During the meeting of the Executive Council (Bureau) of the ICLA in Paris on August 24, 1985, the Committee on Literary Theory (hereafter “the Committee”) was formally established (see ICLA Bulletin VII, no. 1 of Spring 1986, p. 10). The Committee is one of the committees which the Executive Council has established for the study of specific problems relevant to comparative literature (article VII of the Statutes of the ICLA).
The Committee on Literary Theory aims to develop theoretical studies relevant to the study of literature from an international point of view. In accordance with the Statutes of the ICLA (article I), it attempts to realize this objective through international cooperation.
The Committee is responsible to the Executive Council of the ICLA and will annually submit a formal account of its activities. The Chairperson of the Committee is entitled to attend the meetings of the Executive Council of the ICLA and is a voting member.
The Committee shall consist of no more than twenty, and no fewer than six members, including its two officers. Any change in the number of members must be approved by the Executive Council on the basis of a recommendation made by the Committee.
Members of the Committee are elected for up to six years: a term of three years, then they can be re-elected for one term of three years, and, in the case of the Chairperson and Secretary, for a maximum of two terms of three years.
The membership of the Committee is up for election after a period of three or six years. Names of candidates are received and examined by a Nominating Commission consisting of the Chairperson, Secretary of the Committee, and a third member selected by the Committee.
The list of candidates accepted by the Nominating Commission is submitted to the full Committee which elects by ballot as many names as there are vacant seats.
The Chairperson and the Secretary will be determined by ballot as of the time these by-laws enter into effect.
The Chairperson and Secretary are elected for three years. They may be re-elected for a maximum of three consecutive terms, but their terms cannot extend beyond a membership of the Committee of twelve years.
Their election is subject to ratification by the Executive Council of the ICLA.
The Chairperson of the Committee may invite non-members to attend a Committee meeting.
The Committee meets whenever necessary and in any case just prior to the General Assembly at the international congresses of the ICLA.
Votes are decided by the simple majority of members present. The quorum consists of half of the committee membership, present or represented, plus one.
By majority consent of the Committee, a vote on an urgent matter, or on a matter arising between meetings of the Committee, could be taken electronically via e-mail. In the absence of a quorum or in the interval between Committee meetings, the Chairperson, after consultation with the Secretary, may, in an emergency, make decisions subject to approval by the Committee via correspondence or at the next meeting of the Committee.
A Committee member unable to attend a meeting may designate another member or any qualified person as a proxy provided that the Secretary and the Chairperson receive a written notification of such proxy before the meeting. No Committee decision will, however, be definitive unless at least one-third of the elected members are personally present.
The Chairperson and Secretary of the Committee, and the Treasurer of the ICLA, are jointly responsible for finances.
They establish the budget which must be approved by the Committee. They propose to the Committee applications for grants and their uses. They audit and approve the financial reports from those who received the funds granted.
The Committee is free to receive subventions from private, regional, national or international organizations provided that the acceptance of such subventions does not conflict with the statutes of the ICLA and is approved by the Committee.
Available funds are deposited in one of the ICLA accounts kept by the Treasurer of the ICLA. If the Treasurer is not a member of the Committee, he will attend the meetings as a non-voting member. The Treasurer will report to the Committee at least once a year.
The activities of the Committee shall comprise the convening of conferences and symposia, the publication of scholarly works, and all other activities which further the objective of the Committee as described in Article 1.
Members are expected to participate in the activities of the Committee in the following ways:
- Participation in annual meetings/workshops of the Committee, normally at least 2 during the 3-year term, unless a good reason is conveyed to the Officers of the Committee for participating in fewer meetings
- “Participation in meetings” implies presenting a paper, serving as respondent and/or chair, as requested by the organizer; and constructive contributions to discussion
- Constructive contributions to the ongoing business of the Committee outside of the annual meetings, in support of the Chairperson and Secretary, which may include: helping to frame future meetings; contributing to the continuity of the Committee by nominating new members; participating in e-mail discussions of Committee business; helping to find a publisher and to edit proceedings.
The Executive Council of the ICLA has the right to dissolve the Committee.
A motion to change these by-laws must be made by at least two members of the Committee and be conveyed in writing, by the Secretary, to all members of the Committee at least one month before the date of the next meeting. Voting on the by-laws follows the provisions of Article 8.
Any change in the by-laws must be approved by the Executive Council of the ICLA.