proposed amendments must be circulated among the entire membership at least one month prior to the ballot deadline.
BYLAWS: RESEARCH SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN PERIODICALS
I. CONSTITUTION: All activities of the Research Society for American Periodicals must be in keeping with the Constitution of the Research Society for American Periodicals.
II. MEMBERSHIP: One becomes a member of the Research Society for American Periodicals by paying the annual dues established by the Society.
III. OFFICERS: Officers are a President, Vice President/President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer. Upon recommendation by the Advisory Board and with consent of the membership, the Secretary and Treasurer can be the same person. An Advisory Board consists of the Officers, the immediate Past-President (ex officio), one editor of American Periodicals (ex officio), and up to seven additional elected members. The President-Elect, Secretary, and Treasurer are nominated by the Officers and Advisory Board (with nominations also being accepted from the membership) and are elected to a two-year term by majority vote of the members present at the annual meeting or, alternatively, by electronic ballot distributed to the membership.
The Web Editor also serves the organization but is not necessarily a member of the Advisory Board.
The President presides at meetings, conducts necessary business throughout the year, and oversees the functions of the Society.
The President may authorize expenditures totaling $400.00 or less that must be made between annual meetings. With the consent of the Officers and Advisory Board, the President can authorize expenditures totaling more than$400.00 when exigencies arise.
The Vice President/President-Elect assists the President, shares in the program planning of annual and special meetings, presides in the President’s absence, and becomes President at the conclusion of his or her predecessor’s term.
The Secretary keeps a list of members and their addresses, handles correspondence, and records minutes of all meetings.
The Treasurer manages the treasury and gives an annual financial report. (Upon recommendation by the Advisory Board and with consent of the membership, the Secretary and Treasurer can be the same person).
Advisory Board Members are nominated by the Officers and existing Advisory Board (with nominations also accepted from the membership at large). Advisory Board Members are elected to a three-year term by majority votes of the members present at the annual meeting, two members being elected every year to replace two members whose term is ending. The number of consecutive three-year terms a member of the Advisory Board can serve is limited to two terms.
The Advisory Board helps plan annual meetings and aids the Officers in carrying on the business of the Society. Willing members of the Advisory Board may serve on the Editorial Board of American Periodicals; other Editorial Board members may be appointed at the discretion of the editor(s).
The Web Editor advises on web design and communications, implements changes to the website and updates the site at least twice yearly, oversees coordination of digital communication and social media, and generally assists RSAP with creating and maintaining an electronic presence that advances our mission of fostering intellectual community amongst periodical scholars.
IV. MEETINGS: The Research Society for American Periodicals holds an annual meeting at a site selected during the previous year’s annual meeting. The Society sponsors panels and special session at appropriate conferences and conventions. At the discretion of the Officers and Advisory Board, the Society may also sponsor and/or participate in special symposia held at locations appropriate to the study of American periodicals.
V. WEBSITE: The RSAP Website is the official home of the organization. Features include brief articles, announcements, research and pedagogy resources, information about business meetings, membership, and any other related material of interest to the membership.
VI. AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS: Changes of a minor nature in these bylaws may be effected at the annual meeting of the Society by a two-thirds majority of the members present. Amendments of a more fundamental nature (e.g., concerning the organization, structure, or membership of the Society) shall be submitted by mail or email to the entire membership of the Society and shall require approval by two-thirds of the members returning ballots. All proposed amendments must be circulated among the entire membership at least one month prior to the annual meeting or the ballot deadline.