NASS constitution

§ 1: Name and home area of the Association

a)     The name of the association is the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (abbreviated NASS).

b)     NASS home area is constituted by the following countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden.

§ 2: The purpose of the Association is …

a)     To promote the advancement of semiotics as an academic discipline and research domain in the Nordic countries and within the international semiotic community, fostering academic cooperation and highlighting Nordic contributions to the field. For this aim, to endorse contact and cooperation between its members, to provide information on Nordic and international academic activities within the field of semiotics, and to facilitate the development of research collaboration and projects across institutional and national borders.

b)     To organize a regular, biennial conference in a Nordic country. The official conference language is English for the convenience of communication.

§ 3: Members

Anyone interested can become a member. Membership follows from paying the conference fee for a NASS conference, which includes a specified membership fee. Membership is valid until the next NASS conference is held.

§ 4: The General Assembly

The General Assembly is constituted by all members of the association and is the highest authority in the association. It is convened in concomitance with the NASS conference. Mandatory agenda items include:

a)     Election of a chair for the meeting

b)     Election of a keeper of the minutes

c)     Election of three members to check the minutes

d)     Approval of the agenda

e)     The President’s report

f)      The Treasurer’s report

g)     Election of six board members + six supplementary representatives (see § 5 for details)

h)     Election of President, Secretary and Treasurer (among the representatives elected under   § 4g)

i)       Optional topics and announcements

§ 5: The Governing Board

a)     Responsibility for setting up and administering the Association falls to the Governing Board.

b)     The Governing Board consists of the six Ordinary Representatives each representing a Nordic country (i.e. Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) and six Supplementary Representatives (one for each of the regular board members and representing the same country).

c)     The board can also appoint an Organizational Assistant to help with practicalities on a regular basis.

d)     The Governing Board is elected by members of the association for a term lasting until the next conference at the General Assembly to be held in connection with the regular conference organized by NASS.

e)     Individual nominations of candidates (oneself or someone else) are called in the last NASS letter preceding the General Assembly and on the General Assembly itself. The Governing Board must inform current members and all persons registered for the upcoming conference about incoming nominations for being elected a board member no later than two weeks before the General Assembly.

f)      In the event that the executive positions (President, Secretary, Treasurer) cannot be filled at a General Assembly, the General Assembly may give the board a mandate to constitute itself.

g)     If not all Nordic countries are represented at the Assembly, the General Assembly can grant the Governing Board mandate to post hoc recruit additional members from these countries to complete the board.

h)     The President, Secretary and Treasurer may be re-elected only for three subsequent terms in the same position.

i)       Authorized to sign for the association as a legal entity are the President, the Treasurer and the Secretary.

§ 6: The Governing Board is charged with the following responsibilities:

a)     Engaging in and developing collaboration with other Nordic (national) and international organizations promoting research on semiotics,

b)     Deciding on the location of the Association’s conferences and supporting the local organizers (see § 8 below concerning the distribution of responsibilities in relation to the organization of NASS conferences).

c)     Deciding on and collecting the membership fee to ensure the continuing activities of the Association.

d)     Approving an annual Treasurer’s report in years where no NASS conference is held.

e)     Publishing a newsletter twice a year, distributed to members and others who sign up as subscribers (free of charge) by email.

f)      Maintaining a website (www.nordicsemiotics.org) in order to promote the interests of the Association.

g)     Deciding next term’s membership fee in due time before each upcoming NASS conference, and communicate the decision to the local organizers of the conference.

§ 7: The constitution

a)     Proposals for amendments to any aspect of the constitution are to be sent to the Governing Board no later than four weeks before the General Assembly. Proposals will then be prepared by the Governing Board for a vote at the meeting. The Governing Board must inform current members and all persons registered for the upcoming conference about incoming proposals (including any proposal from the Board) no later than two weeks before the General Assembly.

b)     Amendments to the constitution are to be approved by a qualified majority (two-thirds) of the members present at the General Assembly.

c)     If the organization of an actual physical members’ meeting is not feasible, voting may be performed electronically.

§ 8: The Conferences

The Governing Board allocates the responsibility for the local organization of the regular NASS conferences to a member/institution in the NASS home area. The local organizers appoint a contact person who maintains contact with the Governing Board during the conference organization. They draft the theme of the NASS conference and the details of the organization (which might include proposals for keynote speakers, etc.), in collaboration with the Governing Board. The following responsibilities, among others, may be transferred to the local organizers:

a)     Inviting the keynote speakers, if such there will be.

b)     Applying for and managing funding for the full budget of the conference.

c)     Collecting the NASS membership fee together with a potential conference fee and transferring membership fees to the NASS bank account.

d)     Managing publication of conference proceedings etc.

§ 9: Dissolution of NASS

If no General Assembly has been called in a continuous period of five years the association is technically dissolved and it will be the duty of the Treasurer to hand over any financial assets to existing national semiotic associations in the Nordic region, or to any semiotic cause decided by the Governing Board.

This Constitution was approved by the board of NASS on August 31st 2012 with mandate from the General Assembly of NASS in Lund, Sweden, May 7th 2011.