ADE and ADFL Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to Wai Chee Dimock, who will receive the Association of Departments of English’s Francis Andrew March Award, to Ofelia García, who will receive the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages’ Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, and to Dennis Looney, who will receive the ADFL Special Recognition for Outstanding Advocacy Work. Dimock is the William Lampson Professor Emerita of American Studies and English at Yale University. She has served as editor of PMLA and advised a multitude of influential cultural and scholarly organizations. García is professor emerita of urban education and of Latin American, Iberian, and Latino cultures at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her research, pedagogy, and activism have motivated generations of language scholars and inspired transformative teaching practices. Looney has long been an ardent advocate for the teaching of world languages and literatures, as a professor of Italian studies at the University of Pittsburgh and as the MLA’s former director of programs and the ADFL. The awards will be presented during the MLA Awards Ceremony, which will take place on 6 January.

Photos of Wai Chee Dimock, Ofelia García, and Dennis Looney

Wai Chee Dimock, Ofelia García, and Dennis Looney

Contribute to an MLA Volume

The volume Approaches to Teaching the Works of Colson Whitehead, edited by Stephanie Li, is now in development in the MLA series Approaches to Teaching World Literature. Instructors who have taught Colson Whitehead’s works 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.

Malcolm Smith, Former Trustee of the MLA, 1923–2022

Malcolm SmithThe MLA mourns the passing of Malcolm Smith, MLA trustee from 1988 to 2018 and an indispensable adviser to the organization’s staff for decades. Smith advised on the endowment and general financial matters and was praised for being a steady presence in hard times and an ambassador for the MLA at the many New York City institutions he helped to govern. Malcolm Smith attended Boston Latin School, graduated Dartmouth College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and received an MA in economics from Harvard in 1948. He chose to forego an academic career in favor of joining the staff of General American Investors Company in 1948, and he spent his entire business career there, becoming president in 1959. In addition to serving as a trustee of the MLA, he was a trustee for The New School, Human Rights Watch, the John Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and many others. Smith and his wife, Betty, enjoyed international travel with an art history focus. They travelled the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, often with their family. Smith died on 16 August 2022 at age 99 and is survived by his wife of 74 years, his children, and his grandchildren.


2022 MLA Bibliography Fellows

The Modern Language Association congratulates the 2022 MLA Bibliography fellows who will serve from 2022 to 2025. The MLA International Bibliography staff members work with approximately one hundred field bibliographers, from all parts of the world, who cover subject areas, journals, and languages that cannot be indexed in the New York office. Each spring, five to ten fellowships are awarded to field bibliographers who, on completion of their fellowships, receive a stipend of $500 and a certificate during the awards ceremony at the MLA convention. For more information on bibliography fellowships, please visit the MLA website or contact Chriselle Tidrick at

Congratulations to the following:

  • Amel Abbady, assistant professor of English, South Valley University, Egypt
  • Kiyono Fujinaga-Gordon, independent scholar
  • Grace Catherine Greiner, postdoctoral fellow and lecturer, University of Texas, Austin
  • Yuemin He, professor of English, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Kristene K. McClure, associate professor of English, Georgia Gwinnett College
  • Shabana Sayeed, PhD candidate, Georgia State University
  • Ron E. Scrogham, associate librarian, University of Dallas
  • Daria Solodkaya, independent scholar
  • Harismita Vaideswaran, MPhil graduate student, University of Delhi
  • Shu Wan, PhD student in history, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

MLA Publishes New Guidelines on Evaluating Publicly Engaged Humanities Scholarship

The MLA has just released new guidelines to help departments, institutions, and faculty members in languages and literatures value and assess public humanities work. Created by the MLA Ad Hoc Committee on Valuing the Public Humanities, the document seeks to acknowledge the importance of scholarship that reaches audiences beyond the university and that demonstrates the value of the humanities in the world. Providing a framework for those evaluating public humanities scholarship in hiring, tenure, and promotion contexts, the guidelines also raise key questions for those seeking to undertake public humanities work. Because public humanities scholarship often engages with communities, the guidelines put ethical concerns at their core, at the same time engaging with the fundamental questions that drive a peer-review process. We encourage you to read the guidelines and to consider these strategies for putting them to use:

  1. Use the guidelines to review your department or college bylaws regarding promotion and tenure and to identify gaps where public humanities scholarship might go undervalued or unidentified.
  2. Circulate the guidelines among faculty members and suggest the creation of a subcommittee reporting within promotion governance structures to ​draft an evaluation rubric for promotion and tenure that addresses public humanities scholarship informed by the “Guiding Questions for Assessing Public Humanities Scholarship.” How can such a rubric highlight how public humanities scholarship can further the core values of the department? How can this rubric help to advocate for faculty members?
  3. Review your hiring practices. Are there channels for job candidates to report public-facing work? Identify ways that your hiring process could inquire directly about or center public humanities scholarship. For program leaders: meet with faculty members to discuss what work they are involved in that does not easily fit within promotion requirements.
  4. Establish a peer-review network at your institution. Create opportunities for intra- and cross-institutional exchanges, including off-campus partnerships, where faculty members share their work, provide feedback, and foster connections using the prompts in the guidelines. Can these exchanges generate suggestions for external reviewers with knowledge bases in the public humanities who have successfully navigated processes for promotion? Can they facilitate ethical collaboration?
  5. Make spaces (virtual or physical) for faculty members to share and disseminate their work beyond the classroom or peer-reviewed journals, like a public humanities showcase. Find opportunities to celebrate and engage with work that might not otherwise be acknowledged in formal reviews.
  6. Find opportunities to involve students in ways that help make the case for valuing faculty advising, mentorship, and community-engaged and collaborative scholarship.

Sylvia Molloy, Former President of the MLA, 1938–2022

b/w photo of Sylvia Molloy applauding

Photo by Lagniappe Studio

The MLA is deeply saddened by the passing of the Argentine writer, literary critic, translator, and teacher Sylvia Molloy, who was born in Buenos Aires in 1938 and died on 14 July 2022 in New York at the age of 83. She was well-known as one of the most influential scholars of Latin American literature and culture. Molloy graduated with her PhD in comparative literature from the Sorbonne in 1967. She was Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities Emerita at New York University, where she taught Latin American and comparative literatures and where she created the MFA in Creative Writing in Spanish, which was the first program of its kind in the United States. Molloy also taught at Yale University and Princeton University and was the first woman to gain tenure at Princeton. She was a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Over the years, Molloy held a range of positions with the Modern Language Association, including serving on the PMLA Editorial Board (1988–92) and on the Executive Council (1994–97), before becoming president of the MLA in 2001. She was an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from New York University and was awarded the title Doctor Honoris Causa from Tulane University. Molloy was recognized for being one of the pioneers in addressing issues of LGBTQI+ culture in her literary works and in exploring autobiography as a genre. She wrote numerous novels, essays, and critical works, including Hispanisms and Homosexualities (1998, with Robert McKee Irwin); her first novel, En breve cárcel (1981), which became a queer-literature icon; Varia imaginación (2003); and many others.

Contribute to an MLA Options for Teaching Volume on Afro-Brazilian Literature in a Diasporic Context

The volume Options for Teaching Afro-Brazilian Literature in a Diasporic Context, edited by Cristina Ferreira Pinto-Bailey and Paulo Dutra, is now in development in the MLA Options for Teaching series. To learn more about the volume and how to propose an essay, please visit the MLA website. Please send abstracts and CVs to the editors by 30 September 2022.

MLA Members Awarded Mellon/ACLS Fellowships

Congratulations to the five MLA members who have been awarded 2022 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowships, which support early-career scholars in the humanities and interpretive social sciences in the final year of PhD dissertation writing. This program, which makes its sixteenth and final set of awards this year, is made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation.


Andy Alfonso, Princeton University

Alex Alston, Columbia University

Sophia Mo, Columbia University

Sarah Preston, University of Oregon

Joseph Wei, University of Virginia