2017 Ratification Vote Now Under Way

At the 2017 convention the Delegate Assembly approved two amendments to the MLA constitution and two resolutions. The assembly’s actions are not final, however, since they are subject to ratification by the MLA membership. Members are therefore encouraged to review this year’s ratification ballot and to exercise their right to vote. All members in good standing as of 17 April who were also members on 7 January, the date of the Delegate Assembly meeting, are eligible to vote. The online ballot is now available (member log-in required); requests for paper ballots must reach the coordinator of governance by Monday, 15 May. The deadline for receipt of ratification ballots is midnight (EDT) on 1 June.

MLA Past Presidents Ask You to Support the NEH and NEA

The new administration’s proposed 2018 budget calls for the total elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In response, twenty-four past presidents of the MLA have created a petition asking Congress to support full funding for these critical institutions. From scholars and students to museum visitors and local theatergoers, millions of people across the country have benefited from NEH and NEA programs. As the petition’s authors note, the NEH and NEA represent the United States’ “core cultural values,” including “creative thought and action, humanistic inquiry, and knowledge preservation. It is vital to democracy to preserve the nation’s cultural heritage and to foster the creation of new ideas that can become groundbreaking works of the future.” To show your support for the NEH and NEA, sign the petition today.

1 April Deadline for MLA Bibliography Fellowship Applications

The deadline to apply for a three-year field-bibliography fellowship from the MLA International Bibliography is approaching! MLA field bibliographers examine scholarly materials and submit citations and indexing information for the bibliography. Open to all MLA members, the 2017 fellowships will run from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020.

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. In addition to performing a valuable service for the profession, field bibliographers receive institutional recognition while enhancing their knowledge of the field and honing their research skills.

For more information and to submit an application, visit the MLA Bibliography Fellowships Web page.

Comment on Two Delegate Assembly Resolutions

At its meeting on 7 January 2017 in Philadelphia, the Delegate Assembly approved two resolutions that the Executive Council has forwarded to the membership for a ratification vote. Before the vote is conducted, MLA members are invited to comment on the resolutions on the MLA Web site (log-in required) until 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on 17 April. (Note: The ratification ballot will be available to those who were members on 7 January 2017, the date of the Delegate Assembly meeting, and whose membership is current as of 17 April.)

Executive Council Statement about MLA Resolutions

As commenting opens on two resolutions approved by the Delegate Assembly in January, the MLA Executive Council has issued a statement about the resolution process. At its February meeting the council reviewed the resolutions for any constitutional, legal, or fiduciary issues posed by the resolutions’ language and voted to forward the resolutions to the membership for a vote. Nevertheless, the Executive Council and the Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee (DAOC) recognize “that the current resolution process has begun to take up far more than a reasonable share of the organization’s resources, putting an undue burden on the MLA staff as well as on the members who volunteer their time to represent their colleagues on the Delegate Assembly, the DAOC, and the Executive Council.” In response, the council has established an ad hoc committee to examine the resolution process and the ways the MLA might speak out about matters of concern to members. Read the full council statement on the Executive Council blog.

Help Select Cultural Excursions for the 2018 Convention

Are you interested in participating in an MLA-sponsored excursion during the 2018 convention in New York City? If so, let us know if you have a specific suggestion or contact and which types of excursions you’d be interested in: art galleries or museums, libraries, science or natural history museums, food and wine tastings, or architecture tours. Post your preferences here by using the Leave a Reply button below, or send an e-mail to Stacey Courtney. Thank you for your feedback, and we look forward to seeing you in New York!

MLA Denounces Executive Order on Immigration

A new statement by the Executive Council denounces the 27 January executive order that temporarily bans citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, suspends all refugee admissions, and indefinitely bars the entry of Syrian refugees. The order has thrown lives into turmoil, undermined cultural exchange and academic freedom, and threatened core principles of the United States. Reaffirming its 2013 Statement on the Importance of Unrestricted Travel for Scholarly Exchange and the right to freedom of travel outlined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the MLA urges the Trump administration to rescind the order and “to pursue border and immigration policies that protect the open exchange of ideas and honor the dignity of all people.” Read the full statement.

 

Nominations for Prize Committees

Would you like to help choose the winners of the MLA’s publications prizes? The Committee on Honors and Awards makes appointments to the prize selection committees every spring. Members who would like to suggest themselves or other members for appointment to particular prize committees may do so by 28 February by sending a message to awards@mla.org. The following information should be included: name of the committee, name of the member suggested, affiliation, department, rank, field(s) of specialization, a short listing of professional activities and of books and major articles published, and a brief statement of the person’s qualifications. Members should consult the list of publication prize committees to determine expected vacancies. Please note that suggestions for appointments are not carried forward from year to year; they are compiled anew for each appointment cycle.

MLA Issues Statement on Watch Lists

The Executive Council of the MLA has issued a statement condemning watch lists and blacklists, such as Canary Mission and Professor Watchlist, which “create opportunities for harassment and intimidation of those they name. By encouraging silence, they deprive scholars of academic freedom.” The statement reaffirms the MLA’s commitment to upholding “the rights of all its constituents to exercise their freedom to engage in political speech and nonviolent political action in the course of their work.”

 

Apply for an MLA Bibliography Fellowship by 1 April

The MLA International Bibliography is accepting applications for three-year field-bibliography fellowships. MLA field bibliographers examine scholarly materials and submit citations and indexing information for the bibliography. Open to all MLA members, the 2017 fellowships will run from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020.

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. In addition to performing a valuable service for the profession, field bibliographers receive institutional recognition while enhancing their knowledge of the field and honing their research skills.

For more information and to submit an application, visit the MLA Bibliography Fellowships Web page. Applications are due 1 April 2017.