Apply for an MLA Bibliography Fellowship by 1 April 2024

The MLA International Bibliography is accepting applications for three-year field-bibliography fellowships. MLA field bibliographers examine scholarly materials and submit bibliographic and indexing information for citations in the bibliography. Open to all MLA members, including graduate students, the 2024 fellowships will run from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2027.

Field bibliographers perform a valuable service for the profession and receive institutional recognition while deepening their knowledge of the field as well as their research skills. The MLA provides materials and training and waives registration fees for fellows attending training sessions at the MLA convention. On completion of the fellowship, fellows receive a $500 stipend and a certificate at the convention awards ceremony.

For more information and to submit an application, visit the MLA Bibliography Fellowships page. Applications are due 1 April 2024.

Contribute to an MLA Volume on Teaching Art Spiegelman’s Maus

The volume Approaches to Teaching Spiegelman’s Maus, edited by Jennifer Lemberg, is now in development in the MLA series Approaches to Teaching World Literature. Instructors who have taught Art Spiegelman’s Maus are encouraged to contribute to the volume by completing a survey about their experiences. Information about proposing an essay is available at the end of the survey.

2025 Presidential Theme: Visibility

Dana A. Williams, the 2024–25 president of the MLA, has chosen Visibility as the presidential theme for the 2025 MLA Annual Convention in New Orleans.

In the essay “Invisible Ink: Reading the Writing and Writing the Reading,” Toni Morrison uses the metaphor of invisible ink to suggest that one characteristic of flawless writing involves the way a writer leaves space for a reader to participate in a text. This participation goes beyond basic interpretation and extends to the ways, both active and passive, that a reader helps write a text. Morrison writes: “Invisible ink is what lies under, between, outside the lines, hidden until the right reader discovers it. . . . The reader who is ‘made for’ the book is the one attuned to the invisible ink.” This idea of invisible ink is not limited to reading and writing: it is applicable to every instance of communication. Something is said, but something else is left unsaid. Beyond what is offered and received, there invariably exists residuum—inconspicuous, impalpable, obscured—that lies beneath, between, and beyond. If filling gaps helps us produce knowledge more fully and attests to the aliveness of created things, what practices make more visible those things that have been buried, hidden, obstructed, unnoticed, or disguised? The work of the humanities is to create and to reveal situations that nurture the “right” reader, on the one hand, and then to practice and promote “right” reading and writing, on the other. In both instances, the notion that there is something more to be known, something more to be revealed, persists.

To be sure, ableist representations of visibility as a titular term appear throughout scholarly discourses. I aim to resist such a failing here by invoking the rich, varied, and intersecting legacies of scholarship from Black studies to postcolonial studies to disability studies that remind us that prejudicial ways of “seeing,” knowing, and being are misinformed at least and dangerous at worst. Such narrowness reinscribes systems of oppression that seek to normalize and thereby to exclude. In his 12 April 2022 post “Making a Case for Self-Description: It’s Not about Eye Candy” for the Disability Visibility Project, for instance, the podcast host and producer Thomas Reid argues that the pro forma inclusion of self-descriptions in meeting protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed peoples’ general discomfort with descriptions of appearances, even as appearance is a factor that most impacts peoples’ everyday living. Those who expressed anguish about having to describe themselves (and listen to others do the same) were less distressed about being forced to contend with what sighted people take for granted and more troubled that they were being forced to confront, finally, “that which is visible but yet rarely examined or discussed.” At the core of Reid’s argument is the assertion that “the act of providing a description is a means of recognizing diversity.” For those of us committed to enacting the humanist impulse to include and to build diverse communities peaceably, what work can we do to examine the politics of visibility in ways that are fully inclusive?

Sessions for the 2025 convention that are in conversation with the presidential theme might consider practices of visibility and power (especially surfacing what is hidden); the relation of visibility to meaning; the interaction of social, political, and cultural dimensions of visibility; visual and material culture and languages and literatures; academic visibility; visibility and place and displacement; visibility and privacy; visibility and performance studies; visibility and disability studies; the limits of vision; archival and preservation practices; revisionist histories; rewriting dominant narratives; clarity as concept; marginalized literatures, histories, peoples, languages, and cultures; book bans and censorship; historicized humanities; disrupted binaries or disrupted certainty; un/masking practices; little-known documents, scholars, and literary histories; and more.

I am excited about the ways MLA members might explore this theme for the 2025 convention in New Orleans and encourage you to post a call for papers today. I hope you will join us! 

MLA Members Receive 2024 NEH Grants

Congratulations to the twenty-five MLA members who are among the recipients of the National Endowment for the Humanities grants announced in January 2024. Their projects include the integration of six ancient languages into an open-source Braille digital translation platform; the creation of digital humanities resources that support undergraduate and K–12 teaching about local Indigenous history and culture; a critical edition of the writings of the author, poet, interpreter, and politician Ismayl Urbain; a book on the role of racial discourses in modern Japanese literature; and much more.

Danielle Spratt, California State University, Northridge

Project Title: Blank Spaces in the Library Archives

Project Description: A two-year initiative to develop an archival project involving students and the surrounding community. 

Mark Algee-Hewitt, Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University

Project Title: Digital Accessibility for Blind Scholars of Antiquity

Project Description: The integration of six ancient languages into an open-source Braille digital translation platform to enable the creation of digital editions and primary sources for blind and low-vision humanities students and researchers.

Katherine Roseau, Mercer University, Macon

Project Title: Integrating Voices of Refugees and Immigrants: Faculty and Curriculum Development

Project Description: A two-year project to expand the French and Spanish curriculum to include refugee and immigrant studies. 

Lara Crowley, Northern Illinois University

Project Title: Dubiously Donne: Attribution and Literary Reputation in Early Modern England

Project Description: Research and writing of a book on misattributed early modern English texts and how such misattributions reflect ideas about authorship, reputation, reader taste, and canon formation.

Lisa Tatonetti, Kansas State University

Project Title: Kansas Land Treaties Project

Project Description: A three-year project to revise curriculum and create digital humanities resources that support undergraduate and K–12 teaching about local Indigenous history and culture.

Megan DeVirgilis, Morgan State University

Project Title: Gothic Foundations: The Civilizing Project of a Forgotten Nineteenth-Century Novel by Colombia’s First President of African Descent 

Project Description: Research and writing of an article about Rosina o La prisión del castillo de Chagres (Rosina or The Prison at Chagres Castle), a Gothic novel written by Juan José Nieto Gil (1804–66), the first Colombian president of African descent.

Samuel Spinner, Johns Hopkins University, MD

Project Title: Monuments of Books: Yiddish Holocaust Literature from Latin America to Eastern Europe

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on Yiddish Holocaust literature (1946–66). 

Kim Evelyn, Bowie State University

Project Title: Travelers in Caribbean Texts: 1950s–2020s

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book about the literary depictions of visitors to English-speaking Caribbean islands, returning Caribbean migrants, and inter- and intra-island travelers in the Caribbean from the 1950s to the2020s. 

Joseph Rezek, Trustees of Boston University

Project Title: The Racialization of Print

Project Description: Writing of a book on the history of the transmission of racial knowledge and racial ideology through reading, 1598–1840. 

Christophe Wall-Romana, Regents of the University of Minnesota

Project Title: Translation and Critical Edition of Selected Writings by Ismayl Urbain (1812–1884)

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a critical edition of the writings of the author, poet, interpreter, and politician Ismayl Urbain (1812–84).

Stephanie Kirk, Washington University in St. Louis

Project Title: Humanities at Work Graduate Internships for the Next Generation

Project Description: Development of a three-year internship program for fifteen doctoral students in the humanities. 

Zachary Turpin, Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska

Project Title: Between the Columns: A Tool Kit for Periodical Authorship Attribution and Display

Project Description: Refinement, expansion, and documentation of digital methods and tools to assist researchers in identifying authorship in unattributed content printed in newspapers and other periodicals.

Justin Gifford, University of Nevada, Reno

Project Title: Time Considered as a Helix: The Life of Samuel R. Delany

Project Description: Research and writing of a biography of the Black science fiction writer Samuel R. Delany (b. 1942). 

Elizabeth Emery, Montclair State University

Project Title: Florine Langweil and the Rise of the East Asian Art Market (1852–1945)

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book about the Alsatian art dealer Florine Langweil (1861–1958) and the emergence of the international art market for East Asian art from 1852 to 1945.

Stacy Klein, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Project Title: The Militancy of Gender and the Making of Sexual Difference in Early English Literature (ca. 700–1100 CE)

Project Description: Writing to complete a book on the understanding of sexual difference in early medieval English literature using works such as medical treatises, histories, homilies, poems, riddles, and folk charms. 

Kelley Kreitz, Pace University, New York

Project Title: The Ground beneath Our Feet: Centering Place-Based Experiential Humanities in the Curriculum

Project Description: A two-year project to form a local humanities consortium that would facilitate experiential learning and public humanities projects within the undergraduate curriculum.

Kelley Kreitz, Pace University, New York

Project Title: Creating Enhanced Environments for Advancing an Experiential Approach to the Humanities

Project Description: Design, construction, and equipment for three experiential learning spaces (storytelling studio, makerspace and humanities lab, and multimedia screening room) at Pace University, New York. 

William Bridges, University of Rochester

Project Title: A Literary History of African American and Japanese Cultural Exchange (1870–2015)

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the role of racial discourses in modern Japanese literature from the late nineteenth century to the present. 

Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Duke University

Project Title: Enslaved Childhoods: Survival and Storytelling in the Atlantic World

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on slavery and childhood in the Atlantic world during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

Diana Garvin, University of Oregon

Project Title: The Bean in the Machine: The Global History of Coffee under Italian Fascism

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the coffee trade in Italy, Brazil, and Africa from 1922 to 1945. 

S. Pearl Brilmyer, Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania

Project Title: Lou Andreas-Salomé’s Psychoanalytic Theory

Project Description: A translation and edition of the psychoanalytical writings of Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861–1937), a pioneering female Russian-German writer and student of Sigmund Freud. 

Maziyar Faridi, Clemson University

Project Title: Rhythms of Relation: Decolonizing Identity in Iranian Modernism

Project Description: Writing of a book on how authors in Iran during the Pahlavi dynasty negotiated their place vis-à-vis Iranian literary history, the Persian language, and the allure of global Modernism. 

Janice Hawes, South Carolina State University

Project Title: Developing an Asynchronous Online MA in English

Project Description: A three-year project to develop a 30-credit online asynchronous graduate program in English. 

Riya Das, Prairie View A&M University

Project Title: Critical Edition of The Daughters of Danaus by Mona Caird

Project Description: Research and writing for a critical edition of Mona Caird’s The Daughters of Danaus, a novel published in England in 1894. 

Claudia Stokes, Trinity University

Project Title: Critical Edition of the Religious Writings of Harriet Beecher Stowe

Project Description: Research and writing of a two-volume critical edition of Harriet Beecher’s Stowe’s religious writings. 

Derek Handley, Board of Regents of University of Wisconsin System, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Project Title: Developing a Digital Platform for the Mapping Racism and Resistance in Milwaukee County Project

Project Description: The development of a platform to map and visualize racial covenants in early-twentieth-century Milwaukee. 

Results of the 2023 Elections

In balloting that closed on 10 December, MLA members elected Herman Beavers (University of Pennsylvania) as second vice president. Beavers will become MLA president in January 2026. Rita Bernice Dandridge (Virginia State University), Marisa Galvez (Stanford University), and Luana Moreira Reis (University of Pittsburgh) were elected to at-large seats on the Executive Council. View the full elections results. Congratulations to all those elected to MLA offices!

MLA Announces Inaugural Group of Edward Guiliano Fellows

The MLA today announced it is awarding the association’s inaugural Edward Guiliano Global Fellowships to thirteen PhD students and candidates in MLA-related disciplines. The fellowships provide up to $2,000 to support travel and research related to the completion of a dissertation, generation of a publishable peer-edited journal essay, or production of other publishable outcomes. The awards also support transformative experiential-learning experiences for humanities PhDs interested in careers outside academia. “We’re so pleased that the generosity of Edward and Mireille Guiliano is enabling us to extend our support for humanities graduate students in these ways,” said Paula M. Krebs, the executive director of the MLA. “The fellowships will foster ambitious research and will also encourage career exploration for doctoral students. They reinforce the MLA’s commitment to supporting the wide range of options available to graduate students in the humanities.”

The recipients of the Edward Guiliano Global Fellowships will be honored on 5 January 2024 during the MLA Annual Convention, to be held in Philadelphia. The selection committee members were Esther Allen (Baruch Coll., City Univ. of New York), Daniel Fried (Univ. of Alberta), Genelle Gertz (Washington and Lee Univ.), Stephen Knadler (Spelman Coll.), Barbara Kosta (Univ. of Arizona, Tucson), and Tina Lu (Yale Univ.).

The recipients of the Edward Guiliano Global Fellowships and their project titles are:

  • Sonia Adams (St. John’s Univ.) – “Cultivating Literary Excellence: The Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival as a Learner-Centered Education Model for Orienting Black Diasporic Feminist Literature”
  • Ananya Bhardwaj (George Washington Univ.) – “‘Country Roads, Take Me Home / To the Place I Belong’: Finding Home on a Burning Planet for East Indians and Bangladeshi Immigrants in Italy”
  • Rohit Chakraborty (Emory Univ.) – “Hindoo Holiday: New York Public Library”
  • Marc Dadigan (Univ. of California, Davis) – “Listening to Lendada Nur (Ancient, All-Knowing Salmon): A Linguistic Indigenous History of the First Pacific Coast Salmon Hatchery”
  • Shaibal Dev Roy (Univ. of Southern California) – “Anticolonial Readership and Affinity between the Nineteenth-Century US and India”
  • Natalie El-Eid (Syracuse Univ.) – “Druze Afterlives: Between Bodies and Borders”
  • Marisol Fila (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor) – “Content and Form: The Black Press and Articulations of Blackness in Twenty-First-Century Buenos Aires and São Paulo”
  • Aned Ladino (Georgetown Univ.) – “Afro-Andean and Diasporic Oral Feminisms: Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador”
  • Maria Litvan (Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York) – “Ciro Rodriguez and the Clan Choñik: On the Presence of Absence”
  • Bria Paige (Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick) – “The (Im)Possibility: Exploring Sherley Anne Williams’s Dessa Rose and the Critical-Creative Method of Invention”
  • Haider Shahbaz (Univ. of California, Los Angeles) – “Anticolonial Relation: Afro-Asian Solidarity in Urdu Magazines, 1930–1990”
  • Benjamin Williams (Carnegie Mellon Univ.) – “Mediating Documentation: Race, Affective Governance, and the US-Mexico Border”
  • Amal Zaman (Fordham Univ.) – “Minor Figures: South Asian Femininities as Global Form”

The Edward Guiliano Global Fellowship is supported by a fund established by Edward and Mireille Guiliano. The fellowship is designed to encourage graduate students in languages, literatures, and related fields to pursue transformative experiences by exploring research and learning opportunities beyond their immediate community. “We established this fellowship to help eliminate some of the barriers that prevent students from undertaking the research they are passionate about and to give them formative experiences that expand their world view,” said Edward Guiliano. “We want to encourage our fellows to have the confidence to step outside their comfort zones.”

About Edward and Mireille Guiliano

Edward Guiliano received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Stony Brook University. He joined the faculty at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in 1974 as an English instructor prior to finishing his PhD. In 2000, he became president of NYIT and served until early 2017. Mireille Guiliano completed her bachelor’s degree at Sorbonne Nouvelle and holds the French equivalent of a master’s degree in English and German. She is known for her writing (including her international bestseller French Women Don’t Get Fat) and her business endeavors, including her leadership roles with LVMH.

 

New MLA Report Highlights the Need for Investment in Language Study

Many language programs at US colleges and universities remain strong despite challenging national and local conditions, according to a comprehensive new report, Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2021, released today by the Modern Language Association (MLA). While total enrollments in languages other than English continued the sustained decline that began after the historic peak in 2009, more than one-third of all language programs saw an increase in enrollments or remained stable, and several languages showed gains in overall enrollments.

The MLA report is the longest-running comprehensive analysis of the study of world languages at US colleges and universities; this is the twenty-sixth survey in the series. The report includes undergraduate and graduate course enrollments in languages other than English in fall 2021 for 2,455 AA-, BA-, MA-, and PhD-granting colleges and universities in the United States, or 92.2% of all eligible institutions. This response rate is lower than the census’s peak rate of 95% or higher, but it remains an exceptionally high number, qualifying the report as a census rather than a survey. Partial funding for the report came from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the United States Department of Education.

Total language enrollments on US college campuses decreased by 16.6% between 2016 and 2021, marking the largest decline in the history of the census. From 1980 until 2009, the year immediately following the 2007–08 financial crisis, language enrollments at US colleges and universities saw strong growth, rising from 924,337 in 1980 to 1,673,566 in 2009 (see fig. 1a). Enrollments now stand at approximately the same level as in 1998. Part, but not all, of this drop in language enrollments can be attributed to the overall decrease in the number of students enrolling in colleges and universities, as institutions have seen an 8.0% decline in enrollment since 2016.

Fig. 1a: Fall Language Enrollments by Year

Fig. 1a: Fall Language Enrollments by Year

The drop in enrollments was steepest at two-year institutions, falling by 24.2%; enrollments at four-year institutions declined by 14.7%. This disparity has concerning implications for equity of and access to language study; the two-year institutions whose programs are disproportionately at risk provide critical educational opportunities for underserved communities of students.

Despite these challenging conditions for language study, many language programs continue to flourish. Among all programs and for all languages, 38.3% increased or were stable. The percentage of programs that increased or were stable was even greater for advanced undergraduate study (50.0%) and graduate study (56.5%). Moreover, three of the fifteen most commonly taught languages saw an overall increase in enrollments. Korean continued its remarkable growth, rising by 38.3%, followed by Biblical Hebrew (9.1%) and American Sign Language (0.8%).

The report includes case studies of ten institutions from across the country where language programs are thriving. Many of these institutions achieved remarkable growth over the past several years, and instructors and administrators share how their approaches to language learning have enabled their programs to flourish. What works? Access to robust institutional and financial support, the development of close ties between language programs and local communities, an emphasis on real-life language application and professional advancement, and courses that highlight the cultural component of language learning. “In a difficult time for language study, it is vital that we learn from these extraordinary success stories,” said Paula M. Krebs, the executive director of the MLA. “These strong programs offer valuable strategies for institutions with struggling programs, and they speak to how transformative full-throated institutional support can be for language learning.”

Data from this census are also being added to the MLA Language Map, where visitors can view language programs and enrollments in the context of where languages are spoken in the United States. Researchers who want to find out more about enrollments over time and to search by state or institution will be able to create custom reports in the Language Enrollment Database, 1958–2021.

Key Findings of the Report

Following are some of the key findings of Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2021:

  • Total college and university enrollments in languages other than English dropped by 16.6% between fall 2016 and fall 2021.
  • The total number of programs of study reporting enrollments fell by 961, an 8.2% drop. These numbers do not represent closed departments; rather, they reflect the reduction in the aggregate number of institutions that report a given language in a given year.
  • Between fall 2016 and fall 2021, enrollments increased in Korean (38.3%), Biblical Hebrew (9.1%), and American Sign Language (0.8%).
  • In 2021, 44 more institutions reported enrollments in American Sign Language than did in 2016, and 29 more institutions reported enrollments in Korean.
  • The most successful language programs had several key characteristics in common, including ample funding, support from administrative offices and other departments, a willingness to prioritize studying the cultural component of language, and a focus on applying language learning in real-life contexts.
  • Spanish and French still led as the two most studied languages, and American Sign Language continued to hold third place, but other shifts in the most commonly taught languages reflect a growing diversity in the languages students are pursuing. Japanese has taken German’s place as the language with the fourth most enrollments. Chinese/Mandarin has moved ahead of Italian, and Korean has advanced above Russian.
  • The top languages studied in US colleges and universities in fall 2021 were
Language Enrollments Change since 2016
Spanish 584,453 –18.0%
French 135,088 –23.1%
American Sign Language 107,899 +0.8%
Japanese 65,661 –4.6%
German 53,543 –33.6%
Chinese/Mandarin 46,492 –14.3%
Italian 45,182 –20.4%
Arabic 22,918 –27.4%
Latin 19,472 –21.5%
Korean 19,270 +38.3%
Russian 17,598 –13.5%
Greek, Ancient 11,433 –13.8%
Hebrew, Biblical 10,442 +9.1%
Portuguese 7,684 –21.8%
Hebrew, Modern 4,125 –26.0%
  • Course offerings for less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) continued to be somewhat irregular. While enrollments in the aggregated LCTLs declined significantly less (6.8%) than enrollments in languages as a whole, 101 LCTLs saw a decline in the number of institutions where they were taught, and 20 Indigenous American languages that were taught in 2013 or 2016 were not taught in 2021. However, also among the LCTLs, 113 languages experienced an increase in the number of institutions where they were taught.

“In the current professional and cultural climate, we can’t afford to devalue the study of languages,” said Krebs. “The world is increasingly interconnected, and the need for knowledge of languages other than English is even more important. Institutions of higher education have an obligation to both prepare their students for their future careers and create well-informed citizens. If they are going to fulfill these obligations, they have to prioritize investing in and supporting language education.”

Methodology

The new MLA census counts fall 2021 undergraduate and graduate course enrollments in languages other than English at 2,455 AA-, BA-, MA-, and PhD-granting colleges and universities in the United States. The response rate for the census was 92.2%. Approximately one-third of the responses came from two-year institutions, and two-thirds from four-year institutions.

To conduct the census, the MLA contacted registrars and other school representatives by email and telephone. The MLA listing of institutions was supplemented with information from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Higher Education Directory, among other sources, to ensure that all eligible institutions were accounted for. The census measures course enrollments, not the number of students studying a language.

2023 ADE and ALD Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to Patricia Okker, who will receive the Association of Departments of English Francis Andrew March Award, and to Paul Sandrock, who will receive the Association of Language Departments Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession. 

Patricia Okker is the former president of New College of Florida and dean emeritus and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri, Columbia. During her tenure as dean, she increased diversity among new faculty hires, developed community engagement programs that supported the public humanities, and promoted new majors in digital storytelling and health humanities (among others). Beyond her campus, her support of ADE programs has been critical in ensuring opportunities for others whose leadership will influence both the field of English and the larger humanities ecosystem. In July 2021, she began her term as president of New College, where she led initiatives that focused on improving faculty pay and on better aligning infrastructure to advance students’ curricular and co-curricular experiences. Okker’s presidency was terminated in January 2023, an action she and others have referred to as part of a “hostile takeover” of the small, public liberal arts college. Since then, she has joined the PEN America initiative Champions of Higher Education. In presenting the Francis Andrew March Award to Okker, the ADE recognizes her commitment to the ideals of liberal education as well as her support for English faculty and faculty leadership more broadly and the extent to which these efforts are often intertwined.

Paul Sandrock joined the ACTFL staff in 2011, and served the organization for more than twelve years, in roles including director of education, interim director of professional learning and certification, and, most recently, senior advisor for language learning initiatives. Through initiatives such as the Leadership Institute for Language Learning and publications such as the updated Guidelines for Implementing the Seal of Biliteracy, Sandrock brought together diverse groups of institutional representatives from the world languages community, ranging from early language learning and K–12 to higher education. His work has been guided by a keen understanding of institutional and organizational contexts, along with attention to the needs of historically underrepresented groups, such as heritage language students and English-language learners. Sandrock’s broad range of experiences and commitment to professional development across institutions and ranks also informed the publications he wrote and collaborated on, including Planning Curriculum for Learning World Languages (2002), the original Integrated Performance Assessment, and ACTFL’s Keys series, a four-volume set of guides that successfully link research and practice for classroom instructors. A 2003 State Supervisor of the Year and the 2008 recipient of the Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in World Language Education, Sandrock is both an accomplished and effective national language advocate in his own right and an inspiring mentor and colleague who has trained and empowered generations of language professionals to lead with languages in their communities. 

The awards will be presented during the MLA Awards Ceremony, which will take place on 5 January at the MLA Annual Convention in Philadelphia.

Gates and Mitchell to Be Honored at MLA Annual Convention

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The MLA is pleased to announce that Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, will receive the eighth Phyllis Franklin Award for Public Advocacy of the Humanities. Frieda Ekotto, president of the MLA, will present the award during the MLA Awards Ceremony on 5 January in recognition of Gates’s groundbreaking and sweeping work in the promotion of Black literature, history, and culture. Gates will also take part in the 2024 convention session “Finding Your Roots as Public Humanities,” in conversation with Ekotto.

W.J.T. MitchellW. J. T. Mitchell, Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, will receive the tenth MLA Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement. The Executive Council selected Mitchell for the award on the recommendation of the Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Review Committee. Mitchell is renowned as a scholar and theorist of media, visual art, and literature. The Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement will be presented to Mitchell by Frieda Ekotto during the MLA Awards Ceremony at the January 2024 convention.

MLA Members Receive 2023 NEH Grants

Congratulations to the sixteen MLA members who are among the winners of the National Endowment for the Humanities grants announced in August 2023. Their projects include preparation for a publication of an open-access digital edition of the complete letters of the early American writer Catharine Maria Sedgwick; research and writing leading to a biography of the famed English novelist Emily Brontë; a digital repository of findings and research templates based on humanistic research on the simulation of human language, communication, art, and culture by AI software; and much more.

William Hedberg, Arizona State University, Tempe

Project Title: Translation and Traveling Texts: East Asian National Literatures in an Age without Borders

Project Description: A two-week residential institute for twenty-five higher education faculty members to explore issues of translation and cultural contact in East Asian literatures from the seventeenth century to today.

Joshua Smith, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Project Title: Brut y Brenhinedd: Translating the Welsh Reception of Geoffrey of Monmouth

Project Description: Preparation for print publication of three volumes of translations, from middle Welsh to English, of Brut y Brenhinedd (The Chronicle of the Kings), a retelling of British history based on Geoffrey of Monmouth’s twelfth-century Historia regum Britanniae (The History of the Kings of Britain). 

Patricia Kalayjian, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Project Title: The Letters of American Novelist Catharine Maria Sedgwick: An Online Edition

Project Description: Preparation for publication of an open-access digital edition of the complete letters of the early American writer Catharine Maria Sedgwick (1789–1867). 

Maria Rosa Olivera-Williams, University of Notre Dame

Project Title: Ruben Dario: Critical Editions Project

Project Description: Preparation for print and digital publication of an edition of four volumes in Spanish of the journal articles written by Ruben Dario (1867–1916), a well-known Nicaraguan poet and critic.

Deborah Lutz, University of Louisville

Project Title: A Biography of British Writer Emily Jane Brontë (1818–1848)

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a biography of the famed English novelist Emily Brontë (1818–48).

Wendy Galgan, St. Joseph’s College

Project Title: Place, Race, and Gender in New England Gothic Literature

Project Description: A three-week residential institute for twenty-five higher education faculty members to study New England Gothic literature with a focus on race, place, and gender.

Robert Levine, University of Maryland, College Park

Project Title: After Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Harriet Beecher Stowe, African America, and the Quest for Interracial Democracy

Project Description: Research and writing for a book on the development of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s relationships with African American writers after the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Kenneth Price, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Project Title: The Late-Life Writings of Walt Whitman

Project Description: Preparation for online publication of Walt Whitman’s (1819–92) late-life writings and poems, including “November Boughs” and “Good-Bye My Fancy.”

Lauren Goodlad, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Project Title: Design Justice Labs: An International and Interdisciplinary Digital Network

Project Description: A digital repository of findings and research templates based on humanistic research on the simulation of human language, communication, art, and culture by AI software.

Tanya Pollard, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Project Title: The Man Who Made Shakespeare: Richard Burbage and Theatrical Partnership

Project Description: Research and writing a book that shows the nature of William Shakespeare’s (1564–1616) collaborations with the actor Richard Burbage (c. 1567–1619).

Julie Crawford, Theatre for a New Audience

Project Title: Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays through Scholarship and Performance

Project Description: A two-week institute for twenty-five K–12 educators on the theme of nature and good government in the text and performance of Shakespeare’s As You Like It and King Lear.

Thomas Hahn, University of Rochester

Project Title: Middle English Text Series

Project Description: Preparation for print and digital publication of six volumes of medieval literary texts (thirteenth to fifteenth centuries) and implementation of a redesigned digital interface.

Kimberly Mack, University of Toledo

Project Title: The Untold History of American Rock Criticism

Project Description: Preparation of a book about American rock criticism, from the 1960s to the present, and the overlooked Black, Indigenous, people of color, and women writers who wrote about rock music for publications such as Rolling Stone and Creem.

Sasha Senderovich, University of Washington, Seattle

Project Title: In the Shadow of the Holocaust: Short Fiction by Jewish Writers from the Soviet Union

Project Description: Preparation for print publication of an annotated translation into English of ten Yiddish and Russian short stories written in the Soviet Union about the Soviet Jewish experience of World War II and the Holocaust. 

Eugenia Afinoguenova, Marquette University

Project Title: The Edinburgh Companion to the Spanish Civil War and Visual Culture

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book of essays on the visual culture of the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) and its visual legacy. 

Lauren Arrington, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Project Title: Bohemia on the Breadline: The Women Who Made Art and Created Social Change in Depression-Era America

Project Description: Research and writing of a book about the network of socially and politically engaged women artists employed through the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and 1940s.