The MLA is deeply saddened by the recent passing of Herbert Lindenberger, who served as president of the MLA in 1997. An accomplished teacher and scholar, Lindenberger published on a variety of topics, including historical drama, opera, critical theory, aesthetics, and the Holocaust. Before founding Stanford University’s comparative literature program in 1969, he taught at the University of California, Riverside, and at Washington University in St. Louis. Lindenberger committed eleven years of service to the MLA as a member of several committees, including the PMLA Editorial Board, the Committee on Professional Employment, and the Committee on Amendments to the Constitution. He also served as an MLA trustee from 2002 to 2014.
Earlier this year, the Executive Council forwarded a proposal for constitutional amendments to the Committee on Amendments to the Constitution. The amendments clarify the scope and force of resolutions and motions and make changes to the association’s resolutions process. The next step in the amendment process is for the Delegate Assembly to consider the proposed amendments at its meeting during the January 2019 convention in Chicago. The official notice of the proposed amendments, including the texts of the amendments, has now been posted on the Web site.
The MLA offers $400 grants to help cover expenses for travel to the MLA convention, which will be held in Chicago from 3 to 6 January 2019. Non-tenure-track members, unemployed members, and members living abroad who were members during the previous year may apply for financial assistance. Graduate students who join the MLA by 30 November are also eligible but must be members before applying for travel grants. For more information and to apply online, visit the MLA Web site. The deadline for applications is 1 December 2018. If you have questions, write to Annie Reiser at email@example.com.
Travel grants are supported by contributions to the Professional Education Assistance Fund and the Good Neighbor Fund. Please consider making a donation to help those who need assistance; your contribution is tax-deductible.
Job seekers can now create a free Interfolio Dossier account and apply for positions directly from advertisements in the MLA Job Information List (JIL). You can send application materials, including writing samples and letters of recommendation, through your Dossier account, at no cost to advertisers who use the Interfolio Faculty Search management platform.
MLA members can activate their free Dossier account by logging in with their username and password, while nonmembers can obtain access by creating a free JIL account or by visiting Interfolio. JIL users also receive a ten percent discount on the annual fee for a Dossier Deliver subscription, which allows you to send application materials to career opportunities anywhere. A yearly Dossier Deliver subscription includes fifty deliveries (a single delivery can include multiple documents).
Motions and regular resolutions that the Delegate Assembly will consider at its next meeting, which will take place during the 2019 MLA Annual Convention in Chicago, must be submitted by 1 October of this year. The assembly’s Web page provides information about placing an item on the agenda for the meeting as well as links to several resources about motions and resolutions. Questions about submitting a motion or a resolution may be directed to the coordinator of governance (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You are invited to submit essay proposals for a new nonseries volume in development, Teaching Literature and Writing in Prisons, edited by Sheila Smith McKoy and Patrick Elliot Alexander. The essays in this volume seek to examine the teaching practices that animate literary learning communities in contemporary prisons in the United States. The editors invite contributions that explore the power and historical significance of literary studies and writing for incarcerated adults and children. Proposals must be submitted to the editors by 15 November 2018.
You are also invited to submit essay proposals for a new volume in development in the Options for Teaching series, Teaching Postcolonial Environmental Literature and Media, edited by Cajetan Iheka. Proposals must be submitted to the editor by 30 November 2018.
The MLA will be partnering with Ithaka S+R on its next Research Support Services program study to learn more about research needs in the disciplines of literature, cultural studies, and writing studies in the United States. We want to understand how you conduct your research so that we can better support your work. Beginning in late fall, MLA staff members, as well as librarians from up to fifteen academic institutions, will be interviewing faculty members who conduct research in these areas. If you are contacted for an interview, we would greatly appreciate your participation. Your input will help the MLA, academic libraries, and other information providers to better serve the needs of the research community. We look forward to sharing the results of this collaboration in fall 2019.
Get the most out of your MLA membership by selecting up to five primary forum affiliations. Forums bring together MLA members with similar scholarly and professional interests. There are over 150 forums in nine categories for you to choose from, such as Francophone Literature, Digital Humanities, History and Theory of Composition, Visual Culture, Law and the Humanities, and many more. Whatever your intellectual interests, you will find at least one group of like-minded colleagues. And remember to choose your primary forum affiliations by 15 October so that you can vote in forum executive committee elections and forum delegate elections this fall.
When the executive committees of the MLA’s forums meet during the January 2019 convention in Chicago, they will take up the matter of nominations for the executive committee elections that will be held in fall 2019. Though the executive committees are responsible for making nominations, each committee is required to nominate at least one candidate who has been suggested by the wider MLA membership (unless there are too few suggestions). Members are therefore encouraged to submit suggestions for the 2019 forum executive committee elections by filling out a brief suggestion form. Suggestions received by 17 December 2018 will be forwarded to the executive committees in time for their convention meetings.
The Modern Language Association congratulates the seven MLA members who were awarded National Endowment for the Humanities grants in August 2018. Their various projects include a seminar for higher education teachers on nineteenth-century western New York writers and a study of a 1970s African American women’s writing group.
Public Scholar Program
Devoney Looser, Arizona State University
Project Title: Biography of Sisters Jane Porter (1775–1850) and Anna Maria Porter (1778–1832), 19th-Century British Novelists
Description: Research and writing of a book on British sister novelists Jane Porter (1775–1850) and Anna Maria Porter (1778–1832), contemporaries of Jane Austen.
Courtney Thorsson, University of Oregon
Project Title: The Sisterhood: A Black Women’s Literary Organization
Description: Research and writing leading to publication of a book on a circle of African American women writers and how they supported one another’s work and careers. The group, which included Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde, met regularly in New York in the 1970s.
Seminars for School Teachers
Lori Branch, University of Iowa
Project Title: Religion, Secularism, and the Novel
Description: A three-week seminar for sixteen college and university faculty members examining the history of the novel as it relates to theses about the secularization of society or the continuing hold of religion on society, to be held at the University of Iowa.
John Jordan, University of California, Santa Cruz
Project Title: Reimagining the Literary Classic: Teaching Literature through Adaptations
Description: A three-week seminar for sixteen school teachers on adaptations of literary works.
Shirley Samuels, Cornell University
Project Title: Situating Democratic Writers in Western New York: Tocqueville, Cooper, Stanton, and Douglass
Description: A two-week seminar for sixteen college and university teachers to study the works of significant nineteenth-century writers in the historical and literary context of western New York.
Institutes for College and University Teachers
Liesl Olson, Newberry Library
Project Title: Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Chicago, 1893–1955
Description: A four-week institute for twenty-five college and university teachers to study modernist literary and artistic expression through the collections of the Newberry Library and sites in Chicago.
Scholarly Editions and Translations
Sandra Spanier, Penn State University, University Park
Project Title: The Letters of Ernest Hemingway
Description: Preparation for publication of volumes 5, 6, and 7 of a scholarly edition of six-thousand surviving letters of the American author Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961).