As amended October 25, 2014

Previously amended:

November 1, 2008
November 14, 2006
November 1, 2003
March 1995
July 1994

Incorporated May 16, 1994

Article I. Name and Purpose
Article II. Membership
Article III. Steering Committee
Article IV. Nominating Committee
Article V. Meetings
Article VI. Dues
Article VII. Awards Committee
Article VIII. Membership Committee
Article IX. Teaching Committee
Article X. Journal
Article XI. Dissolution Clause
Article XII. Amendments

ARTICLE I. Name and Purpose

Section 1
The name of the organization shall be “THE SOCIETY FOR UTOPIAN STUDIES, INC.”, (hereinafter referred to as “The Society”)

Section 2
The purpose of The Society is to encourage the study of utopia and utopias.


back to top

ARTICLE II. Membership

Membership shall be open to anyone interested in the purposes of the organization upon payment of the appropriate dues.

back to top

ARTICLE III. Steering Committee (and every subsequent reference to Steering Committee)

Section 1
The President serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee. The affairs of the organization shall be administered by a Steering Committee, consisting of the President; a President Elect (during the year before the President steps down); a Secretary-Archivist; a Treasurer; the chairs of the last annual meeting; the chairs of the current annual meeting; the chairs of the next annual meeting; and four additional (at-large) members elected for staggered two year terms. In addition, the Chairs of the Awards Committee, the Membership Committee, the Nominating Committee and the Teaching Committee; the Liaisons for the Website and H-Net; and the Editors of Utopian Studies and Utopus Discovered shall be ex officio members of the Steering Committee with vote. In the event that the business meeting has approved more than one future annual meeting, the chairs of these meetings shall also become members of the Steering Committee. The duties of Chair of the Steering Committee, the Secretary-Archivist, and the Treasurer shall be such as are normally assigned to these officers in a professional organization.

Section 2
The Steering Committee may from time to time request members to serve on the Committee for a one year term. No member of the Society shall serve for more than two consecutive years under these conditions until an intervening year has passed.

Section 3
Unless otherwise indicated, the terms of all officers and the members of all committees shall be two years, with the exception of the President Elect, who serves one year. No one other than the Secretary-Archivist and the Treasurer shall serve more than two consecutive terms in any position until an intervening year has passed.

Section 4
The President and the Treasurer will be the sole signing officers on all Society for Utopian Studies financial accounts; the Steering Committee will be informed about and consulted on all financial matters.

back to top

ARTICLE IV. Nominating Committee

Section 1
The Nominating Committee shall consist of a chair and two of the four at-large members of the Steering Committee, all of whom are to be chosen by the Steering Committee.

Section 2
The Nominating Committee shall be charged with nominating members for the positions of President, President Elect, Secretary-Archivist, and Treasurer, as well as the chair and members of the Awards Committee, the chair and members of the Membership Committee, the Chair of the Teaching Committee, and the at-large members of the Steering Committee. The slate of nominations will be presented and voted upon at the annual business meeting.


back to top

ARTICLE V. Meetings

Section 1
There shall be at least one meeting each year to which all members and other interested persons shall be invited. The meetings shall be held for the purpose of exchanging ideas among the participants, in regard to utopian thinking, by means of papers, panels, workshops, and such other devices as may seem appropriate to the chair of the meeting.

Section 2
At each annual meeting there shall be a brief business session at which necessary business for the organization may be transacted. Voting will be restricted to those who have paid dues since the end of the last previous business meeting. On the recommendation of the Steering Committee, voting on matters of pressing concern may also be held electronically in any month between the annual meetings.

Section 3
A currently paid membership is necessary to participate in the annual meetings. A registration fee will also be established by the Steering Committee at such a level as to pay the necessary expenses of the annual meeting. An accounting of receipts and expenditures will be provided to the Society by the chair after all bills have been paid.

back to top


Section 1
The Steering Committee shall establish such annual dues as may be appropriate to carry out the functions of the organization. The dues shall continue at the same rate until changed at a subsequent business meeting.

Section 2
Dues shall be used for expenses connected with the annual conference, for the Society’s publications, and for the normal operation of the organization such as membership drives and communications with and among members. All expenditures of dues are subject to prior approval by the Steering Committee, except those specifically authorized at an annual business meeting.

Section 3
At each annual business meeting the Treasurer shall render an account of the previous year’s income and expenditures and indicate anticipated expenditures for the following calendar year. Proposed expenditures may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting; approval of the proposed expenditures will require a simple majority of those present and voting.

back to top

ARTICLE VII. Awards Committee

Section 1
The Awards Committee shall, subject to the approval of the Steering Committee and the limitations designated in Section 3 below, assume the responsibility for granting all awards offered by the Society except for the Kenneth M. Roemer Innovative Course Design Award.

Section 2
The Awards Committee shall consist of five members representing as closely as possible the range of interests and disciplines of members of the society. Members of the Awards Committee shall be ineligible for a second term until at least one intervening year has passed. Terms of membership on the committee shall be for three years and shall be staggered. Election shall be at the annual business meeting. The chair of the Awards Committee will be selected by the Nominating Committee from members entering the final year of their term.

Section 3

  1. The Arthur O. Lewis Award is given for the best paper or papers presented at each annual meeting of the society. Only non-tenured or unemployed scholars are eligible for this award.
  2. The Eugenio Battisti Awardis given each calendar year for the best paper published in Utopian Studies during that year.
  3. The Lyman Tower Sargent Distinguished Award for Distinguished Scholarshipin Utopian Studies is for lifetime achievements, for diversified activity, and for accomplishments not only in the academic fields to which we are accustomed, but also for achievements in fields not usually considered for academic promotion and tenure. Any member of the society may submit nominations to the committee for this award. Nominees need not be members of the Society For Utopian Studies. Lifetime achievement in any two of the following areas shall be used in assessing qualification for the award.
  1. Literary / Publication / Published Scholarship
    a. Publication of books, articles, reviews
    b. Editing of materials dealing with utopia and utopian studies.
  2. Teaching
    a. Classroom distinction
    b. Textbook publication
  3. Professional service / non-literary activity
    a. Other professional activity,
    e.g. Papers presented, work for utopian and related organizations.
    b. Consultation with communal societies, museums, etc.

Determination of a recipient of the Lyman Tower Sargent Distinguished Award for Distinguished Scholarship shall be through recommendation of the Awards Committee to the Steering Committee prior to 1 September of the year in which the award is to be given.

  1. The Larry E. Hough Distinguished Service Awardis for substantial achievement in support of utopian studies, broadly defined. Service may include achievements in teaching, and support of this society or other organizations that study utopia. Service may also include the dimension of reaching out to the non-academic community, such as developing museums, setting up archives, working with the visual arts, design, architecture, or planning, or engaging with support organizations for communal societies. Service may be for diversified activities, or it may involve dedication to a single activity. In either case, the service must be sustained over an extensive period of time. Any member of the society may submit nominations to the committee for this award, together with appropriate supporting materials. Nominees need not be members of the Society for Utopian Studies, nor is service for the Society a requisite for nomination.


back to top

ARTICLE VIII. Membership Committee

Section 1
The Membership Committee shall undertake recruitment drives for new members and the encouragement of membership renewals for current and lapsed members, via email reminders. The Committee shall also discuss matters of membership policy (which will then be voted on at the annual business meeting).

Section 2
The Membership Committee shall consist of a Membership Chair; the Secretary-Archivist; the Treasurer; the editor of Utopian Studies; the current local and program chairs for the Annual Meeting, and two additional members.

back to top

ARTICLE IX. Teaching Committee

Section 1
The Teaching Committee shall undertake activities encouraging college-level teaching on utopian topics. As an ongoing responsibility, the committee will organize a teaching panel or roundtable at the SUS meeting. The teaching committee shall also gather syllabi and sample assignments in utopian classes for the website, and will help develop teaching-related articles for the Society newsletter Utopus Discovered.

Section 2
The Teaching Committee shall consist of a Chair and between two to four members. Only the Chair of the committee will sit on the Steering Committee.

Section 3

The Teaching Committee will select the winners of the Kenneth M. Roemer Innovative Course Design Award.

back to top

ARTICLE X. Journal

The Society for Utopian Studies publishes Utopian Studies: The Journal of the Society for Utopian Studies. The Editor of Utopian Studies is appointed by the Steering Committee of the Society and becomes an ex-officio member of the Steering Committee. The Editor reports to the Steering Committee annually on the condition of the journal. While the Steering Committee has ultimate authority over the journal, and may give the Editor advice, it is not involved in the day-to-day running of the journal, which is the Editor’s responsibility.

back to top

ARTICLE XI. Dissolution Clause

In the event of dissolution, the Society’s assets will be donated to the Utopian Collection at the Pennsylvania State University, which is exempt as an organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

back to top

ARTICLE XII. Amendments

Amendments to these By-laws may be made at any regularly scheduled business meeting by a majority vote of those present or by means of an electronic ballot as ratified by a majority of the members voting on such ballot.

back to top

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.

Skip to toolbar