THE MEMORY STUDIES ASSOCIATION
COPENHAGEN ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
I. Mission Statement: The Memory Studies Association (MSA) aims to
1. provide a gathering space for developing, discussing and exchanging ideas about the methodologies, theories, and results of memory studies; to become the central forum for scholars from around the world and across disciplines who are interested in memory studies; and to further establish and extend the status of memory studies as a field, institutionalizing it in a way that is able to provide fundamental knowledge about the importance and function of memories in the public and private realm. Our specific ambitions include the following:
— to move beyond the Euro/Anglo centrism that has underwritten the development of the field. We thus aim to bring scholars from different
regions to the table.
— to draw in practitioners, artists, and policy-makers, making the MSA a forum not only for scholarly debate, but one through which scholars can make connections to more practical realms, and practitioners and producers of memory can be informed about the state of the art in memory scholarship.
— to explore the possibilities for, and limits on, genuinely interdisciplinary work and cross-disciplinary exchange, for instance by continuing to work on
exploring the boundaries between social/cultural concepts of memory and psychological/neurological ones.
— to attract, build bridges to, and offer a home for our existing “sister fields,” such as heritage studies, oral history, transitional justice, archival studies.
— to represent the interests of memory studies as a community of professionals including offering professional development activities and career boosting services.
— to increase the visibility of memory studies with both state-based and private funders of academic research and community outreach, as well as
— to offer our expertise on memory political concerns as they arise in public affairs and ethical debates.
1. Officers: Following an initial founding period (ending September 30, 2020), the association will have three equal co-chairs who will be elected by the general meeting to serve a term of two years. Chairs can each be re-elected twice for a maximum consecutive term of six years. The officers govern the association in close consultation with the other members of the executive committee. The co-chairs represent the association in external business, implement the decisions of the general meeting and the executive committee, and determine the intellectual course of the association. The officers also set the agenda and conduct the meetings of the general membership, the advisory board, and the executive committee.
2. Executive Committee: The executive committee is the decision-making body of the association. It consists of the three co-chairs and four additional elected members. The general meeting elects the additional members for terms of two years. They can serve a maximum of six consecutive years. Elections for the executive committee take place each year. The four additional members of the executive committee are elected in one year and the three co-chairs are elected in the subsequent year. In this way no more than four members of the executive committee can be exchanged in a given election cycle. The executive committee administers the finances of the association and develops the policies and rules of the association, including membership fees and suggestions for bylaw amendments. The executive committee also determines the composition of the advisory board and the number and the composition of the standing committees of the association.
3. Advisory Board: The composition of the board should reflect the interdisciplinary and international profile of the field, providing the executive committee with a wide range of professional perspectives and expertise. Advisory board members are expected to support the work of the association especially with regard to outreach, mentoring of young scholars, and the tasks delegated to the standing committees of the association. The advisory board meets in the context of the association’s yearly conference.
4. General Membership: membership is open to anybody who supports the goals of the association. All members either pay annual dues or hold the status of sponsored members.
a. Membership categories:
Student/Early Career/Low Income Membership: Students, early career academics and practitioners, and self-employed or employed persons with low salaries or limited resources are invited to join the association at a significantly reduced membership rate.
Mid Career Membership: the regular membership rate for academics and practitioners who are permanently employed and for self-employed persons with similar resources.
Senior Scholar/Practitioner Membership: the regular membership rate for academics and practitioners who are paid at or near the top of their respective pay scale and for self-employed persons with similar resources.
Sustaining Membership: all members are encouraged to become sustaining members in their respective membership category thus providing the association with additional resources to fund its programs including sponsored memberships and MSA conference travel grants.
Benefactor Membership: a membership category for those who are particularly able and eager to support the development and activities of the association (for instance by purchasing a benefactor membership through their research accounts).
Sponsored Membership: people interested in joining the association for whom the reduced Student/Early Career/Low Income Membership rate constitutes a substantial financial burden are encouraged to apply to the executive committee to become sponsored members. Sponsored members do not pay dues but hold all privileges of MSA membership.
5. Standing Committees: Membership in standing committees is determined by the executive committee. All standing committees have at least one member who is also a member of the executive committee. At the moment the association has the following standing committees: Budget, Fundraising & Outreach, Website Development, PhD/Early Career Development, Conferences, Publications, Rules & Nominations.
III. Conferences: The association aims at holding at least one conference each year dedicated to the distribution of research, reflections on teaching and public history practices, and career development. The location of the conference should rotate on a global scale and the call for papers and the program of the conference should reflect the interdisciplinary range of the field. The conference is organized by the conference committee in cooperation with the executive committee.
IV. General Meeting: The co-chairs call a general meeting at the association’s conference and report to the membership about the development of the association. Moreover, whenever possible, all nominations, bylaw amendments, and significant policy changes are discussed at the meeting. The general meeting is conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
V. Elections: Each year, the rules & nominations committee, in cooperation with the executive committee, generates nominations for co-chairs or member(s) of the executive committee. The nominations are presented to the membership on the association’s website approximately four weeks before the annual conference, with the expectation that the candidates are prepared to discuss their candidacy at the annual meeting. The elections are conducted electronically within three months after the annual meeting. All members in good standing may participate in the election. A simple majority of cast ballots suffices to be elected.
VI. Amendments: Amendments to the bylaws can be proposed by the executive committee, a majority of the general meeting, or 15% of the association’s membership. All suggested bylaw amendments are put to a vote to the general membership within six months as long as they comply with applicable public law and tax rules. All members in good standing may participate in the election. A simple majority of cast ballots suffices for qualified amendments to be adopted.
VII. Dissolution: The decision to dissolve the association requires a two-thirds majority in the executive committee followed by a simple majority of the membership. Remaining assets should be transferred to another association with goals and tax status similar to the MSA’s.