Mid-Atlantic Popular &
American Culture Association

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Constitution of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association

Amended November 2018 by a majority vote of conference attendees. Updated December 2018. Amended by the Board and updated August 2019.

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 both 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/or 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.

While decision-making responsibilities for the organization primarily rest with the the MAPACA Executive Board, it is understood and affirmed that MAPACA would not exist without the dedication of its attendees. There are people outside the Board that have contributed meaningfully to MAPACA for considerable amounts of time as current and former Area Chairs, co-chairs, long-time attendees, committee members, and former Board members. In recognition of their contributions, the Board may present significant Constitutional amendments and Executive Board appointments to be affirmed by conference attendees at the annual conference. Furthermore, in keeping with standard academic practice, conference attendees may 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, collectively referred to as “the Board”: an Executive Board, Officers, and a Board of Advisors.

ARTICLE IV: Executive Board

Section 1.

The MAPACA Executive Board is recruited by current and/or outgoing Board members and may be affirmed by attendee vote at the conference. During a board member’s tenure, their 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.

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, the Board may simply vote to renew the Board member’s term. In the case that more than one individual is interested in a position, the Board may vote on the position and/or a paper ballot may be distributed to attendees 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.

In the event that an Executive Board member cannot serve out their term, the Board will appoint an Interim President or Vice President, using the same qualifications. The Interim President or Vice President will serve until the November conference or the next Board meeting (whichever makes the most sense), at which time the Board will elect a new President. Interim Executive Board members are eligible to run for the full term of their position.

Section 6.

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. Ideally, the President should have served as a MAPACA Executive Board member or Officer for at least one full three years 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. Respond to presenter inquiries.
  4. Support and assist ACs during the acceptance/rejection and sessions formation periods.
  5. Act as liaison between area chairs and Vice President of Conference during the scheduling period.
  6. Assist with special events, especially those that require coordination with area chairs.

C. Vice President of Conference

The Vice President of Conference (formerly “Conference Coordinator”), is in charge of 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. Delegate additional duties and responsibilities regarding the conference.
  5. Identify space requirements while MAPACA seeks a conference site.
  6. 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 participants, including 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, conference attendees, 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 periodic newsletter posted to MAPACA’s website and sent to those who have enabled user accounts on the 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.
  9. Facilitate communication between Board members via communication technologies.

F. Vice President of Awards

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

Key duties:

  1. Create awards in consultation with the Board 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 Executive 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, Executive Director, and local arrangements chair if applicable 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 President. During the Officer’s tenure, the Officer’s work will be overseen and reviewed annually by the 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 and steering, with the Board’s input, what it costs to hold and attend the conference.
  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. Work with the Executive Secretary to oversee website user account records and website dashboard management in cooperation with VPs.
  4. Delegate local arrangements tasks as needed.
  5. Liaise with PCA and other regional and national organizations.
  6. 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 Executive 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. Receive and reply to 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 and Executive Director on technological needs of the conference.

ARTICLE VI: Board of Advisors

Section 1.

In addition to the Executive Board, a Board of Advisors (a.k.a. Advisory Board) shall be formed to provide support, additional resources, and train future Executive members. This Advisory Board shall have three types of contributors: Past President, Assistant, and Emeritus members.

Section 2.

Board of Advisor positions are as follows.

A. Past President

When the new President takes office, the prior 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 (usually 2 years maximum).

B. Assistant Board

The Assistant Board is composed of at least four but no more than eight MAPACA participants 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 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. During an Assistant Board member’s tenure, the member’s work will be overseen and reviewed annually by the 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 to assist them with their responsibilities. The Assistant Board member should be proactive in this process and offer his/her help to the Executive, who should then help guide their partnership.

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 will also assist in recording votes.

One member (maximum) of the Board of Advisors must be a graduate student with the title of “Graduate Student Representative.” This Advisor shall represent the interests of MAPACA’s graduate student participants and organize graduate student events.

C. Emeritus Board of Advisors:

the Emeritus Board of Advisors is composed of former Presidents, Executive Board and Officer members, and Area Chairs. 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 may be conferred by conference attendees through a ballot vote. Nominations and letters of interest are also invited from conference attendees.

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 conference attendees. Additionally, nominations and letters of interest are invited from conference participants and confirmed by a vote of existing Board members.

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 by the Vice President of Conferences who will act as the Conference Chair in coordination with the Executive Board, Officers, and Board of Advisors.

Section 3.

A Local Arrangements Chair(s) may be appointed by the Executive Board to liaise local arrangements. The Local Arrangements Chair(s) will work with the Executive Board, Officers, and Board of Directors to coordinate with the hotel, other venues, 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.

Area Chairs may gain this position through application for a new area, suggestion or request of a Area Chair, or appointment to an open position by the VP of Areas in consultation with other Area Chairs or the Board. Area Chairs are requested to submit suggestions for their successors when they step down. In the unlikely event that the Board has to remove an Area Chair or request they step down, the VP of Areas may consult with ACs of related areas, the Board, or other appropriate professional connections to fill the position.

Area Chairs may step down for any reason. The VP of Areas, in consultation with the Board, may remove an Area Chair if the Area Chair does not fulfill their responsibilities, misses two consecutive conferences, or behaves in violation of the Code of Conduct.

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. Any conference attendee, current or former, may apply to be part of the editorial board; however, those 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, formerly known as The Mid-Atlantic Gazette, provides periodic news, articles, and information electronically to those who have created a user account on MAPACA’s website unless the user sets their account otherwise. 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 Director.

Section 3.

While it is understood that much of the Board’s business will be conducted and many of our our decisions will be made through online communication, 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 upon request.

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. 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 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 and will be invited to have their papers published in MAPACA’s journal, Response.

B. Daniel Walden Award

The Daniel Walden Prize recognizes two outstanding papers presented at MAPACA’s annual conference, one by an undergraduate student and one by a graduate student. Area chairs may submit one undergraduate paper and one graduate paper for every twelve (12) papers presented in their respective area. Walden Prize submissions must be as presented at the annual conference and previously unpublished. Recipients of the Walden Prize receive recognition and complimentary registration to the following year’s conference and will be invited to have their papers published in MAPACA’s journal, Response.

C. Loretta Lorance Volunteer Recognition Award

The Loretta Lorance Volunteer Recognition Award is granted to a conference participant who has contributed to the growth and success of the organization through service and leadership. Nominations are made and voted upon by the Executive Board. Awardees are announced prior to the annual conference and receive complementary registration to the conference at which they are recognized in a formal ceremony.

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 and American 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 Award

This modest award will be given to a graduate student presenting at the conference to help defray attendance costs. 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 MAPACA may be amended by an affirmative vote of a simple majority of voting members of the full Board, provided that this amendment is submitted in writing to the full Board at least one month prior to the amendment vote in order to give ample opportunity for discussion and revision. In rare cases, amendments may be proposed with less than thirty (30) days’ notice if the majority of Board members vote to grant this exception. Additionally, voting members of the full Board may choose by a simple majority to send an amendment to conference attendees for a binding vote.

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