Competing for 2018 Publication Prizes

The MLA Committee on Honors and Awards invites authors and editors to compete for the association’s 2018 publication awards. In addition to the James Russell Lowell Prize and the MLA Prize for a First Book, which have a 1 March deadline, eleven annual and fourteen biennial MLA prizes honor outstanding work in languages, literatures, interdisciplinary studies, and specific genres (e.g., translation, bibliography, scholarly edition). Information on the individual prizes, their deadlines, and the submission process is available online. You may also request detailed information on any MLA prize by contacting the office of programs (awards@mla.org).

Nominations for Prize Committees

Would you like to help choose the winner of an MLA publication prize? 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.

Contribute to a New MLA Volume

You are invited to submit essay proposals for a new nonseries volume in development, Reframing Nineteenth-Century American Rhetorics, edited by Patricia Bizzell and Lisa Zimmerelli. The essays in this volume will reflect recent scholarship on the rhetorics of nineteenth-century America that has challenged and reconceptualized previous assumptions and analyses, extending rhetorical analysis into new venues and new media. Proposals must be submitted to the editors by 1 March 2018.

MLA Members Receive 2017 NEH Awards

Congratulations to the twenty-two MLA members among the winners of National Endowment for the Humanities awards announced in December 2017. The projects recognized include a study of collaborative authorship in early African American and Native American literature, the revitalization of a database on eighteenth-century theater and popular culture in London, an oral history program for high school students, and many others. (more…)

2019 Presidential Theme: Textual Transactions

Anne Gere, the 2018–19 president of the MLA, has chosen Textual Transactions as the presidential theme for the 2019 MLA Annual Convention in Chicago.

Textual transactions are the mutually constitutive engagements of human beings, texts, and their contexts. Transactions are more than mere interactions, in which separate entities act on one another without being changed at any essential level. In transactions, all elements are part of an organic whole and are transformed by their encounters with one another.

This theme, then, invites us to move beyond simple dichotomies that can limit the ways we think about texts: those we read and write about, those we teach our students, and those we require our students to write. We might consider the various textual transactions that constitute, or could constitute, our intellectual, artistic, and pedagogical work.

  • In what ways, for example, are reading and writing mutually constitutive?
  • Does engaging with language through textual transactions enhance the learner’s study of a language other than English?
  • How might the concept of textual transactions shape our thinking about translation, projects of literary and cultural studies, transnational cultural studies, new tools of textual analysis, relations between composition and critical analysis, or our relationships with constituencies outside the academy?

To solicit contributions for a convention session that engages with this theme you must post a call on the MLA Web site before 28 February 2018. Session proposal forms for the 2019 convention will be available online by early March.

 

 

Honoring MLA Bibliography Fellows

The MLA International Bibliography congratulates the 2017 Fellowship Award recipients:

  • Joshua E. Finnell, head of research and instruction, associate professor, Colgate​ University
  • Marla Harris, independent scholar
  • Michael F. Winter, humanities librarian, University of California, Davis

The fellows, who have contributed to the bibliography from 2014 to 2017, will be awarded a certificate of accomplishment and a check for $500 during the 2018 MLA Awards Ceremony, which takes place at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, 6 January, in the New York Hilton (West Ballroom, third floor). We offer our sincere thanks and appreciation for their service to the MLA International Bibliography!

 

Help Shape Literary Studies in the Digital Age Anthology

A new draft essay has been selected for open review in Literary Studies in the Digital Age, the MLA’s first born-digital, publicly available anthology. The anthology’s editors invite you to comment on Jojo Karlin’s “Our Digital Literary Legacy: Producing and Preserving Digital Dissertations in English.” They may then ask the author to review the piece in the light of your feedback, for possible inclusion in the anthology. To read and comment on the draft essay, please visit its page in the anthology. Open review of the essay ends 23 February 2018.

Suggesting Members for Committee Appointments

In February 2018 the Executive Council will make appointments to sixteen standing committees of the association. These committees and the outgoing committee members will be listed on the committee suggestion page through 7 February, the deadline for making a suggestion. To suggest yourself or another member of the association for a committee, respond to the three prompts on the suggestion page and then complete the short information form. Please note that suggestions for appointments are not carried forward from year to year; they are compiled anew for each appointment cycle.

Help Feed Students Affected by Hurricane Maria

If you want to help students in Puerto Rico who have been affected by the recent hurricane, Ricia Chansky, an MLA member, encourages you to send food donations to Come Colegial, a group feeding over 1,100 students at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. Come Colegial welcomes donations of all nonperishable food items, including rice, beans, sauces, condensed milk, instant mashed potatoes, cookies, bottled water, soda, juice, ready-to-eat meals (e.g., macaroni and cheese), and oil, as well as cloth bags. The organization notes that donations sent in US Postal Service flat-rate boxes and via Amazon are getting through to the island. Donations can be sent to

Come Colegial
Office of Graduate Studies
Mayagüez Campus
CALL BOX 9000
Mayagüez, PR 00681-9000

If you have questions about donations, please e-mail Ricia Chansky.

 

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Receives Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award

The MLA is pleased to announce that Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor of Humanities at Columbia University and a founding member of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, will receive the eighth MLA Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement. The Executive Council selected Spivak for the award on the recommendation of the Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Review Committee and the Committee on Honors and Awards. Having first attracted acclaim for her translation of and magisterial preface to Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology (1976) and her landmark article “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1983), Spivak has influenced postcolonial studies, international feminism, postructuralist philosophies, critiques of globalization, as well as art and curatorial practices. She is also an activist in feminist and ecological social movements and rural education. In addition to receiving numerous honorary degrees, she has been awarded the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy and the Padma Bhushan, given by the Indian government. The Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement will be presented to Spivak during the MLA Awards Ceremony at the January 2018 convention.