Updated November 2020
The Southern Association for Women Historians originated in 1970 at the annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association in Louisville, Kentucky, and first adopted formal bylaws at the 1974 annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association in Dallas, Texas.
The name of the organization is the Southern Association for Women Historians (SAWH).
The purposes of the Southern Association for Women Historians are: (1) to advance the status of women in the historical profession in the South; (2) to provide communication among women historians regarding issues of professional concern; (3) to stimulate interest in the study of southern history and women’s history; and (4) to publicize and promote issues of concern to the SAWH membership.
Membership in the Southern Association for Women Historians is open to all interested historians and graduate students in history. Institutions and other historical organizations may also join and may exercise and enjoy all the benefits and privileges of individual members except changes in dues or the conditions and categories of membership must be approved by the Membership at the annual meeting or by written ballot.
The Southern Association for Women Historians convenes annually during the Southern Historical Association meeting. Other arrangements, however, are possible if recommended by the Executive Council and approved by the Membership.
The Southern Association for Women Historians publishes a newsletter three times during each calendar year and may choose to print other materials of interest to the Membership.
The Southern Association for Women Historians sponsors the Willie Lee Rose Publication Prize in southern history, the Julia Cherry Spruill Publication Prize in southern women’s history, and the A. Elizabeth Taylor Publication Prize in southern women’s history, the Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Prize for the two best papers presented by graduate students at the triennial Southern Conference on Women’s History sponsored by the SAWH, and the Anne Firor Scott Midcareer Fellowship, a stipend to an advanced assistant, associate, or full professor working on a second, third, or fourth book project that will contribute significantly to the field of southern women’s history.
Section 1. The officers of the Southern Association for Women Historians are: President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The officers of the SAWH shall be members of the Southern Association for Women Historians and the Southern Historical Association.
Section 2. The Nominating Committee, appointed and chaired by the Past President, has three to five members. The committee is charged with selecting one candidate for each of the following offices: second vice president, executive council member, and graduate student representative to the executive council. These nominees should be drawn from names suggested by past committees and the membership, and from self-nominations. The Nominating Committee conducts its work in December and January. Once the committee has completed its selections, the Executive Council must approve its slate of candidates. Nominees present their statements to the membership in the spring newsletter, which will also include a ballot, on which members may vote for the nominees or for other write-in candidates.
Section 3. The Organization shall be governed by an Executive Council composed of the President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Immediate Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and five at-large council members including two graduate student council members. The Second Vice-President and the three at-large council members shall be elected from a slate of two candidates for each office. At-large council members representing the general membership shall serve staggered three-year terms. One at-large council member will be elected each year, Graduate Student Council Members shall serve staggered two-year terms. One graduate student member will be elected each year. All other terms are for one year except those of the Secretary and the Treasurer, who are named by the Executive Council for terms of three years subject to extension or reappointment. In the event of an unexpired term, the President in consultation with the Executive Council is empowered to fill the position.
Section 4. The Executive Council generally convenes on the afternoon preceding the annual meeting of the Association. Announcements of meetings should be published well in advance, usually in the Newsletter that immediately precedes the scheduled meeting. In extraordinary situations the Executive Council may need to conduct business by correspondence or telephone. Duties of the Executive Council generally include routine governance of the Organization and such specific assignments as assisting with the preparation of the agenda for the annual meeting and naming the Secretary and the Treasurer as terms expire or vacancies occur. Meetings are open to all members of the Southern Association for Women Historians, but votes in Executive Council meetings may be cast only by the regular members of said council as specified in Section Three.
Section 5. Standing committees include: the Awards committees (see Article VI), Finance, Graduate, Membership, Professional Development, Social Media, Newsletter, and Nominating. The President appoints all committees except any Awards committee for which she might be considered and the Nominating Committee, whose members serve one year and are appointed by the immediate past President. The three members on each of the Awards Committees serve for one year. The Finance committee will consist of three members appointed to three-year staggered terms plus the Treasurer who serves ex officio. The other standing committees will be comprised of a chair and five additional members who will serve staggered two-year terms, except for the Newsletter Committee, which will consist of three members who each serve renewable, one-year terms.
Section 6. Chairpersons of standing committees attend Executive Council meetings and present their reports. Any individual member of the Southern Association for Women Historians may also attend or request time to present a view pertaining to organizational business. Any item of business to be put before the Executive Council should be submitted in writing to the President no later than one month before this meeting is to occur so that it can be included on the agenda and allow adequate consideration by members of the Executive Council prior to the formal meeting.
Section 7. The professional residence of the Secretary determines the headquarters of the Southern Association for Women Historians which is therefore subject to the possibility of change every three years. The candidate(s) for this position must submit a letter demonstrating the commitment and support of her institution or business or her personal commitment to provide an office as well as filing, stenographic, and computer services. Financial arrangements between the supporting institution, business, or individual and the Southern Association for Women Historians should be set forth in a letter of agreement prior to the onset of the three-year term. It is the responsibility of the Secretary to maintain the working files of the SAWH and conduct the financial affairs of the organization, among them management of the prize funds and the SAWH endowment, in consultation with the Treasurer and the Executive Council and Finance Committee.
Section 8. The Treasurer shall serve a three-year term, to coincide with that of the Secretary.
Section 9. Duties of the President include but are not limited to appointment of committees, preparation of the agenda for the Executive Council meeting, and conducting the Executive Council meeting and the annual business meeting of the SAWH. The President in consultation with the Secretary, Treasurer and the Finance Committee shall prepare a budget and submit it to the Executive Council for action at its annual meeting. The President, with the Executive Council serving in an advisory capacity, acts as official spokesperson of the SAWH.
Section 10. Duties of the First Vice-President include but are not limited to planning the annual business meeting in cooperation with the President, serving as the liaison with the SHA secretary in planning and coordinating events at the SHA annual meeting including the annual address and reception, and assisting the Finance Committee with the performance of its responsibilities.
Section 11. Duties of the Second Vice-President include but are not limited to compiling a list of the service of members in a given year; coordinating an event other than the annual address at the SHA annual meeting to be decided at the previous annual executive committee meeting; and reviewing the SAWH web site quarterly.
Section 12. The SAWH will hold a Southern Conference on Women’s History every three years.
Amendments to this document must be approved by the Membership. They may be initiated by a simple majority of the Executive Council or a petition from one-half of the Membership. Approval requires support of two-thirds of the Membership, in assembly or by correspondence, who cast votes.
This document becomes effective if approved by the Executive Council and the Membership at the 1985 annual meeting in Houston, Texas, or by some other procedure to be determined by the Executive Council. Implementation of provisions herein will commence immediately upon ratification.
The Southern Association for Women Historians is organized exclusively for educational purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Upon dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of by the Court of Competent Jurisdiction in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes and to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
The SAWH may be dissolved only with authorization by its Executive Council and with subsequent approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Members, who in assembly or by correspondence cast votes. Upon dissolution or other termination of the SAWH, all remaining assets of the SAWH, after payment in full of all its debts, obligations, and necessary final expenses, or after the making of adequate provision therefore, shall be distributed to such tax-exempt organizations (with purposes similar to those of the SAWH) as shall be chosen by the then existing Executive Council of the SAWH.
Revised Bylaws as adopted November 1985, with amendments approved November 1986, March 1994, November 1994, November 1997, June 2001, April 2008, June 2012, November 2012, January 2014, March 2014, and November 2017.