VPFA Constitution


of the

Victorian Popular Fiction Association

1. Aims of the Association

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association (VPFA) is a not-for-profit organization committed to the revival of interest in popular writers, literary genres and other cultural forms of the long nineteenth century across the globe.

The VPFA is committed to connecting and supporting individuals whose research is related to this aim, and to facilitating the exchange and enhancement of expert knowledge in these areas.

In order to achieve this aim, the VPFA will:

  • hold an annual conference to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and development of research collaborations.
  • run study days that are dedicated to particular topics, allowing in-depth discussions on specific popular fiction authors, genres and cultural forms.
  • publish the Open Access Victorian Popular Fictions Journal (VPFJ) and undertake other publishing ventures in relevant areas.
  • circulate a newsletter and/or other relevant communications to members.
  • maintain an opt-in public Directory of Members.
  • communicate with other scholarly societies and institutions in the field and adjoining fields.

2. Membership

2a. Membership

Membership is open to people of all nationalities and disciplines, regardless of age, disability, religion or sexual, ethnic, gender or class identification.

Members can join and remain in the VPFA by paying the membership fee on an annual basis.

Membership includes:

  • the right to deliver a paper at the annual conference, subject to the acceptance of the initial abstract by the conference organizers and upon payment of the conference registration fee.
  • the right to apply to (co-)host a study day.
  • the right to apply to guest (co-)edit the Victorian Popular Fictions Journal.

The VPFA will strive to offer concessionary membership to students, retired members and unwaged individuals.

Honorary members can be proposed by any member of the VPFA. Honorary membership will be confirmed by the Executive Committee.

The membership list will be used to contact members about VPFA news and business; it will also be used to maintain the opt-in public membership directory.

The membership list shall not be made available to other organizations (beyond the information publicly available on the opt-in Directory of Members on the website).

2b. Membership fees

Membership is renewed annually and the membership fee for the next year shall be decided at the AGM.

Membership fees shall be used to support the VPFA in the achievement of its aims including supporting the journal, maintaining the website, offering bursaries and prizes when possible and appropriate.

Membership fees may be used to provide funding to partially support study days, but it is expected that registration fees will cover the majority of the cost.

Membership fees may also be used to cover a shortfall in the annual conference if necessary, but it is expected that registration fees shall cover all costs, including Officers’ fees and expenses when requested.

3. Structure of the VPFA

3a. Officers

The VPFA has four elected Officers: a President; a Secretary; a Treasurer; a Membership Secretary.

All Officers must be members of the VPFA.

Each Officer will be elected at the Annual General Meeting for three years, and may be re-elected at the end of each term.

The terms of the Officers shall begin on the day after their election with a three-month handover period when a new member is elected.

If possible, the election of the Officers should be staggered so that at least one Officer continues on each year.

Procedures for elections are outlined below (5).

3b. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall carry out the day-to-day running of the VPFA.

All members of the Executive Committee must be members of the VPFA.

The Executive Committee shall normally consist of: the President; the Secretary; the Treasurer; the Membership Secretary; the Web-Manager; the Social Media Manager; the Conference Organiser(s); the Editor(s) and Assistant Editor(s) of the journal; the Reviews Editor of the journal.

The Officers will appoint all other members of the Executive Committee. The Officers can temporarily create, appoint, modify or cancel roles at any point in the year according to the requirements of the VPFA; any such changes will be formalised at the next Annual General Meeting of the VPFA.

The Executive Committee can create and close sub-committees as required.

Decisions made by the Executive Committee throughout the year can be enacted immediately and formalized at the next AGM. Any such decisions can be made by agreement of 3 members of the Executive Committee as long as the decision is made known to all members of the Executive Committee and unless other members object, in which case a vote will be taken which requires 51% of members of the Executive (including at least one Officer) to vote in favour of the change to be enacted.

The President is required to call a meeting of the Executive Committee at the request of three members of the Executive Committee (quorate with at least 51% of Executive Committee members present).

3c. Conference Committee

The Conference Committee shall consist of at least two members appointed by the President and/or Executive Committee. Members may be reappointed each year if they accept reappointment.

4. Meetings

4a. General Meetings of the VPFA

There will normally be one general meeting per year (AGM), preferably held during the annual conference.

Extraordinary general meetings can be called by the President or Executive Committee with one month’s notice (or at the request of not fewer than 10 members).

4b. Annual Meeting of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall meet at least once a year, normally at the annual conference in advance of the AGM. The meeting may be held electronically, preferably no more than two weeks in advance of the AGM.

5. Elections

Officers will be elected by online vote and confirmed at the next AGM.

The Executive Committee may receive and propose nominations of candidates for election after not less than three weeks’ notice to all members.

If an elected Officer is unable to fulfil their duties the Executive Committee can request the Officer’s resignation and co-opt an interim replacement; the office will be open for election at the next AGM.

6. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the constitution will be voted on online by a majority of two thirds of voting VPFA members, provided that a quorum of twenty members are voting. Changes will be confirmed at the next AGM.

7. Dissolution

The VPFA may be dissolved by the agreement of not less than three quarters of members voting to do so. Any funds existing at the time of dissolution shall not become the property of any of the members but shall be devoted to furthering the aims of the VPFA.

14 October 2019

A PDF of the Constitution may be downloaded by clicking here.