2016 Presidential Theme: Literature and Its Publics: Past, Present, and Future

Roland Greene, the 2015–16 MLA president, has chosen Literature and Its Publics: Past, Present, and Future as the presidential theme for the MLA Annual Convention in Austin. Who is the public for literature? This question is foundational to the work MLA members do and to the state of our discipline and profession. The theme invites members to consider the public face of all of our objects of attention—not only literature and other kinds of texts but film, digital media, and rhetoric—and to consider our indispensable role in bringing texts and their audiences together. How is our work as teachers, historians, editors, and critics—above all, as interpreters—a public act? Sessions might reflect on the current public status of literature and other kinds of texts in our society; address the nature of public reception according to period, genre, author, or otherwise; or imagine different futures. Read more about Literature and Its Publics in a letter from Roland Greene. To solicit contributions for a convention session that engages with this theme, you may post a call for papers on the MLA Web site by 28 February 2015. Session proposal forms for the 2016 convention will be available online by early March.