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Constitution of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA)

(Download pdf version of constitution here)

1. NAME: The name of the Association shall be the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa, abbreviated as DHASA.

2. AIMS: The aims of the Association shall be

a) To foreground the national and international benefits of developing Digital Humanities scholarship as a priority in the humanities and social sciences.

b) To promote the understanding and practice of digital approaches to humanities scholarship across the southern African region.

c) To hold an annual conference or workshop extending practical awareness of digitally-based scholarship in the humanities, arts and social sciences.

d) To work towards a ‘methodological commons’ for the digital humanities in the southern African region, providing guidance in the development of standards and expertise to promote best practice in DH teaching and research.

e) To extend awareness of DH research possibilities into new fields, such as indigenous knowledge systems (IKS), fine arts, performance studies, and sociology of science, for example.

f) To provide advocacy for the scholarly recognition of unfamiliar DH research outputs in national systems of innovation and research funding.

g) To showcase exemplary southern African innovations in the DH field.

h) To identify funding sources for scholarship and training in DH work.


a) The Association shall be open to all people who subscribe to its aims and who pay the prescribed membership fees.

b) The Association reserves the right to withhold membership from an individual or organisation when in its judgment such membership is prejudicial to the Association’s aims.

c) The Association may grant honorary membership to such people as it sees fit.

d) The Association may, from time to time, appoint as Patrons eminent persons who subscribe to the aims of the Association.

e) Patrons and honorary members need not pay the prescribed membership fees.

f) Corporate membership shall be open to cognate organisations, including Digital Humanities entities, language and language-processing groups, literary and cultural organisations, and discipline-related formations in the historical, social, philosophical, fine art and performance fields, both within southern Africa and abroad, who subscribe to the aims of the Association.


a) The Executive Committee shall comprise a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and an additional member. The Executive Committee shall have the right to co-opt further members for their specialised knowledge, or to replace members no longer able to serve. All members of the Executive Committee must be members of the Association.

b) The Executive Committee shall manage the day-to-day business of the Association, including its financial affairs, according to the Constitution.

c) The Executive Committee’s interpretation of the Constitution and rules of the Association shall be binding on all members.

d) The President shall be the public representative of the Executive Committee and the Association and he or she shall chair the Executive Committee.

e) The President and Vice-President shall jointly assume responsibility for organising, or seeing to the organisation of, DHASA’s annual conference or workshop. The Association’s AGM shall be held as part of this event.

f) The Treasurer shall transact the financial business of the Association, keep proper financial records, and ensure that these are professionally audited, annually. Accounts shall be available for inspection at the AGM, and thereafter shall be supplied electronically to members upon request.

g) The Secretary shall maintain Minute Books recording business conducted at meetings of the Executive Committee and the AGM. He or she shall assist the President and Vice-President with membership and other Association correspondence. Minute books shall be available for inspection at the AGM.

h) A minimum of four members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum, regardless of whether attendance at the meeting is actual or virtual.

i) The Executive shall meet at least twice a year, and all meetings shall be minuted.

j) Members of the Executive shall normally serve for three years, and may be re-elected. To ensure rotation in office, after the first election two members of the committee shall retire after two years, and no member may serve more than two terms without a break.

k) Where secretarial, financial, audit and other support services are provided by a University or other organisation, these shall have no decision-making standing within the Association.


In addition to carrying out the fiduciary responsibilities outlined in Article 4 above, the Executive Committee shall be:

a) Responsible for forwarding the aims of the Association (see Article 2 above).

b) Propose subscription and conference fees for the forthcoming year to the AGM, including corporate membership fees.

c) Set the time and dates of the annual conference or workshop, in consultation with the conference organisers.

d) Present a full report to the Association’s members at the AGM.

e) Provide members of the Association with a free annual electronic newsletter.

f) Ensure that the Association’s website is maintained and regularly updated.

g) Develop and maintain liaison and consultation with other DH entities, nationally and internationally. The Executive Committee may enter into formal relations with other such organisations where appropriate.

h) Appoint regional representatives and working groups, as required, reporting to the Executive Committee.

i) Work at developing the penetration of DH thought and practice throughout the southern African region.

j) Explore the academic and financial viability of the Association establishing its own scholarly publication.


a) The income and property of the Association shall be applied solely towards the aims of the Association, as set out in the Constitution, and no portion thereof shall be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly, by way of dividend, bonus, or otherwise by way of profits to members of the Association.

b) No member of the Association shall be liable for the acts, receipts, neglects, omissions or defaults of any member of the Association, in pursuit of the activities of the Association.

c) This Constitution, other than the Aims, this Clause, and the dissolution provision below, may be amended by a resolution passed by a three-fourths majority of those present at a members’ meeting called for the purpose, with a quorum of at least twenty members present.

d) Dissolution: If for any reason the Association ceases to exist, its assets, if any, shall be distributed to an educational institution in the southern African region, at the discretion of the Executive Committee.