Bylaws of the Society for Cultural Anthropology (SCA)

A Section of the American Anthropological Association

(Updated January 2013)

Article I. Purposes

Section 1. The Society for Cultural Anthropology is a Section of the American Anthropological Association.
Section 2. The purpose of the Society is to advance the scholarly study of culture, cultural forms, and processes in anthropology and related disciplines through scholarly meetings, publication[s], and related activities. The Society is devoted exclusively to scholarly issues, but does not exclude discussion and debate on political and ideological matters insofar as these relate to the study of culture. What is excluded is the use of the meetings and publications of the Society for non-scholarly purposes.

Article II. Offices

Section 1. The main office of the Society shall be in Virginia at the offices of the American Anthropological Association.

Article III. Powers

Section 1. The Society shall be autonomous in all matters within its field that are not reserved to the American Anthropological Association, inimical to the American Anthropological Association's interests, or prohibited by law.
Section 2. The Society shall have an Executive Board, consisting of six Elected Members, and a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Student Member, and a journal Editor appointed by the Executive Board.
Section 3. The Society is empowered to determine membership dues.
Section 4. The Society shall determine voting requirements on all Society matters.
Section 5. The Society shall adopt and maintain Bylaws consistent with the Bylaws of the American Anthropological Association. A copy of the Society's current Bylaws, Rules of Procedure, and Table of Organization shall be filed with the Secretary of the American Anthropological Association.
Section 6. The Society may establish special funds to be administered by the American Anthropological Association for purposes the Society may designate.
Section 7. The Society may engage in publishing and program activities appropriate to its purposes. It may appoint editors and other agents and set publication and program policies, so long as the policies are not inimical to the interests of the American Anthropological Association.
Section 8. The Society shall submit an annual operating budget to the American Anthropological Association Executive Board, at a time specified by the AAA Executive Board, which, when approved, shall govern Society activities.
Section 9. The Society shall participate in the AAA Section Assembly, and shall submit nominations to the AAA Nominating Committee for open AAA positions.

Article IV. Membership

Section 1. Membership in the Society is open to all American Anthropological Association members upon payment of dues.

Article V. Dues

Section 1. The Executive Board shall set the annual dues of membership and may establish rates for special categories. The Executive Board shall review the dues of the Society at least every three years and report its findings to the membership.
Section 2. Any person in arrears in the payment of dues shall lose all membership privileges.

Article VI. Governance

Section 1. Governance of the Society shall be vested in the members and the Executive Board.
Section 2. The members shall constitute the final authority of the Society and shall elect from their number the elected officers of the Society as provided in these Bylaws.
Section 3. The Executive Board of the Society, shall, subject to provisions in the American Anthropological Association Articles of incorporation and Bylaws,

  1. have the authority, subject to general directions and limitations imposed by the members, to execute on behalf of the Society all powers and functions of the Society as defined by these Bylaws;
  2. in the event of an unscheduled vacancy in any elected office, shall have the power to make appointments to the office for a new complete term in order to acquire the full range of experience that SCA looks for all its board members to be able to deliver. In selecting a replacement officer, the Executive Board will give preference to the runner-up in the election for that office.

Section 4. The Executive Board shall meet at least once each year and at the call of the President may hold additional meetings as required.

Article VII. Officers

Section 1. The Officers of the Society shall consist of a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer, and the Editor of the Society's journal.
Section 2. The President shall be appointed by the Executive Board for a term of Office of two (2) years. The President shall be the presiding officer of the Society and chairperson of the Executive Board. The President shall exercise all the duties and responsibilities commonly associated with this office. Acting with the advice and consent of the Executive Board, the President shall appoint necessary committees and define their duties, and appoint representatives of the Society to other societies or agencies. The president shall be the representative to the Board of Directors of the American Anthropological Association, and, should the Society be entitled, serve on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.The president or an SCA member appointed by the President shall represent SCA in the AAA Section Assembly; the same representative may serve for up to four years, as stipulated in the AAA by-laws.
Section 3. The Secretary will be appointed by the Executive Board for a term of three (3) years, with an option for a further [one- or] two-year term with the approval of the Executive Board, and shall serve as Secretary to the Executive Board. The secretary shall perform the duties and have the responsibilities customarily associated with that office, including being responsible for the maintenance of proper records, which shall be open to inspection by the Executive Board. The secretary will additionally be responsible for all non-journal communications with the membership and with the American Anthropological Association, although the responsibility for maintaining the Section's web site may be delegated to a member of the Executive Board.
Section 4. The Treasurer will be appointed by the Executive Board for a term of three (3) years, with an option for a further [one- or] two-year term with the approval of the Executive Board. The Treasurer and shall serve as Treasurer to the Executive Board and be responsible for the maintenance of proper financing, which shall be open to inspection by the Executive Board. The Treasurer works directly with the President in liaison with the Controller of AAA to prepare the annual budget of the Society.
Section 5. The Editor of the Society's journal, Cultural Anthropology, will be appointed by the Executive Board for a term of five (5) years‚ observing that an Editor is responsible for four volumes of the journal in addition to a transition year with incoming and succeeding editors‚ with an option for a further [one- or] two-year term with the approval of the Executive Board. The Editor is responsible for the editorial office of the journal. Co-editors may be appointed at the discretion of the Executive Board. While they are normally full voting members of the Executive Board, the standing Editor or Editors do not vote or take part in the selection of their successors in order to facilitate fresh directions for the journal's work.
Section 6. The Board shall have the right, by a two-thirds vote, to remove any member of the Executive Board it deems to have failed to perform the duties of the office.
Section 7. The term of office of all members of the Executive Board and all officers shall commence at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. The Editor's term will begin on January 1 of the year prior to the year in which the Editor's first issue shall appear.
Section 8. The Student Member will be appointed by the Executive Board for a term of two (2) years, with an option for a further one-year term with the approval of the Executive Board. The Student Member shall represent SCA student interests by attending the fall and spring board meetings as a full voting member; serve as the SCA's representative to the AAA Student Caucus; organize the annual SCA Faculty-Student Roundtables each year at the AAA; and oversee student outreach for the section.
Section 9. The Web Director will be appointed by the Executive Board for a term of three (3) years, with an option for a further one or two-year term with the approval of the Executive Board. The Web Director shall serve as a consultant to the Executive Board and to the Editors of the journal, and shall be responsible for the maintenance and development of the Section’s website. The Web Director will consult with the Board throughout the year, and attend Fall and Spring Board meetings as a non-voting member.

Article VIII. Nomination and Elections

Section 1. The Executive Board will be elected for a term of five years by the society's membership from a slate of candidates either proposed by the Executive Board or nominated by a signed petition from at least twenty members in good standing. There shall be at least two candidates for each open position on the Executive Board.

Article IX. Referenda

Section 1. Any matters of business of the Society may be decided by means of a referendum vote by mail [or secure electronic] ballot.
Section 2. A referendum vote may be held at any time upon the initiation of the Executive Board or by a signed petition to the Executive Board by twenty members.

Article X. Balloting

Section 1. A member in good standing is entitled to cast one ballot in any election or referendum.
Section 2. Elections and referenda requiring a vote by the membership shall be handled by officials of the American Anthropological Association. The Secretary of the Society shall forward to the AAA all appropriate information and materials for such elections and referenda so as to meet the relevant deadlines and requirements. The AAA shall be responsible for mailing the ballots, counting the votes, and notifying the President of the Society of the results. The President will notify candidates of the results of the election, and will make public the results of referenda and elections by a report at the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 3. The candidate receiving the most votes in an election shall be elected; in the case of a tie the Executive Board shall break the tie.

Article XI. Quorum

Section 1. Twenty members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for transacting business at the Annual Business Meeting. This includes SCA Officers and members of the Executive Board.
Section 2. A quorum of the Executive Board shall consist of a majority of its membership.

Article XII. Finances and Property

Section 1. The fiscal year of the Society shall be that of the American Anthropological Association.
Section 2. The Treasurer will work with the Controller of the American Anthropological Association to ensure that the Society receives a fair distribution of the revenue and royalties from its publications.

Article XIII. Annual Meeting

Section 1. The Society shall hold an Annual Business Meeting at the Meetings of the American Anthropological Association. If the Annual Meetings are not held, an on-line meeting shall be conducted in lieu of the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 2. The place and date of the Annual Meeting shall be disclosed to the membership no later than sixty (60) days in advance of the Meeting.
Section 3. The Society shall hold a biennial Conference. At the discretion of the Executive Board, this may be held in conjunction with other scholarly associations.
Section 4. The place and date of the Conference shall be disclosed to the membership no later than sixty (60) days in advance of the Conference.

Article XIV. Annual Report

Section 1. At the time of the Annual Business Meeting of the Society, the Executive Board shall report its activities to the membership. The report shall include the reports of Officers, committees, and other agents.
Section 2. The Executive Board shall report its activities in a written report to the American Anthropological Association Executive Board at least sixty (60) days before the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association. As required by the AAA Executive Board.

Article XV. Amendment to Bylaws

Section 1. The Bylaws may be amended by a two-third majority of the members voting via mail ballot.
Section 2. Amendments may be proposed by the Executive Board or by a majority vote at the Annual Business Meeting. The proposed amendments shall be included in a ballot mailed to the members of the society, and must be returned to the Secretary no more than thirty (30) days from the date they were mailed out.
Section 3. The amendments and provisions of the Bylaws shall be effective immediately upon adoption and shall supersede and nullify all previous enactments in conflict with them.