Constitution of the International Society for the Study of Interactivity, Language and Cognition


1. This Society shall be known as the “International Society for the Study of Interactivity, Language and Cognition” (abbreviated ISSILC), hereinafter referred to as the Society. The Society was established on September 12, 2012.

1.1 The Society’s resident address is: International Society for the Study of Interactivity, Language and Cognition, c/o Institute of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.

1.2 The Governing Board can at all times decide to change the Society’s resident address.


2. The purpose of the Society is to build a field of enquiry that unites the cognitive and life sciences with the humanities. The interdisciplinary field builds on the study of interactivity, defined as sense-saturated coordination that contributes to human action and coaction. By extending the cognitive powers that humans share with other living things, interactivity underpins languaging, language and many historical extensions of cultural resources (e.g. social institutions, tools, texts, writing-based technologies, modes of computation). In tracing language and cognition to species-specific forms of interactivity, the Society promotes a unificatory view of how human sense-saturated coordination sustains a wide array of social practices, cultural resources and modes of interpretation.

2.1 The Society seeks to propagate the results of the interdisciplinary field across research communities and to the general public. The Society will therefore organize regular meetings to develop the field while publishing interdisciplinary scholarly work on how interactivity, language and cognition contribute to human life.

2.2 In furtherance of the above objectives, the Society maintains a website for the cross-disciplinary exchange of research findings and theoretical approaches to interactivity, language and cognition at makes a contract with a publisher to publish a scholarly journal on interactivity, language and cognition, to hold an open biennial academic conference (Conference on Interactivity, Language and Cognition, “CILC”) for the presentation of research papers; and collects membership dues to cover the cost of maintaining the website and a mailing list informing members of upcoming conferences, publications and events. All biennial meetings of the Society will be open to members and non-members alike and will be announced on the official website. The official language of the Society and its conferences will be English. A copy of this Constitution will be made available at the Society’s website.2


3. The Society welcomes the membership and collaboration of scholars from all relevant disciplines, including, but not limited to, linguistics, applied linguistics, education, interaction studies, biology, cognitive science, psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, communication studies, semiotics, and biosemiotics.

3.1 Membership is available online, and is open to any member of the worldwide academic community (including non-institutionally affiliated scholars) whose interests lie in the study of interactivity, language and cognition.

3.2 Membership requires either the payment of a one-time Registration Fee (See also, 3.5) and/or the payment of fees due as part of a CILC Conference Levy. All payments will be used for two main purposes: (a) organising ISSILC activities; and (b) offsetting the cost of maintaining the website and a mailing list.

3.3 The Registration Fee and the Conference Levy is determined by the Governing Board, the latter in collaboration with the local organiser of a CILC conference. The local organiser collects the Conference Levy on behalf of the Society, and these will be split in the manner agreed between the local organizer and the Society.

3.4 Payment of fees/levy entitles members to regular e-mail announcements, participation in ISSILC activities, eligibility for the Society’s Governing Board and, when available, discounts on selected publications that result from the work of members of the Society.

3.5 Persons registered as attendees as the CILC conference in September 2012 or as members of the Distributed Language Group on the date when the Society is founded, will receive a Registration Fee waiver on condition that they register as ISSILC members within three months of the date on which the Society is founded.

The General Assembly

4. The General Assembly is constituted by all members of the Society and is the highest authority in the association. It falls on the governing board to call the General Assembly, with at least six weeks notification.

4.1 The General Assembly is called in concomitance with the Society’s biennial CILC conference.

4.2 Mandatory agenda items of the General Assembly include:

a) Election of a chair for the meeting

b) Election of a keeper of the minutes

c) Approval of the agenda

d) The President’s report

e) The Treasurer’s report

f) Incoming proposals

g) Election of President, Secretary and Treasurer

h) Election of four board members

i) Optional topics and announcements

4.3 Incoming proposals have to be submitted to The Governing Board at least four week before the General Assembly. The Governing Board must inform current members and all persons registered for the upcoming General Assembly about incoming proposals (including any proposal from the Board) no later than two weeks before the General Assembly.

4.4 Nominations of candidates are called for in the call for the General Assembly, and in the General Assembly itself. Nominations for the executive positions (President, Secretary, and Treasurer) will be individual. The four board members will be nominated on a single list designed to represent at least four (or more) otherwise unrepresented areas of the society (cf. section 3).

4.5 If several candidates have been nominated for the same position, or if more than one list of candidates has been nominated for the governing board, election by secret ballot shall be held. The same person can be a candidate for more than one executive position, though only be elected for one position. The same person can be a candidate on more than one list.

4.6. In the event that the executive positions (President, Secretary, Treasurer) cannot be filled at a General Assembly, the General Assembly may give the board a mandate to constitute itself.

The Governing Board

5. Responsibility for administering the Society falls to the Governing Board. The Governing Board is elected by members of the association for a term lasting until the next General Assembly (see also, 4.1).

5.1 The Governing Board consists of seven members: a President, a Secretary and a Treasurer, as well as four board members, preferentially representing the different disciplines that constitute the Society. The President, Secretary and Treasurer may be re-elected only for three immediately subsequent terms in the same position.

5.2 If a board member stands down before the end of the election period, the remaining members of the Governing Board invite an eligible member of the Society to join the Governing Board –basing their decision on seeking to retain the board’s representative composition. If the board member stepping down holds an executive position, the Board appoints one of its members to hold the position. If the appointed member has hitherto held another position, the Board appoints one of its members to hold that position.

5.3 The board may appoint an Organizational Assistant to help with practicalities on a regular basis. The Organizational Assistant can represent the Society, and take part in all discussions, but does not have a vote in the board.4

Duties of the Governing Board

6. The Governing Board is charged with the following duties:

The Society’s governance 

a) Reporting on the past years’ activities and developments to the Society’s members present at the biannual General Assembly, held at the concomitant CILC conference.

b) Deciding upon, collecting and depositing into a bank account the membership fee to ensure the continuing activities of the Society including the payment of the monthly web server fees.

c) Approving an annual Treasurer’s report in years where no General Assembly is held.

The Society’s communication

d) Publishing a newsletter twice a year, distributed to members by email.

e) Maintaining the ISSILC website in order to promote the interests of the Society, including the provision of information about resources for the study of interactivity, language and cognition (e.g., book and journal releases, conference announcements, and relevant related web-links).

The Society’s biannual Conferences on Interactivity, Language and Cognition 

f) Deciding on the location of the Society’s biannual Conferences on Interactivity, Language and Cognition, open to both members and non-members.

g) Organising and promoting these conferences in partnership with a hosting institution or university that has volunteered to co-host a given year’s conference.

h) Observing that the local organizers have the full responsibility for deciding on the thematic profile of the conference, choosing the number of invited speakers, and inviting the invited speakers.

i) Observing that the local organizers have the full responsibility for the budget of the conference.

The Society’s journal 

j) Deciding upon the entering into, as well as the withdrawal, from contracts with the publisher of the “official journal of the ISSILC.”

Miscellaneous activities 

k) Deciding upon the allowance or non-allowance of the ISSILC name and logo to be used in association with non-ISSILC conferences and/or publications.

l) Engaging in any other activities that may support and promote the aims and interests of the Society and its members, including collaboration with other organizations promoting research on interactivity, language and cognition.

6.1 Sole responsibility for the duties outlined falls to the Governing Board.

6.2 In the execution of those duties, maximum flexibility on the part of the assigned Board Member shall be the rule, and a simple majority vote of the Governing Board, 5

conducted by the President via e-mail, or at the annual board meeting, shall constitute the final and the only method for the resolving of disputes.

6.3 Authorized to sign for the Society as a legal entity (e.g., for bank account opening and publication contracts) are the President, the Treasurer and the Secretary.

The Constitution

7. No alteration or addition/deletion to this Constitution shall be made except at a General Assembly and with the consent of two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members present.

7.1 The only exception from section 7 is the address in section 1.1 which can be changed by a majority of the Governing Board.

7.2 Proposals for amendments to any aspect of the constitution are to be sent to the Governing Board no later than four weeks before the General Assembly. Proposals will then be prepared by the Governing Board for a vote at the meeting (see also, 4.3).

Dissolution of the Society

8. The Society shall not be dissolved, except with the consent of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members present at a General Assembly convened for the purpose.

8.1 If no General Assembly has been called in a continuous period of five years the association is technically dissolved.

8.2 If the society is dissolved, it will be the duty of the Treasurer to hand over any financial assets to any scholarly cause decided by the Governing Board.

This Constitution was approved by the participants in the founding General Assembly, gathered at the First International Conference on Interactivity, Language and Cognition, in Odense (Denmark), September 2012.

Download the full text of the Society’s constitution here.