International Margaret Cavendish Society
Conference Constitution and Bylaws


ARTICLE 1: The name of this organization shall be INTERNATIONAL MARGARET CAVENDISH SOCIETY AND CONFERENCE [henceforth Society].


ARTICLE II: The Society is an organization founded to promote scholarship on the life and works of Margaret Cavendish and to disseminate the results of such scholarship. Specifically its objectives are:

1) To promote scholarship on Cavendish in a wide spectrum of disciplines, and to foster dialogue among those disciplines;

2) To stimulate new research in Cavendish studies and assist in making the results of that research available through conferences, symposia, publications, electronic media, and by other means suitable for such dissemination;

3) To encourage professional and personal contacts among Cavendish scholars;

4) To provide an outlet for the scholarship of younger scholars and promote their integration into the academic community.


ARTICLE III: Any person interested in Cavendish studies, and in the projects and programs of the Society, shall be eligible for membership. The payment of annual dues shall constitute formal recognition of membership. Members failing to pay the annual dues automatically forfeit the benefits and rights of membership.


ARTICLE IV: The following regulations pertain to all meetings of the Society:

1) A meeting of this Society shall be held biennially. A quorum shall consist of active members present, with a minimum of five required in attendance.

2) Special meetings may be called by the Executive Board of the Society.

3) The Board shall meet at the biennial conference. Regular board business shall be conducted by electronic mail.

4) The Executive Board has the authority to recognize regional branches and to grant permission for regional Society meetings, distinct and separate from the biennial international meeting.

5) The Executive Board shall elect three members to constitute an Awards Committee subsequent to the biennial international meeting. Winners of Society awards shall be announced via e-mail, and shall formally receive their awards in ceremony at the following biennial meeting.

6) The international meeting is the legislative body of the Society. At the business session the Executive Board shall report its decisions and recommendations to the membership and seek approval of new policies. Members may use the business session to discuss issues related to Cavendish studies and to recommend policy to the Executive Board.

7) The Executive Board may authorize meetings in regions without authorized branches.


ARTICLE V: The Society may elect qualified officers, area-representative members of the Board, and members of special councils and committees.

1) The officers of this Society, who serve as officers and members of the Executive Board, shall include the President, the Vice-President, the Past President, the Treasurer, and the Secretary. Also included as officers are the Website Manager, the List Manager, the Newsletter Editor, and Area Representatives.

2) All officers possess voting rights.

3) When an office becomes vacant, a nominating committee shall be organized by the President. The nominating committee shall consist of a chair and four members. Nominations may be made by individual members of the Society and submitted to the nominating committee. Nominations shall be posted to the Board for a vote.

4) Subsequent to the vote by the Board, all officers shall be ratified by general membership vote at the biennial meeting.

5) The President shall be the chair of the Board and shall be responsible, along with the Executive Board, for overseeing the ongoing work of the Society. More particularly, the President shall (a) work closely with the other members of the Executive Board to insure that the business of the Society is completed in an orderly and beneficial manner, (b) conduct discussions of Society business by e-mail, with specific, defined deadlines for any and all matters requiring a vote, (c) monitor the needs of the Society and put forward recommendations to the Executive Board regarding updates, clarifications, additions, or changes to the Society’s policies and procedures, and (d) organize a nominating committee as required.

6) Upon completion of her/his term of office, the President becomes Past President. The Past President shall be a member of the Board during the three years immediately following her/his three year term as President. The Past President shall be available for advice and recommendations to the Board regarding policy and procedure.

7) The Vice President shall have oversight of the Conference Organizing Committee, and shall work closely with the Committee chair. Upon completion of the President’s term, the Vice President shall become President.

8) The Treasurer shall be responsible for (a) the receipt and recording of all dues and conference fees paid, (b) general oversight of the financial well being of the Society, (c) confirming membership with applicants when dues have been paid (preferably via e-mail), and (d) a yearly fiscal report submitted to the Board for review and discussion. Fiscal records shall be maintained in fund-balance form in accordance with standard procedure. The Board has full authority to authorize the Treasurer to make expenditures for any activity.

9) The Secretary shall be responsible for (a) updating the membership list, (b) keeping records of all Society business transacted on-line, (c) taking minutes of the Society’s business at the biennial meeting, (d) posting reminders to the membership regarding dues, and (e) managing the Society’s history in both digital and hard copy formats.

10) The Website Manager shall be responsible for (a) keeping all site information current, (b) coordinating on-line payment options with the Treasurer, and (c) updating technological aspects of the site as appropriate.

11) The List Manager shall be responsible for (a) updating and overseeing the general society e-mail distribution list, and (b) updating and overseeing the Board e-mail distribution list.

12) The Newsletter Editor shall be responsible for the Society’s newsletter which should be done in coordination with the Website Manager.

13) Area Representatives shall be responsible for (a) disseminating news of the Society through appropriate venues, including scholarly conferences and local universities, and (b) sharing in the oversight of the Society by regularly participating in Board business. Area Representatives are encouraged to suggest policies and programs to the President for discussion with the full Executive Board.

14) The Executive Board shall monitor actual revenues as well as planned and actual expenditures, and review a yearly fiscal report, prepared by the Treasurer, containing an account of expenditures to date, revised projections of revenue, and recommendations to cover anticipated shortfalls or surpluses.

Relationship with Other Scholarly Societies

ARTICLE VI: This conference will work in close harmony with other organizations that pursue similar objectives. This conference currently acknowledges the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women as a sister organization.

Changes in the Constitution

ARTICLE VII: Changes in this constitution may be made at the biennial meeting provided that two-thirds (2/3) of the responding members attending approve the change, that prior notice in writing is given to the membership at least thirty (30) days before the meeting and that two-thirds (2/3) of the membership at large responding ratifies the change. Voting may be vocal “aye” or “nay.” The President shall be responsible for conducting all voting.


ARTICLE VIII: Upon dissolution of the Society, all of its property not required to satisfy its obligations shall be disposed of by transfer to a non-profit organization, to be decided on by the Board. Dissolution shall be pursuant to the vote of the majority of the membership at large and shall not at any time be made by a vote of the Board.


SECTION I. Dues. Membership dues shall be set by the Board and shall be paid for the calendar year. The Board shall also set conference fees. Students, attested by a responsible officer of the institution in which they are enrolled, shall be eligible for reduced dues and fees, but shall enjoy all the rights and privileges of the Society.

SECTION II. Meetings. The biennial meeting shall be held at such time and place as determined by the Board. However, the Board may not cancel a biennial meeting except by a majority vote of all members voting by mail or e-mail ballot.

SECTION III. Duties of Officers. The duties of officers shall be such as outlined above, and as usually pertain to the office. The Vice President shall work in close conjunction with the program chair for the annual meeting.

1) The President shall serve a three year term.

2) The Vice President shall become President Elect for the following term.

3) The Secretary shall be elected for a three year renewable term.

4) The Treasurer shall be elected for a three year renewable term.

5) All other members of the Board shall be elected for two year renewable terms.

6) The nominating committee shall supervise and conduct all elections for Society officers.