Bylaws of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle

Approved October 1, 2005Amended September 12, 2009

Article 1:  Name and Purpose

1.  The name of this organization is the International Merleau-Ponty Circle.

2.  The purpose of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle is to promote the study and critical discussion of the works of the French philosopher, Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961).

Article 2:  Membership

1.  Membership in the International Merleau-Ponty Circle is open to anyone interested in Merleau-Ponty and the scholarship surrounding his work.

2.  To become a member, one contacts the General Secretary.  There are no dues required.

Article 3:  Circle Conferences

1.  The International Merleau-Ponty Circle shall hold an annual conference, typically in the fall of each year.  This conference shall be timed in a way that avoids overlapping with the fall meeting of The Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) and the Jewish High Holy Days.

2.  The annual conference shall include a “business meeting” open to anyone who is attending the conference.  The purpose of this meeting shall be to transact all business of importance to the Circle, including the election of “Host Institutions” and Conference Directors for future annual conferences.  Other items of business that may emerge at these meetings include, but are not limited to, the following:  1) adopting or amending the Bylaws, and 2) electing new officers.  All motions, except amendments to the Bylaws, shall be carried by majority vote of those present; amendments to the Bylaws shall require two-thirds vote of those present.  The meeting shall be chaired by the General Secretary, and/or the Associate General Secretary, or their named representative.

3.  Arranging, advertising, managing, and selecting the program for the annual conference shall be the province of the “Conference Director,” working in consultation with the General Secretary and Associate General Secretary of the Circle.  The Conference Director is responsible for circulating the Circle’s annual newsletter.  The Conference Director also assumes complete responsibility for arranging the financial support of the annual conference as a condition of nomination for election.  A letter stating a measure of financial commitment is required from the Dean of the Host Institution prior to nomination.  Financial support may also be drawn from extramural sources and reasonable conference registration fees.

Article 4:  Officers

1.  The Officers of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle shall be:  1) the General Secretary, and 2) the Associate General Secretary.

2.  The term of office for each position shall be three years.  There is no limit to the number of terms a person may serve in either capacity.

3.  If the office of General Secretary becomes vacant in mid-term, the Associate General Secretary shall serve as the Acting General Secretary until the next business meeting of the Circle (where an election shall be held).  Should the office of Associate General Secretary become vacant, election of a new Associate General Secretary shall occur at the next business meeting of the Circle.

4.  The election of officers shall proceed as follows:  a ballot of nominees for each office shall be created and voted upon by those present at the business meeting.  Majority vote shall decide the election.  The election process shall be overseen by the General Secretary and/or the Associate General Secretary, or their named representative.

Article 5:  Board of Directors (Approved as an amendment September 12, 2009)

1.  The Circle shall be served by a Board of Directors.  This Board shall include all previous Conference Directors who agree to serve in this capacity, and any other member appointed by the General Secretary in recognition of her/his sustained participation in the Circle.

2.  Directors shall serve primarily as advisors to the Officers regarding the business of the Circle between annual conferences.

3.  In the unlikely event that both Officers are unable to fulfill their duties at the same time, the Directors shall vote one of their members to serve as the Acting General Secretary until service by one of the Officers resumes or until the election of new Officers.

Article 6:  Adoption and Amendments

These Bylaws shall be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the membership present at a business meeting after being duly promulgated at least one month in advance of the meeting in an official Circle communication venue.

These Bylaws were approved by the membership at the annual business meeting on Saturday, October 1, 2005.