last updated January 25, 2022

Article 1: Society Name and Mandate

1.1 The name of the society is the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities / Société canadienne des humanités numériques (CSDH/SCHN), and is affiliated with the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences as organisation 255.

1.2 The purpose of the society is to draw together humanists throughout the university and college system who are engaged in digital and computer-assisted research, teaching, and creation.

1.3 The society fosters work in the digital humanities in Canada’s two official languages, and champions interaction between Canada’s anglophone and francophone communities, in all areas reflected by its diverse membership: providing opportunities for publication, presentation, and collaboration; supporting a number of educational venues and international initiatives; acting as an advisory and lobbying force to local, national, and international research and research-funding bodies; working with allied organisations; and beyond.

1.4 The work of the society is carried out without purpose of gain for any of its members; any revenue which comes to the society is used to promote its objectives.

Article 2: The Executive Committee of the Society

2.1 The Executive Committee (the Executive) manages the affairs and business of the society and is comprised of the officers of the Executive. These officers are: the President; the Vice-President (French); the Vice-President (English); the Secretary; the Treasurer; the Communications Coordinator; the non-voting Past-President (if any); two Members-at-Large and two Graduate Students. To carry out the business of the society, the Executive may establish standing committees and, with consensus, appoint further non-voting delegates and officers.

2.1.1 Terms and Conditions of Appointment: Members of the Executive serve three-year terms, except for the Members-at-Large and the Graduate Students who serve two-year terms. Positions can be renewed once. Members of the Executive are elected by society members by majority vote from among a slate of members-in-good-standing of the society who nominate themselves or are proposed by the Renewal Committee at the society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). The election can take place online but should take place within a month of the AGM. The Past-President serves ex-officio for a single year immediately following the elected term of office. If any member of the Executive is unable to fulfil the terms and conditions of appointment, the Executive may elect that member’s replacement. Conditions of appointment to the Executive include:

  • attendance at the annual conference, the AGM, plus related meetings;
  • participation in electronic correspondence of the Executive;
  • the fulfillment of other duties and responsibilities of each individual position, as outlined below.

Note: To ensure continuity within the Executive, the renewal of individual positions will be staggered.

2.1.2 The Condition of Membership in All Operations of the Society: All those comprising the Executive, and those invited to assume duties associated with the responsibilities of those comprising the Executive (for committees, for work delegated by its officers, and beyond), must be and must remain on record as members-in-good-standing of the society.

2.2 Responsibilities and Operation: As a body, the Executive is responsible for managing the affairs and business of the society. It:

  • acts as the basic policy making organ for the Society, charged with proposing and implementing policies that forward the society’s mission and mandate.
  • establishes and defines the mandate and duration of standing committees, and ensures involvement in those committees that reflects its constituency and its concerns.
  • maintains liaison with professional associations in related fields. It is also permitted to enter the Society into formal association with other bodies.
  • sets or alters the rates of annual fees and, in consultation with annual conference organisers, the conference fees.
  • determines the timing of its meetings, and operates only with a quorum of five or more (which may include proxy participation), makes decisions where possible by consensus, but, if that isn’t possible, proceeds with a majority vote. It may handle its responsibilities via electronic means or physical assembly, each recorded as part of the minutes by the Secretary.
  • presents a full report to Society members, officer by officer, on its activities and its fulfillment of Executive functions, at the AGM.
  • receives, at the AGM, reports from all committees it appoints.
  • seeks input from where appropriate from members of the Society.

2.3 The President is primarily responsible for strategic planning and overall policy issues for the society, and will advance the society’s mandate to foster digital humanities research in Canada’s two official languages and to champion interaction between Canada’s anglophone and francophone research communities, supported by a Vice-President (English) and a Vice-President (French).

2.3.1 The President will represent the Executive publicly, supported by one of the Vice-Presidents for communications in an official language as necessary.

2.3.2 The President is responsible for delegating, or taking on, the organization and execution of the society’s annual conference, with the support of the Vice-Presidents, including the selection and supervision of the role of Conference Organizer.

2.3.3 The President will be responsible for external relations with professional associations in related fields, serving as the society’s liaison member at Executive Council meetings of associations with which the society has a formal affiliation. The President will serve as liaison to national and international associations, except where functioning in an official language makes preferable the delegation of the liaison role to a Vice-President.

2.3.4 The President will be responsible for organizing or delegating responsibility for organising society-sponsored paper sessions and streams at the meetings of affiliated organizations such as the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), L’Association des professeurs de français des universités et collèges canadiens (APFUCC), the Modern Language Association (MLA), and others.

2.3.5 In all the above, the President is responsible to the Executive for coordinating agreement in the direction of internal operations and external relations, in accordance with the society’s mandate.

2.4 The Vice-Presidents are primarily responsible for operational issues of the society. In that capacity, they:

  • preside, under the President, at meetings held by the Executive Council.
  • preside, under the President, over the AGM of the society, and ensures that all orders and resolutions of the Executive and membership are carried into effect.
  • conduct, with the direction of the President, the general and active affairs of the society, overseeing its affairs and continuing operations.
  • formulate, with the President, policies and projects for presentation to the Executive and society membership to fulfill the society’s obligations and purposes.
  • oversee the work of the society’s committees, as outlined in Article 3.4, below, including the chairing of the Awards Committee.

2.5 The Vice-Presidents are responsible for dividing, in consultation with the President, the above responsibilities and assisting the President in the performance of their duties. Specifically, it works well if one Vice President focuses on internal operations, while the other has a mandate for society outreach and integration, working in conjunction with priorities and direction set by the President. In the absence of one Vice-President, the other Vice-President will perform the duties and exercise the powers of the absent Vice-President.

2.6 The Secretary is responsible for duties related to the maintenance of the membership, the history, and the general correspondence of the society. They:

  • ensure that a functional membership mechanism exists for the society. This includes processes relating to the collection of membership dues and benefits, membership recruitment, reminders of membership renewal, and the ongoing maintenance of an accurate list of members-in-good-standing of the society and of past members.
  • are responsible for assisting the President in setting the agenda for, and taking minutes (including recording the results of voting) at, the society’s AGM and meetings of the Executive.
  • are responsible for tracking consultations of the Executive carried out via electronic means, and for making a record of that activity available after those discussions and, in gathered form, in advance of the AGM for the minutes of that meeting.
  • oversee the website, and are responsible for ensuring an ongoing home for the society website.
  • chair the Renewal Committee, and are responsible for establishing a list of candidates for activities associated with Executive Renewal.
  • oversee the archiving of the relevant records of the society. Are responsible for maintaining an appropriate record of the society’s scholarly, organizational and financial activities.

2.7 The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining accurate and timely records of all income and expenditures for the society. They:

  • are responsible for the safekeeping of all documents relating to the fiscal affairs of the society.
  • reserve all dues and subscriptions of the society and keeps the funds of the society safely deposited in a chartered bank approved by the Executive.
  • authorized by the Executive, draws cheques against deposited funds.
  • prepare the annual budget for the approval of the Executive.
  • report at the AGM on the collection and disbursements of the society.
  • deliver copies of the financial records of society transactions to the Secretary for archiving, at least once a year, at the AGM.

2.8 The Communications Coordinator oversees the Society’s communications whether through the website, email lists, newsletters, social media or other means. They:

  • are responsible for coordinating the Society’s web site.
  • are responsible for coordinating the Society’s email lists.
  • are responsible for coordinating the Society’s social media presence.
  • are responsible for coordinating regular digital audits.
  • are responsible for coordinating a yearly communications plan.

Article 3: Committees

3.1 To carry out the business of the society, the Executive may establish standing committees and, with consensus, appoint further delegates and officers. The Executive establishes and defines the mandate and duration of standing committees, and ensures involvement in those committees that reflects its constituency and its concerns.

3.2 As per 2.1.2 above, all those invited to assume duties associated with the responsibilities of those comprising the Executive (for committees, for work delegated by its officers, and beyond), must be and must remain on record as members-in-good-standing of the Society.

3.3 One Vice-President, at minimum, will serve as a member (at least ex-officio) of each committee.

3.4 The Society’s committees include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Annual conference Programme Committee: chaired by the President or delegate, the Conference Local Organiser; responsible for organising the programme and making local arrangements for the annual conference.
  • Renewal Committee: responsible for establishing a list of candidates for activities associated with Executive Renewal.

Awards Committee: responsible for administering several societal awards according to the terms and the rotation outlined in the awards documentation. The award committee is comprised of 3 members of the society, appointed by the Executive for three-year terms in rotation with the possibility of renewal plus one Vice-President (as chair).

Article 4: Renewing the Constitution

This constitution is a living document and should reflect the realities of the society. The Constitution can be amended in the following fashion,

  • Changes should be proposed to and agreed upon by consensus by the voting members of the Executive. 
  • Changes then need to be circulated at least two weeks before the AGM to all members.
  • Finally they should be brought to the AGM for a vote. To pass, a change to the Constitution needs 60 percent of those who vote at the AGM or who send their votes electronically. Note that members that can’t attend the AGM should be allowed to vote electronically in absentia. 

End of the Constitution.

Consensus Positions

The following positions were established by the consensus of the CSDH-SCHN Executive over the years following 2.1 above. This section is not part of the constitution. These reflect the practices that have evolved and are documented here.

  • Editor of Digital Studies: an ongoing position to be appointed by the Executive with a 5-year renewable term starting 2020-21. The Editor would be a non-voting member of the Executive.
  • The Editor can appoint three to five Associate Editors for overlapping terms of three years. These terms are renewable. The Associate Editors would not be part of the Executive, but work with the Editor.
  • Web Coordinator: an ongoing position to be appointed by the Executive for a 5-year renewable term backdated to 2019-20. The Web Coordinator would be a non-voting member of the Executive. Note: this is changing to a 3 year voting member of the Executive. See above.
  • Members-at-Large: In the 2020 election there was a tie for Members-at-Large between two candidates so we added a third voting Member-at-Large. The full complement went back down to 2 once the term of the third was over in 2021. In the future the revised constitution limits the number of Members-at-Large to two and only two. Voting members cannot be added by consensus.
  • Graduate Student Members: over the years the Executive has introduced Graduate Student positions. These are now being formalized in the Constitution as voting members with two-year terms that are renewable once like Members-at-Large. Nothing prevents graduate students from later seeking other positions. 
  • Communications Coordinator: is another position regularized in the Constitution as an elected voting position. 
  • Digital Curation Coordinator: an ongoing position, to be appointed by the Executive for 5 years renewable starting 2020-21. The DCC would be a non-voting member of the Executive.
  • The humanities and social sciences expert from Compute Canada/NDRIO will be invited to join the Executive as a non-voting member.
  • Each year about the time of the annual conference, the Executive will invite someone to serve as the following year’s Conference Program Committee chair. That person will also be invited to sit on the Executive as a non-voting member for the year until the annual conference occurs (if they are not already a member of the Executive), and then will be encouraged to serve on the following year’s Program Committee as ex-officio. The PC Chair has authority to invite members onto the PC, and CSDH-SCHN encourages diversity in the committee membership, which ideally will also recruit from various academic ranks.