Last Revised: 28 April 2017
I. NATURE AND PURPOSE
The Society is a permanent organization of historians of France. Its purpose is to promote scholarly work in any and all aspects of French history. It carries out this purpose chiefly through the holding of annual meetings, the publication of a journal, and the awarding of prizes for outstanding scholarly achievement. Since 1993 the Society has been a constituent member of the American Council of Learned Societies.
Any person interested in French history is eligible to join the Society by payment of annual dues at the applicable rate.
Special memberships, reflected in different rates for annual dues, are available to student members and retired members.
Life memberships are available at a sum equivalent to twenty times the annual membership rate.
Current dues rates are published in each issue of French Historical Studies.
Members receive the Society's journal, French Historical Studies, and the programs of meetings. They are invited to suggest to the Executive Committee candidates for President of the Society, for Executive Director, for Financial Officer, for the three at-large places on the Executive Committee, and for the Editorial Board of the journal.
Membership in the Society is required of all participants in the program of the Society's annual meeting.
III. OFFICERS; DUTIES OF OFFICERS
The governance and organizational life of the Society are the responsibility of a President or Co-Presidents and, in some cases, a Vice President, an Executive Director, a Financial Officer; and an Executive Committee.
A. The President
- The President (or, in some cases, Co-Presidents) has responsibility for organizing and conducting the Society's annual meeting. For this reason, the President is normally a member of the faculty at the university--or at one of the universities--where the annual meeting is to be held. The President is named for a one-year term by the Executive Committee, which under the bylaws must take into account suggestions received from the membership and also considerations on location of the coming annual meeting.
- A new presidential term begins immediately upon the conclusion of each year's annual meeting. In the absence of a Co-President, the President, at his or her discretion, may choose to select a Vice President and, after doing so, will inform the Executive Director. The President has complete discretion in appointing the committee or committees that will assist in organizing the annual meeting and is ex officio chair of the committee or committees.
- The President maintains and administers the funds in the annual-meeting account of the SFHS and at the appropriate time returns the ledger for the President's account to the Financial Officer, who will arrange to transfer it to the next President or Co-Presidents. At or before the end of a calendar year the Immediate Past President (or Co-Presidents) will supply the Financial Officer with a detailed record of their use of funds in the SFHS President's annual meeting account. That record must include all deposits in and withdrawals from the account, along with the dates, purposes, and amounts; and any other information appropriate for financial record keeping.
- The President presides over the dinner banquet at the annual meeting.
- The President is ex officio a member of the Executive Committee and remains a member for two years following the expiration of the term of office.
- A President-elect (or Co-Presidents-elect) is named each year by the Executive Committee when it convenes during the annual meeting. The President-elect is invited to attend the meeting of the Executive Committee at which the appointment is formally made. The individual chosen as President-elect assumes the office of President at the conclusion of the annual meeting held one year following his or her designation.
B. The Vice President
- The President may name a Vice President for a one-year term.
- The Vice President assists the President in organizing and conducting the annual meeting. For this reason, the Vice President is normally a member of the faculty at the university--or at one of the universities--where the meeting is to be held. The Vice President is ex officio a member of the Executive Committee during the year of incumbency.
C. The Executive Director
- The Executive Director is the Society's chief executive officer and gives continuity to the organizational life of the Society between meetings of the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Director is appointed by the Executive Committee for a three-year term and may be reappointed.
- The Executive Director prepares an agenda, circulating it among the governing board, in advance of each meeting of the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Director chairs the awards luncheon/business session at the annual meeting.
- Where appropriate, in routine matters requiring decision between meetings of the Executive Committee, the Executive Director may poll committee members by mail, e-mail, facsimile, or telephone.
- The Executive Director conducts correspondence on Society affairs with all interested parties: members, officers of other organizations, and others.
- The Executive Director is ex officio a member of the Executive Committee and remains a member for two years following retirement from office.
- The Executive Director is the Society’s designated representative to the American Historical Association and the Council of Administrative Officers of the American Council of Learned Societies
D. The Financial Officer
- As the Society's treasurer, the Financial Officer has custody of all its funds.
- The Financial Officer is appointed by the Executive Committee for a three-year term and may be reappointed.
- The Financial Officer keeps in periodic contact with the publisher of French Historical Studies to ensure that bills and renewal notices are sent out on a regular schedule to the Society's members and to institutional subscribers to the journal. Periodically, the Financial Officer verifies the membership list.
- The Financial Officer receives all monies due the Society from membership dues and disburses sums owed by the Society. The principal charges the Financial Officer must meet are the non-subsidized editorial office expenses incurred by the journal's faculty editor(s), the costs of the annual prizes not covered by a special fund, the cost of annual insurance, and, if necessary, accounting fees.
- The Financial Officer administers the Society's surplus operating funds, if any exist, and also the Society's various prize funds, seeking to invest these funds advantageously.
- The Financial Officer advises the Executive Committee concerning the Society's financial status and its membership and subscription figures and presents a formal report during the awards luncheon/business session of the annual meeting.
- The Financial Officer is ex officio a member of the Executive Committee and remains a member for two years following retirement from office.
- The Financial Officer is the Society's designated delegate to the annual meeting of the American Council of Learned Societies. If the Financial Officer is unable to attend, he or she may designate another member of the Executive Committee or member of the Society to attend in his or her place.
E. Secretary/Web Coordinator
- The Secretary/Webpage Coordinator has primary responsibility for the social media, including the official webpage, Facebook page, and twitter account, of the Society.
- The Secretary/Webpage Coordinator is appointed by the Executive Committee for a three-year term and may be reappointed.
- The Secretary/Webpage Coordinator takes minutes at the meetings of the Executive Council during the annual conference. After circulating these minutes to the governing board for comment, correction, and approval, the minutes are posted with other archived documents on the password-protected page for the use of the Executive Committee.
- The Secretary/Webpage Coordinator works in collaboration with the President(s) and Duke University Press to ensure that all participants at the annual meeting are members in good standing of the SFHS.
- The Secretary/Webpage Coordinator is ex officio a member of the Executive Committee and remains a member for two years following retirement from office.
F. The Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee is the governing body of the Society. It is composed of the following officers and former officers of the Society: the President (or Co-Presidents); the Vice President (or Vice Presidents); the Executive Director; the Financial Officer; the Secretary/Web Coordinator; the Editor-in-Chief (or Co-Editors) of French Historical Studies; the presidents from the two previous years; the most recent past Executive Director (for two years following retirement from office); the most recent past Financial Officer (for two years following retirement from office); a representative of H-France; four at-large members, one of whom must hold a doctoral degree but has never held tenure at any time prior to time of election; and the President-Elect (or Co-Presidents-Elect).
- The Executive Director and the Financial Officer serve three-year staggered terms.
- The Executive Committee has primary responsibility for its own composition, subject to conditions set forth in the Society's bylaws.
- The four at-large members serve three-year staggered terms. They are appointed by the Executive Director with the advice and approval of the Executive Committee. The Editor-in-Chief of H-France serves as an ex officio (non-voting) member of the SFHS Executive Committee. If the Editor-in-Chief of H-France is unable to attend the annual SFHS Executive Committee meeting, the Editor-in-Chief may designate a H-France officer or editor to represent H-France at the meeting.
- In choosing among nominees for at-large positions, the Executive Committee attempts to maintain appropriate representation from among the geographic regions of the United States and among the subfields of French history. Whenever possible, one of the at-large members will be drawn from the Society's Canadian membership.
- Each issue of French Historical Studies and each program for an annual meeting carries the names of the full Executive Committee.
- The Executive Committee appoints the officers of the Society. In the case of the President (or Co-Presidents), the committee solicits nominations by the most effective means available. Final selection is the responsibility of the committee.
- The Executive Committee and the President fix the dates and the location for each annual meeting.
- The Executive Committee appoints the Editor(s)-in-Chief of French Historical Studies and, in consultation with the Editor(s)-in-Chief, the members of the journal's Editorial Board.
- The Executive Committee confirms or appoints the members of various awards committees upon nominations or recommendations from continuing members of those committees.
- The Executive Committee may adopt for the conduct of its business any rules or procedures not contrary to the bylaws.
- The Executive Committee meets at the time of the Society's annual meeting. The Executive Committee designates the President-elect and makes all other appointments at this meeting.
A. The Annual Meeting
The Society holds a meeting in the spring semester of each year, at a time and a place designated by the Executive Committee. Dates of a coming meeting are announced during the awards luncheon/business session at the annual meeting of the previous year.
Meetings are usually held at or in connection with a university or universities. The Executive Committee's selection of the site for a coming meeting generally takes the form of accepting an invitation from one of its members for the meeting to be held at his or her academic institution.
Inasmuch as the function of the Society's President is to organize the annual meeting, the Executive Committee normally selects as President a person extending an invitation, someone who has thereby signified willingness to assume responsibility for organizing an annual meeting.
For compelling reasons, the Executive Committee may occasionally separate the office of President from affiliation with a host institution.
B. Special Meetings
The Society may from time to time hold a meeting or colloquium outside the regular sequence of annual spring semester meetings. Such occasions, which will be rare, may be undertaken jointly with another society and may be thematically tied to the commemoration of a significant historical event.
The decision to hold a special meeting is subject to vote by members present at the awards luncheon/business session at the annual meeting. The proposed resolution for a special meeting may originate with either individual members or the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee works out the details of time, place, and occasion in conjunction with an ad hoc committee on the special meeting. The latter body, appointed by the Executive Committee, shall consist of three persons.
The Executive Committee decides in connection with each special meeting whether to cancel the annual meeting of the Society for the given year.
The membership at large must receive full and early notice of any special meeting planned by the Executive Committee and be given opportunity to participate therein.
V. THE JOURNAL
The Society sponsors a journal, French Historical Studies, which appears quarterly.
The annual membership fee includes a subscription to the journal.
The Editor-in-Chief (or Co-Editors) is appointed by the Executive Committee for a three-year term; the appointment is renewable. The Editor-in-Chief may select an Associate Editor, with the approval of the Executive Committee. The Editor-in-Chief is ex officio a member of the Executive Committee.
The journal's Editorial Board consists of a sufficient number of members to cover all periods of French history. They are appointed to staggered three-year terms by the Executive Committee upon consultation with the Editor-in-Chief. A representative of H-France, designated by the Editorial Board of that body, also serves on the journal's Editorial Board.
The Bibliographers, responsible for the features, "Recent Books on French History" and "Recent Articles on French History," are appointed by the Editor-in-Chief, with the approval of the Executive Committee, and serve on the journal's Editorial Board.
The Editor-in-Chief convenes the editorial board once a year, at the time of the annual meeting.
The Editor-in-Chief speaks for the Society in all dealings with the journal's publishers that bear on the intellectual content of the journal. On all other matters, including those with financial or operational implications for the Society, the Executive Director and Financial Officer shall be the only individuals authorized to speak for the Society, after consulting with the members of the Executive Committee.
The Society annually makes several awards for scholarly work.
A. The William Koren, Jr. Prize
The Koren Prize is awarded for the best article on French history (in any period) by a Canadian or American scholar published in an American, Canadian, or European journal during the preceding year. The Koren Prize Committee may decide whether articles that have appeared as part of a book or in the published proceedings of a scholarly conference are also eligible for consideration.
The prize may not be shared, though an Honorable Mention may be named.
The Koren Prize Committee consists of four members, representing different periods of French history, who are appointed by the Executive Committee for staggered three-year terms.
The Koren Prize was established as a memorial by friends of William Koren, Jr., a serious student of French history and politics, whose untimely death in 1956 cut short a distinguished career in the United States Foreign Service.
B. The Gilbert Chinard Prize
The Gilbert Chinard Prize is awarded to the author of the best book published in North America during the preceding year on the history of France and the Americas in any chronological period. Studies of French-American relations and comparative studies of France with North, Central, or South America will be eligible. The author of the work need not be a U.S. or Canadian citizen, but the book must be published by a North American press. Books that have been translated into English are eligible, as are critical editions of significant source materials.
The Chinard Prize is conferred jointly by the Institut Français d'Amérique and the Society for French Historical Studies. The two organizations share the funding of the award; a committee of the Society determines the winner.
The prize may not be shared, though an Honorable Mention may be named.
The Chinard Prize Committee consists of three members appointed by the Executive Committee for staggered three-year terms.
The Gilbert Chinard Prize commemorates the eminent scholar who founded the serious modern study of French-American history.
C. The David Pinkney Prize
The David Pinkney Prize is an annual award for a distinguished book on French history, in any period, published during the preceding year by a citizen of the United States or Canada or by an author with a full-time appointment at a U.S. or Canadian college or university.
The prize may not be shared, though an Honorable Mention may be named.
The David Pinkney Prize Committee consists of four members, representing different periods of French history, who are appointed by the Executive Committee for staggered three-year terms.
The Pinkney Prize, first awarded in 1989, was established in honor of one of the Society's founding members and its first secretary-treasurer, who also served a term as president and nine years as Editor-in-Chief of French Historical Studies.
D. The Research Travel Award
The Research Travel Award is given annually to a recent recipient of a doctorate in history from an American or Canadian university to continue work on an outstanding project in any area of French history.
The award may not be shared.
The Research Travel Award is sponsored jointly by the Society for French Historical Studies and the Western Society for French History.
The Research Travel Award Committee consists of four members, representing different periods of French history. Members are appointed by the Executive Committee of the Society for French Historical Studies for staggered three-year terms. The Executive Committee of the Western Society for French History may appoint one member if it chooses to do so."
E. The Marjorie M. and Lancelot L. Farrar Awards
The Marjorie M. and Lancelot L. Farrar Awards are given annually to two students of any nationality enrolled in a doctoral program in history at a college or university in the United States or Canada to support work on an outstanding dissertation project in progress in French history (any period). In selecting the winner of one of the two awards, the designated awards committee will give strong preference to studies which relate French history to that of another European country or part of the world.
The award may not be shared.
The Marjorie M. and Lancelot L. Farrar Memorial Awards Committee will be responsible for selecting the recipients of this award. The committee will consist of four members representing different periods of French history. Members are appointed by the Executive Committee for staggered three-year terms.
These fellowships are a memorial to Marjorie M. Farrar, esteemed historian of modern France, and to Lancelot L. Farrar, esteemed historian of modern Europe. One fellowship was established in 2001 through a generous donation from the family of Marjorie M. Farrar, and in 2010-2011 a second fellowship was established through donations from the family, colleagues, and friends of Lancelot L. Farrar.
F. Natalie Zemon Davis Graduate Student Paper Award
The Society for French Historical Studies awards the Natalie Zemon Davis prize for the best paper presented by a graduate student at the Society's annual meeting. A student of any nationality enrolled in a doctoral program in the United States or Canada is eligible.
The recipient of the Davis Award will be selected by the designated Awards committee.
The award honors Professor Natalie Zemon Davis for her outstanding work as a mentor of graduate students. It was established through donations from students and colleagues of Professor Davis and from other members of the Society for French Historical Studies.
G. Institut Français d’Amérique Fund Research Fellowships
The Society for French Historical Studies will offer annually two research fellowships for maintenance during research in France for a period of at least one month. Candidates should be working on PhD dissertations, or they should have received the PhD no longer than three years before the application deadline. These awards are not for travel to or from France. The proposed fields for research can include all areas of French historical and cultural studies.
The two awards will be named in alternating years the Gilbert Chinard Fellowship or the Harmon Chadbourn Rorison Fellowship, for the first award, and the Edouard Morot-Sir Fellowship or the Catherine Maley Fellowship, for the second award. The Chinard/Rorison Fellowship will support research in all areas of French historical and cultural studies. The Morot-Sir/Maley Fellowship will give preference to young scholars working in a broadly defined field of cultural history, art history, or literary studies. The SFHS Research Travel Awards Committee is responsible for evaluating proposals and choosing the winners.
These awards are underwritten by the ‘Institut Français d’Amérique Fund’ of the Society for French Historical Studies, in recognition of the scholarship and service to the profession provided by of some of the founding members of the Institut Français de Washington, founded in 1926.
* * * * *
French Historical Studies periodically carries notices on the Society's various awards, indicating their nature and purpose and the application and selection process for each award. The names of award recipients are published in the journal.
A. The Society for French Historical Studies is organized exclusively for education and charitable 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.
B. The Society designates its officers, its conference speakers, and its session commentators and chairs as official delegates from their home institutions to the annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies.
C. The Society takes the position that its meetings further the professional interests of its members. Accordingly, it considers the expenses personally paid for all attendees at its annual meeting, provided that they are bona fide members of the Society, to be deductible on the annual income-tax returns for professional purposes.
D. Upon the dissolution of the Society, 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, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by a court of competent jurisdiction in the country in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
VIII. REVISING THE BYLAWS
The Executive Committee will be responsible for revising the bylaws. The Executive Director will post the proposed revisions to the Society's Web site at least one month prior to the annual meeting and invite comments from the membership. Proposed revisions can originate with the Executive Committee or by petition signed by at least five (5) members of the Society. Revisions proposed by the membership are sent to the Executive Director, who will put them before the next meeting of the Executive Committee for its consideration. The Executive Director will publicize the revisions of the bylaws as widely as possible and make a copy of the revised bylaws available to any member who requests it.