Mid-Atlantic Popular &
American Culture Association

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Constitution of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association

Last amended November 2018 by a majority vote of the general membership. Updated December 2018.

ARTICLE I: Name and Purpose

Section 1.

The name of the association shall be the “Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association” (hereinafter “MAPACA”), stylized as such in full or abbreviated as “MAPACA.”

Section 2.

The purpose of MAPACA shall be to promote and assist in the study of popular and American culture in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States by bringing together academic and nonacademic scholars from various intellectual disciplines and by encouraging interested persons to study popular and American culture. Furthermore, as a regional organization affiliated with the Popular Culture Association (PCA), MAPACA will support the efforts and activities of PCA in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

ARTICLE II: Membership

Section 1.

The members of MAPACA shall consist of all persons who have paid their annual dues. Annual membership operates on the academic calendar year, concluding on or around July 1st, and will be referred to by the year of the membership year’s annual conference.

Section 2.

A one-year membership is included with the cost of registration for MAPACA’s annual conference. Those unable to attend the annual conference also may join MAPACA.

Section 3.

Members of MAPACA may participate in the annual conference and may professionally present themselves as members of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association.

ARTICLE III: Governance

Section 1.

MAPACA’s governance shall be comprised of three parts: an Executive Board, Officers, and a Board of Advisors.

ARTICLE IV: Executive Board

Section 1.

The MAPACA Executive Board is elected by the general membership and confirmed by current and/or outgoing board members. During a member’s tenure, the member’s work will be overseen and reviewed annually by the current president, who, upon consultation with the executive director, may ask the member to step down for cause. If the president is remiss in the handling of the office’s duties, the executive director, upon consultation with the full board, may call a vote for the president’s removal from office.

Section 2.

All positions are three-year terms, except the two-year term of president. It is recommended that all positions be held by only one person, except the Vice President of Conference, which may benefit from up to two people.

Section 3.

Though it is not required, it is preferred that all Executive Board members reside in the Mid-Atlantic United States, in order to maximize organizational productivity and encourage face-to-face meetings and special events.

Section 4.

Positions may be renewed after each term but are subject to evaluation from the board. If there is no opposition for an additional term or no new candidate, a “straw poll” vote can be used. In the case that more than one individual is interested in a position, a paper ballot will be distributed at the MAPACA conference. Outgoing officers are expected to train new members in the “lame duck” period following the conference and prior to the new calendar year when newly elected members will officially begin their term.

Section 5.

Executive Board positions are as follows.

A. President

The MAPACA President serves a two-year term. Though no term limit exists, a certain level of changeover is expected. The president should have served as a MAPACA Executive Board member for at least one full three-year term in a Vice President position and is expected to join the board of advisors following his/her term as president.

Key duties:

  1. Define clear vision and goals for the conference and organization during the president’s term.
  2. Generate content for official correspondence about MAPACA news (as directed by Vice President, Communications).
  3. Act as the tie-breaking vote in case of a tie.
  4. Act as the public face of MAPACA.
  5. Assign and coordinate local arrangement duties.
  6. Oversee and manage meetings, including agendas.
  7. Correspond with regional institutions, scholars, and organizations.
  8. Oversee and delegate responsibilities of all board members.
  9. Maintain the constitution and oversee any changes and amendments.
  10. Recruit new board members.

B. Vice President of Areas

The Vice President of Areas is responsible for communications between the MAPACA Board and the area chairs.

Key duties:

  1. Correspond with area chairs.
  2. Field requests for new areas and oversee process of adding, altering, and removing areas.
  3. Handle member inquiries regarding area assignment.
  4. Act as liaison between area chairs and Vice President of Conference during the scheduling period.
  5. Assist with special events, especially those that require coordinating with area chairs.

C. Vice President of Conference

The Vice President in charge of the conference (formerly “Conference Coordinator”), conference-related activities, planning, and operations of the conference.

Key duties:

  1. Assess the needs of the conference and work with the President regarding the annual vision of the conference/organization and local arrangements with hotel/venue.
  2. Oversee the scheduling of panels, presentations, special topics panels, roundtables, and other special conference events.
  3. Oversee daily operations of conference.
  4. Manage summer pre-conference meeting (such as planning, agenda, etc.).
  5. Delegate additional duties and responsibilities regarding the conference.
  6. Identify space requirements while MAPACA seeks a conference site.
  7. Provide input on conference capacities (such as total attendees, sessions per area, etc.) before proposals are evaluated for acceptance.

D. Vice President of Publications

The Vice President of Publications manages the organization’s scholarly journal(s).

Key duties:

  1. Act as lead editor of MAPACA’s journal(s).
  2. Form and manage an editorial board comprised of MAPACA members, especially those from the Board.
  3. Manage publication standards and styles.
  4. Work with Vice President of Areas to solicit publishable scholarship drawn from research presented at the MAPACA conference.
  5. Work with Vice President of Awards to encourage publishable scholarship drawn from paper awards granted at each year’s conference.

E. Vice President of Communications

The Vice President of Communications centralizes communication between the Board, general membership, and the general public.

Key duties:

  1. Develop an annual communications plan.
  2. Keep track of branding strategies.
  3. Oversee social media.
  4. Create, collect, and edit content for a monthly newsletter sent to the membership of MAPACA (and posted to website).
  5. Encourage public awareness of conference and organizational activities.
  6. Oversee, collect, and delegate the creation of new copy for website.
  7. Prepare and distribute Call for Papers.
  8. Produce public-facing board meeting minutes for publication on MAPACA’s website. Regardless of who initially records the meeting minutes, the Vice President of Communications should finalize the shareable version, share it with the board for document approval, then publish it on the website.

F. Vice President of Awards

The Vice President of Awards manages the various awards that MAPACA presents each year.

Key duties:

  1. Create awards as necessary.
  2. Solicit submissions and nominations for awards.
  3. Manage evaluation of award contenders’ work.
  4. Manage distribution of awards.
  5. Work with Vice President of Publications to encourage publishable scholarship drawn from paper awards granted at each year’s conference.

G. Vice President of Exhibits and Advertising

The Vice President of Exhibits and Advertising works with outside entities interested in advertising in the conference program or exhibiting at the conference.

Key Duties:

  1. Contact potential advertisers and exhibitors.
  2. Work with the treasurer and executive director to set prices for program advertisements and exhibition space.
  3. Work with advertisers to create copy for the program.
  4. Work with exhibitors to create exhibition space.

ARTICLE V: Officers

Section 1.

Officers help to maintain the logistical operations of MAPACA. These positions have no term limit, but require annual review and approval overseen by the current president. During the officer’s tenure, the officer’s work will be overseen and reviewed annually by the current president, who, upon consultation with the executive board, may ask an officer to step down for cause

Section 2.

Officer positions are as follows.

A. Executive Director

The Executive Director oversees year-round financial and directorial management of MAPACA, in cooperation with the Executive Board.

Key duties:

  1. Handle financial operations of MAPACA. This includes monitoring what it costs members to attend the conference and steering, with the board’s input, any changes to this.
  2. Oversee legal aspects of organizational activities, including contracts with conference venues. This includes negotiating and maintaining records of contracts (with venues, vendors, etc.).
  3. Act as membership coordinator. This includes management of membership dues, membership lists and website user account records, as well as membership recruitment and website dashboard management in cooperation with VPs.
  4. Liaise with PCA and other regional and national organizations.
  5. Oversee the reconciliation of the organization’s bank accounts, the preparation of necessary tax forms, and the annual financial statement. The executive director may hire an accountant or enlist another board member (excluding the treasurer, who maintains the bank accounts) to help with these tasks.

B. Executive Treasurer

The Executive Treasurer works with the executive director to ensure the financial health of the organization.

Key Duties:

  1. Communicate to the board about financial matters of concern to the organization.
  2. Assist the executive director in preparing the annual financial statement.
  3. Maintain the bank accounts, making payments and disbursing funds as needed.

C. Executive Secretary

The Executive Secretary oversees year-round operations and technical management of MAPACA.

Key duties:

  1. Maintain and update website.
  2. Maintain email list and official email communications.
  3. Act as secretary for meetings.
  4. Liaise with PCA and other regional and national organizations.
  5. Maintain MAPACA archives.
  6. Work with Vice President of Conference on technological needs of the conference.
  7. After collecting content from Vice President of Communications, distribute monthly newsletter.

ARTICLE VI: Board of Advisors

Section 1.

In addition to the Executive Board, a Board of Advisors shall be formed to provide support, additional resources, and train future Executive members. This advisory board shall have two types of contributors: assistant and emeritus members.

Section 2.

Board of Advisor positions are as follows.

A. Past President

When the new president takes office, the old president automatically becomes Past President. This is a non-voting board member, whose main responsibility is to consult the board as needed. The term of this position is equal to the term of the new president (2 years maximum).

B. Assistant Board

Composed of at least four but no more than eight MAPACA members serving as assistants and potential future Executive Board or officer positions. Assistant Board members should serve a term minimum of one (1) year and maximum of three (3) years. They are encouraged to attend annual board meetings and vote on all relevant board matters. These terms are renewable; however, assistant-board members are encouraged after a period of three years to move to an executive-board or officer position. Assistant board members also are encouraged to attend annual board meetings and vote on all relevant board matters. During an assistant-board member’s tenure, the member’s work will be overseen and reviewed annually by the current president, who, upon consultation with the executive board and officers, may ask the assistant board member to step down for cause.

Upon joining the Assistant Board and after each conference, Assistant Board members shall pair with one Executive Board member or officer whose responsibilities he/she can help with. The Assistant Board member should be proactive in this process and offer his/her help to the Executive, who should then help guide partnerships.

One member (maximum) of the assistant board shall be designated Parliamentarian. The parliamentarian is responsible for ensuring that MAPACA’s practices align with the constitution. The parliamentarian also will assist in recording votes.

One member (maximum) of the Board of Advisors must be a graduate student with the title of “Graduate Student Representative.” He/she shall represent the interests of MAPACA’s graduate student members.

C. Emeritus Board of Advisors:

Composed of former Presidents, Executive Board and Officer members, Area Chairs, and general membership. The purpose of this board is to preserve organizational memory and share wisdom of prior experience. The members of the Emeritus Board are not voting members of the board and are not expected to attend board meetings.

ARTICLE VII: Nominations

Section 1.

Nominations for open Executive Board positions will be overseen by the current Executive Board and Officers and conferred by the general membership through a ballot vote. Nominations and letters of interest are invited from the general membership of MAPACA.

Section 2.

Nominees for Executive Board positions are expected to have served on the Board of Advisors. Appointment to the Board of Advisors is made through formal invitation by the Executive Board to active members of the general membership. Nominations and letters of interest are invited from the general membership of MAPACA.

Section 3.

Presidential nominations are made from currently serving Executive Board members, Officers, and Board of Advisors. If elected, the President-Elect will nominate a member of the Board of Advisors to his/her former position.

ARTICLE VIII: Annual Conference

Section 1.

MAPACA’s annual conference will take place in or around early November in a Mid-Atlantic city of the United States.

Section 2.

The annual conference shall be supervised the Vice President of Conferences who will act as the Conference Chair overseeing an ad hoc Conference Committee consisting of members of the Executive Board, Officers, and Board of Advisors.

Section 3.

A Local Arrangements Chair(s) will be appointed by the Executive Board to oversee all local arrangements. The Local Arrangements Chair(s) will work with the Conference Committee, Executive Board, Officers, and Board of Directors to coordinate with a venue, hotel, and local events and attractions.

Section 4.

A general call for papers will be made public in late winter for the following autumn’s conference. Area Chairs should solicit scholars to present in their respective areas of study.


Section 1.

MAPACA is disciplinarily divided into Areas of Study united through a shared interest in and relationship to popular and/or American culture. All areas are overseen by the Vice President of Areas.

Section 2.

Area Chairs are experts in their respective fields with serious interest in scholarly and critical study. Area Chairs oversee conference presenters in their respective areas, assist the Response editorial board as Associate Editors, and provide relevant content and scholarship from their respective areas to MAPACA.

Section 3.

Area Chairs must attend a mandatory Area Chairs Meeting held annually at the annual MAPACA conference.

ARTICLE X: Journal

Section 1.

The name of the journal of MAPACA is Response: The Journal of Popular and American Culture.

Section 2.

The publication of the journal shall be supervised by an editorial board consisting of the Vice President of Publications, who will act as the journal’s editor and chair of the editorial board, and an editorial board. The editorial board will be selected by voting members of the full board through an application process. All members of MAPACA may apply to be part of the editorial board; however, members with leadership experience in MAPACA will be given extra consideration.

Section 3.

A Board of Associate Editors will be formed from MAPACA’s Area Chairs. Associate Editors shall provide peer review, constructive comments, and publish/no publish recommendations for submissions sent to them.

ARTICLE XI: Annual Activities

Section 1.

The newsletter of MAPACA, also known as the Mid-Atlantic Gazette, will deliver periodic news, articles, and information to the general membership of MAPACA. The newsletter shall be an electronic newsletter, delivered by email to general membership and others interested in receiving the newsletter. An archive of newsletters shall be maintained at MAPACA’s website.

Section 2.

A website will be maintained for year-round activities of MAPACA, to serve as the central location for all official communications, conference activities, and archives. An external developer may be employed by MAPACA under the direction of the Executive Secretary.

Section 3.

Four board meetings will be held throughout the year: at the national conference of the Popular Culture Association; in the early summer at the location of the upcoming MAPACA conference; and two meetings at the annual MAPACA conference.

Section 4.

Additional activities and programs may occur throughout the year with the approval of the Executive Board and Officers.

ARTICLE XII: Annual Financial Statement

Section 1.

An annual financial statement shall be prepared by MAPACA’s Executive Director, presented to the Executive Board and Officers, and made available to the general membership by way of organization’s website.

ARTICLE XIII: Awards and Recognitions

Section 1.

Awards are presented at MAPACA’s annual conference and overseen by the Vice President of Awards.

Section 2.

MAPACA makes the following awards:

A. Ralph Donald Award

The Ralph Donald Award recognizes an outstanding paper presented at MAPACA’s annual conference by a faculty member, academic, or independent scholar. Nominations for the Donald Award are made by Area Chairs from papers and presentations made at the annual conference. Area Chairs may submit one paper for consideration for every twelve (12) papers being presented in their respective area. Donald Award submissions must be as presented at the annual conference and previously unpublished. Recipients of the Donald Award receive recognition and complimentary registration to the following year’s conference.

B. Daniel Walden Prize

The Daniel Walden Prize recognizes an outstanding paper presented at MAPACA’s annual conference by an undergraduate or graduate student. Undergraduate and graduate students presenting at the upcoming annual conference are invited to submit their papers for Walden Prize consideration. Walden Prize submissions must be as presented at the annual conference and previously unpublished. The Walden Prize recognizes an outstanding emerging scholar in popular and American culture studies.

C. Loretta Lorance Volunteer Recognition Award

The Loretta Lorance Volunteer Recognition Award is granted to a MAPACA member who has contributed to the growth and success of the organization through service and leadership. Nominations are made by the current Executive Board, announced prior to the annual conference, and recognized in formal ceremony at the annual conference.

D. The Divine Impact Award

The Divine Impact Award (DIA) recognizes outstanding creative or scholarly achievement in the production, performance, or scholarly consideration of popular culture that exhibits exceptional contribution, longevity, originality, and impact. The VP of Awards creates a list of potential nominees for the award. Board members also may contribute to this list. Voting members of the full board then vote on this list to determine the recipient.

E. The Christopher Innes Travel Grant

This grant will be awarded to a graduate student presenting at the conference. The recipient will be determined through an application process by the VP of Awards in consultation with the executive board.

Section 3.

Additional awards and recognitions may be made by the Vice President of Awards with the approval of the Executive Board and Officers.

ARTICLE XIV: Amendments

Section 1.

The Constitution of the Association may be amended as follows: Amendments must be submitted to the Executive Board at least one month prior to the annual summer board meeting, at which they shall be discussed. After the annual summer board meeting, the Executive Secretary shall communicate the wishes of the Board to the general membership, and a vote will be taken at the annual conference. The membership may amend the Constitution by a two-thirds majority of those voting.

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