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ASTR Handbook

Download the ASTR Handbook for Officers, Executive Committee, Chairs of Committees, Editors, and Appointees. (Updated: December 2015)

The Bylaws of the American Society for Theatre Research

Ratified 13 November 1993 | Amended June 2006 (Articles VII, VIII, XIII, XIV), July 2008 (Articles II, VI, VII, XIII), and June 2009 (Article VIII), January 2013 (Articles V, VI, VII, XIII, XV)

Article I: Name

Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the American Society for Theatre Research, hereinafter called "ASTR.”

Article II: Purpose

Section 1 : The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) is a U.S.-based professional organization that fosters scholarship on worldwide theatre and performance, both historical and contemporary.

Article III: Membership

Section 1 : Any persons or institutions interested in the purpose of ASTR shall be eligible for membership.

Article IV: Meetings

Section 1 : Annual and special meetings of ASTR shall be held at such time and place as shall be determined by the Executive Committee hereinafter provided for. Proper announcement shall be made in writing to each member.

Article V: Officers

Section 1: The Officers of ASTR shall be a President, a Vice President for Conferences, a Vice President for Publications, a Vice President for Awards, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The same person may hold the offices of Secretary and Treasurer at the same time. One or more Assistant Secretaries and/or Treasurers may be appointed.

Section 2: The officers shall be selected and serve their terms as follows:

a) (i) The President shall be elected for a three-year term according to the stipulations set forth in Article VIII, section 2. The President shall not be eligible for election for two consecutive terms.

(ii) The election of the President shall take place by a mail ballot of all members in good standing at least six months before the annual business meeting; the President shall take office at the conclusion of that meeting.

b) The Vice President for Conferences shall be nominated and elected according to the procedures established for the President. The term of office of the Vice President for Conferences shall coincide with that of the President. The following year, the Vice President for Publications shall be elected. A year after that, the Vice President for Awards shall be elected. The Vice President for Conferences shall not be eligible for election for two consecutive terms to that office.

c) The Vice President for Publications, Vice President for Awards, the Secretary, and Treasurer shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee, shall be elected by ballot of the membership at large for a term of three years, and may be reelected to their respective offices.

Article VI: Duties of Officers

Section 1: The President shall be the chief executive and administrative officer and shall preside over all meetings of the membership and of the Executive Committee, and shall be a voting member of the committee. In the event of absence, incapacity, or resignation, the Vice President shall assume these duties.

Section 2: The Vice President for Conferences shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee, and shall be responsible for, oversee, and coordinate planning for the Annual Meeting. The Vice President for Conferences shall chair the Committee on Conferences. The Vice President for Conferences shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the President if necessary, according to the stipulations of Section 1 of this article. In such a case, the Executive Committee shall have the option of appointing an Executive Committee member for the unexpired term (of the Vice President for Conferences).

Section 3: The Vice President for Publications shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee, and shall represent ASTR in all matters relating to scholarly publication. Semi-annually and whenever required by the Executive Committee, the Vice President for Publications shall report on the Society’s publications to the Executive Committee and the membership. The Vice President for Publications shall chair the Publications Committee and perform such other duties and supervise staff as may from time to time be designated by the Executive Committee.

Section 4: The Vice President for Awards shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee and shall represent ASTR in all matters relating to awards. Semi-annually and whenever required by the Executive Committee, the Vice President for Awards shall report on the Society’s awards and fellowships to the Executive Committee and the membership. The Vice President for Awards shall supervise the Awards Committees and perform such other duties and supervise staff as may from time to time be designated by the Executive Committee.

Section 5: The Secretary shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee, and shall record the minutes of all meetings of ASTR and the Executive Committee; see that members have reasonable notice of regular and special meetings of ASTR and the Executive Committee; conduct the correspondence; keep all records; perform such other duties and supervise staff as may from time to time be designated by the Executive Committee.

Section 6: The Treasurer shall be a voting member of the Executive Committee, and shall keep accurate account of the financial transactions of ASTR. The Treasurer shall make necessary disbursements from ASTR funds. Annually and whenever required by the Executive Committee, the Treasurer shall make report on the finances of ASTR to the membership. The Treasurer shall chair the Finance Committee and perform such other duties and supervise staff as may from time to time be designated by the Executive Committee.

Article VII: Executive Committee and Its Functions

Section 1: The Executive Committee shall normally consist of the President, the Vice President for Conferences, the Vice President for Publications, the Vice President for Awards, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and eleven elected members. Ten of these elected members shall be elected for three-year terms by a majority of those members in good standing voting by ballot. The election of these ten members shall unfold through a three-year rotation: four members in year one, three in year two, and three in year three. One member of the Executive Committee will be a Graduate Student elected for a one-year term, who may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The Graduate Student Representative must be a member of good standing and a graduate student in good standing at the time of the election. If a current member of the Executive Committee is elected President or Vice President for Conferences, or if an unexpected vacancy occurs in the Executive Committee, the Committee shall have the option of appointing a replacement for the unexpired term. The function of the Executive Committee shall be to direct the activities of ASTR. The chair of the Executive Committee shall be the President, elected as described in Article V, Section 2a. New members of the Executive Committee shall take office immediately after the conclusion of the annual business meeting of the Society.

Section 2: Ex officio members of the Executive Committee shall be without vote unless simultaneously serving an elected term on the committee. Other ex officio members, with voice but without vote, may be appointed by the Executive Committee.

Section 3: Those elected to the Executive Committee may not serve more than two consecutive terms.

Section 4: The Executive Committee shall meet at least once each fiscal year.

Article VIII: Other Committees

Section 1: The Nominating Committee shall consist of five members in good standing, exclusive of institutional members of ASTR, appointed by the Executive Committee for staggered terms of two years. The Chair of the Nominating Committee shall be named by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee, in making appointments, shall give consideration to the inclusion of representatives from various geographical areas and various scholarly and professional specialties represented by the membership at large.

Section 2: The Nominating Committee shall make nominations for Officers and members of the Executive Committee as vacancies occur. Every year the Graduate Student Caucus (composed of all graduate student members in good standing) shall nominate at least two candidates for the Graduate Student Representative position. The names of the candidates will be forwarded to the Chair of the Nominating Committee for inclusion on the ASTR Executive Committee ballot. The slate shall be placed before the membership in an announcement in the ASTR Newsletter or by some other official communication no later than eight months preceding the annual meeting. Additional names may be added to the list of candidates by a petition signed by no fewer than ten members and submitted to the Secretary, along with written consent from the nominee, no later than seven months before the annual meeting. The Secretary will then distribute, collect, and tabulate the mail ballots no later than six months before the annual meeting. Institutional members shall receive one vote.

Section 3: The Executive Committee, or the President in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall appoint other committees as shall from time to time be deemed appropriate.

Article IX: National and International Representatives

Section 1: The Executive Committee shall have general supervision over the appointment and duties of representatives to national organizations such as the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and to international organizations such as the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR).

Article X: Dues

Section 1: The amount of annual dues shall be set by the Executive Committee.

Section 2: Dues shall be used to defray the expenses of ASTR as approved by the Executive Committee.

Article XI: Amendments

Section 1: Proposals to amend the Bylaws may be made by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee or by petition from the membership at large subscribed to by no fewer than thirty individual members in good standing. Proposals from the membership at large must be submitted through the Secretary to the Executive Committee for review.

Section 2: The Secretary must circulate all proposals by mail to the membership at large at least one month before the annual meeting. The Executive Committee’s discussion or recommendations shall accompany the text of the proposed statement.

Section 3: The proposed bylaws should be discussed and may be amended at the annual meeting. The bylaws shall then be ratified by a vote of two-thirds of the individual membership in good standing who vote in a mail ballot.

Article XII: Public Issues

Section 1: The Executive Committee is empowered to speak for the association on public issues where these affect our work as scholars and teachers. Such issues include, but are not restricted to, academic freedom; freedom of access to information; appointments to and policies of granting and funding agencies.

Section 2: The Executive Committee is empowered to speak for the association on public issues where these affect our ability to meet safely in national or regional conventions, and conduct our business freely. Such issues include, but are not restricted to, the passage or existence of anti-sodomy laws; laws and regulations which restrict freedom of speech or the availability of abortion (considered as a health measure); or laws and regulations tending to discriminate against particular classes or groups of association members.

Article XIII: The Committee on Conferences and Its Function

Section 1: The Committee on Conferences shall normally consist of the Vice President for Conferences (three-year term); two Executive Committee members (designated on the ballot as running for the Committee on Conferences, staggered two-year terms); the Program Chair (one-year term); the Immediate Past Program Chair (one-year term); the Vice President for Conferences Elect (one-year term); the Graduate Student Caucus member appointed by the Vice President for Conferences in consultation with the Graduate Student Caucus Representative for a one-year term; a TLA Representative; and two members elected to the Committee by a majority of those members in good standing voting by ballot. Members may self-nominate to run for election to the Committee on Conferences. If an unexpected vacancy occurs in the Committee on Conferences, the Committee shall have the option of appointing a replacement for the unexpired term. The Executive Committee, as part of its oversight of the Committee on Conferences, shall give consideration to the inclusion of representatives from various geographical areas and professional specialties represented in the membership at large.

Section 2: The function of the Committee on Conferences will be to identify and discuss possible conference themes for the Executive Committee’s consideration and approval; to suggest potential Program Chairs for the Executive Committee’s consideration and approval; to work with the Program Chair to ensure continuity and diversity in conference themes and structures.

Section 3: Those elected to the Committee on Conferences may not serve consecutive terms.

Section 4: The Committee on Conferences shall meet at least once each fiscal year.

Article XIV: The Program Committee and Its Function

Section 1: The Program Committee shall normally consist of the Program Committee Chair (recommended by the Committee on Conferences and approved by the Executive Committee, one-year term), two members of the Committee on Conferences (staggered two-year terms), a Graduate Student Caucus member (different from the Graduate Student Caucus member on the Committee for Conferences; appointed by the Program Chair in consultation with the Graduate Student Caucus Representative, one-year term), a TLA Representative, and additional members appointed by the Program Chair and approved by the Executive Committee for one-year terms (normally from three to seven members). The Vice President shall serve ex officio.

Section 2: The function of the Program Committee shall be to plan and execute the conference themes at the annual meeting of the Society.

Section 3: The Program Committee shall meet at least once each fiscal year.

Article XV: Additional Provisions

Section 1: Wherever these bylaws call for a written communication or ballot, the communication or ballot may be in electronic format including but not limited to email or facsimile, as determined by the Executive Committee.

Section 2: Indemnification and Insurance – Officers, directors, committee chairs and members, staff and others authorized to act on behalf of the association shall be indemnified against claims against them arising out of their authorized actions. The Society may purchase insurance to fund the indemnification (if need be).

American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR)

1000 Westgate Drive, Suite. 252 | St. Paul, MN 55114 | Phone: 651.288.3429 | Fax: 651.290.2266 | Email: info@astr.org