15 March 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 bibliographic and indexing information for citations in the bibliography. Open to all MLA members, including graduate students, the 2022 fellowships will run from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025.

Field bibliographers perform a valuable service for the profession and receive institutional recognition while deepening their knowledge of the field as well as their research skills. 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.

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

Jason Rhody to Lead New Office of Academic Program Services and Professional Development

The MLA is pleased to announce that Jason Rhody, program director at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), will join the MLA staff as director of the office of academic program services and professional development. Formerly the office of programs, the office was renamed to reflect its wide-reaching work to support department chairs and academic programs and to provide professional development for members at all stages of their careers.

Rhody joins the MLA following the retirement of Dennis Looney, who led the department from 2014 to September 2021. At SSRC Rhody directs the Digital Culture program, the Social Data Initiative, and the Media and Democracy program. Before joining the SSRC, he served as senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities, helping to create the endowment’s Office of Digital Humanities and directing grant programs. Rhody received his PhD in English from the University of Maryland. We look forward to welcoming Jason Rhody and to the experienced leadership he will bring to the MLA’s evolving professional development programming.

MLA Members Receive 2022 NEH Grants

Congratulations to the thirty-five MLA members who are among the winners of the National Endowment for the Humanities grants announced in January 2022. Their projects include a Fort Lewis College Native American language institute; a book on serialized literature and storytelling in Mexico; a digital archive of Cherokee-language manuscripts and lexical resources; a three-year project to create a health humanities minor; and much more.

Patricia Akhimie, Rutgers University, Newark

Project Title: Editing Shakespeare’s Othello

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a new edition of Shakespeare’s Othello to be published as part of the Arden Shakespeare Fourth Series.

Phillip Barrish, University of Texas, Austin

Project Title: Health Care, Social Justice, and United States Literature since 1900

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book examining US literary works that engage health care at a systemic level.

Bartholomew Brinkman, Framingham State University

Project Title: Investigating Race through Digital Humanities Approaches

Project Description: Workshops for faculty members and other educators on integrating the study of race in the United States with resources for digital humanities research and pedagogy.

Matthew Brown, University of Iowa

Project Title: Global Book Cultures and the Student Laboratory: Undergraduate Education at the University of Iowa Center for the Book

Project Description: A three-year project to develop an undergraduate laboratory space and related curriculum that would engage students in the study of global print and manuscript cultures.

Johannes Burgers, Southeast Missouri State University

Project Title: Teaching and Learning William Faulkner in the Digital Age

Project Description: The creation of digital resources for teaching William Faulkner’s fiction, followed by their integration into pilot courses for undergraduate and high school students.

Christopher Bush, Northwestern University

Project Title: The Floating World: History, Haiku, Global Modernism

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the reception and the adaptation of the haiku genre in France, Mexico, and the United States in the first half of the twentieth century.

Angela Calcaterra, University of North Texas

Project Title: Indigenous People and Stories of Gun Violence in Early America and Today

Project Description: Writing a book that traces the record of Native American perception of human-weapons relations through material and literary culture.

Arif Camoglu

Project Title: Spectral Empire: Anglo-Ottoman Poetics of Sovereignty

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a comparative study of Ottoman and British literature, introducing Ottoman literary sources to debates about the nature and meaning of empire and imperialism.

Geremy Carnes, Lindenwood College

Project Title: Expanding Access to the Digital Humanities in St. Louis

Project Description: Developing a workshop and building a network for supporting and disseminating methods in digital humanities pedagogy for secondary and postsecondary institutions in the St. Louis, Missouri, region.

Manu Chander, Rutgers University, Newark

Project Title: The Complete Works of Egbert Martin

Project Description: Writing and revision for an edition of the collected works of Guyanese belletrist Egbert Martin (c. 1861–90).

Tarryn Chun, University of Notre Dame

Project Title: Spectacle and Excess in Global Chinese Performance

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book about spectacle, excess, and Chinese performance in the twenty-first century, including the recent use of digital technologies for aesthetics, state ideology, and global dissemination.

Ellen Cushman, Northeastern University

Project Title: Cherokee Lifeways: Hidden Literacies of Collective Action

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a history of the everyday life and philosophy of Cherokee people using a corpus of newly translated Cherokee-language materials.

Project Title: Translating Cherokee Manuscripts

Project Description: The further development of user interfaces for collective translation of the collections in the Digital Archive for American Indian Languages Preservation and Perseverance (DAILP), a digital archive of Cherokee-language manuscripts and lexical resources.

Riya Das, Prairie View A & M University

Project Title: Women at Odds: Indifference, Antagonism, and Progress in Late Victorian Literature

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book reassessing female solidarity in the Victorian novel.

Kenya Dworkin, Carnegie Mellon University

Project Title: Cuban Theater, American Stage: Performance, Politics, and Race in Tampa, Florida, 1886–1960

Project Description: Research and writing of a book about theater and the Cuban community in Tampa, Florida, from 1886 to the 1960s.

Benjamin Fagan, Auburn University

Project Title: The World of Frederick Douglass’s Newspapers

Project Description: Writing resulting in a book on Frederick Douglass’s work as a newspaper editor and its impact on multiple communities.

Janine Fitzgerald, Fort Lewis College

Project Title: Fort Lewis College Native Language Revitalization Institute

Project Description: Design and implementation of a Fort Lewis College summer Native American language institute.

Julia Flanders, Northeastern University

Project Title: Translating Cherokee Manuscripts

Project Description: The further development of user interfaces for collective translation of the collections in the Digital Archive for American Indian Languages Preservation and Perseverance (DAILP), a digital archive of Cherokee-language manuscripts and lexical resources.

Kaiama L. Glover, Barnard College

Project Title: For the Love of Revolution: René Depestre and the Poetics of the Cold War

Project Description: Research and writing leading to publication of an intellectual biography of Haitian poet René Depestre (1926–) and his uniquely Caribbean and Afro-Atlantic perspectives on the Cold War.

Tao Goffe, Cornell University

Project Title: Towards an Integrated Colonial Archive: Humanities, Law and British Indentureship

Project Description: The creation of an interactive website that brings together collections in the United States and United Kingdom to facilitate scholarship on colonialism and indentureship. The UK partner is Birkbeck College.

Melissa Gregory, University of Toledo

Project Title: Health Humanities Minor

Project Description: A three-year project to create a health humanities minor.

Letitia Guran, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Project Title: Walking on a Tightrope of Words: Langston Hughes’s Re-writings on Race in the Soviet Union and the US

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a digital monograph on the writing, publishing history, and reception of Langston Hughes’s A Negro Looks at Soviet Central Asia (1934).

Diane Jakacki, Bucknell University

Project Title: Evolving Hands: Building Workflows and Scalable Practices for Handwriting

Project Description: The development and publication of training materials and documentation for the automatic transcription of historical manuscripts, based on three case studies from the Gertrude Bell Archive, the Records of Early English Drama, and archival collections held at Bucknell University. The UK partner is Newcastle University.

Shirin Khanmohamadi, San Francisco State University

Project Title: Translating Empires of the Saracens in European Epic Project

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book that will reconsider Christian-Muslim relationships and the concept of translatio studii et imperii in medieval epic by analyzing examples of object exchange in selected texts.

Caroline Kita, Washington University in St. Louis

Project Title: Border Territories: The Emancipatory Soundscapes of Postwar German Radio Drama

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the importance of radio dramas to the German public in the aftermath of World War II.

Christina Lee, Princeton University

Project Title: The Library of The Convent of San Pablo (Manila, 1762)

Project Description: A project to digitize a collection of more than 1,500 rare manuscripts, maps, and early printed materials that were taken in the eighteenth century from the Convent of San Pablo in Manila, Philippines, and dispersed throughout the Philippines, United States, and United Kingdom. The UK partner is SOAS University of London.

Gema Ortega, Dominican University

Project Title: Culturally Relevant Voices: First-Year Writing and Speaking across the Curriculum

Project Description: Faculty development to optimize the implementation of a required first-year critical reading, writing, and speaking (CRWS) course sequence with a stronger grounding in culturally relevant pedagogy.

Matthew Potolsky, University of Utah

Project Title: Decadence, Literary Form, and Uneven Development, 1852–1905

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the influence on global literature of English and French authors associated with the late nineteenth-century Decadence movement.

Maria Rey-Lopez, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Project Title: Geographies of Belonging: Spanish Place-Names in Colorado

Project Description: Research leading to the revision of an intensive Spanish grammar review course for heritage speakers.

Katey Roden, Gonzaga University

Project Title: Finding Our Way: Fostering a Sense of Place for Underrepresented Communities

Project Description: Development of a digital platform exploring histories of people who have lived along the Children of the Sun Trail in Spokane, Washington.

Na’ama Rokem, University of Chicago

Project Title: Studying Oak Woods: A Curriculum Development and Collaborative Teaching Proposal

Project Description: The development of a curricular project focused on the Oak Woods Cemetery, located on Chicago’s South Side.

Benjamin Saltzman, University of Chicago

Project Title: Gestures of Aversion

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on representations of aversion in European literature and art from antiquity to the early modern period.

Whitney Sperrazza, Rochester Institute of Technology

Project Title: Poetry, Anatomy, and Women’s Scientific Work in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on women’s poetry and scientific work in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England.

John Walsh, Indiana University, Bloomington

Project Title: Tools for Open Research and Computation with HathiTrust: Leveraging Intelligent Text Extraction (TORCHLITE)

Project Description: The development of web-based tools and documentation to allow both novice and expert users to interact with data from the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Christopher Warren, Carnegie Mellon University

Project Title: Secret Printing: Freedom and the Press before Freedom of the Press

Project Description: The scaling-up of tools and methods to allow scholars to identify and decipher illicit printing in documents predating and associated with the First Amendment.

Dana Williams, Howard University

Project Title: Developing an Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities

Project Description: A two-year project to create a digital humanities graduate certificate.

Amy Wright, Saint Louis University

Project Title: Serial Storytelling in Mexico from Nationhood to Now, 1821–2021

Project Description: Completion of a book on serialized literature and storytelling in Mexico from the nineteenth century to the present.

Apply for an MLA Bibliography Fellowship by 15 March 2022

The MLA International Bibliography is accepting applications for three-year field-bibliography fellowships. MLA field bibliographers examine scholarly materials and submit bibliographic and indexing information for citations in the bibliography. Open to all MLA members, including graduate students, the 2022 fellowships will run from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025.

Field bibliographers perform a valuable service for the profession and receive institutional recognition while deepening their knowledge of the field as well as their research skills. 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.

For more information and to submit an application, visit the MLA Bibliography Fellowships page. Applications are due 15 March 2022.

2023 Presidential Theme: Working Conditions

Christopher Newfield, the 2022–23 president of the MLA, has chosen Working Conditions as the presidential theme for the 2023 MLA Annual Conven­tion in San Francisco.

The diverse teaching and research of MLA members are better than ever. Our working conditions are not. The presidential theme of the 2023 convention asks us to reflect on what our teaching and research tell us about transforming our working conditions so that they do not hold us back as they do now and instead help us do what we need and want to do.

This theme—Working Conditions—asks us to consider questions like these:

  • What are the intolerable conditions under which we work?
  • What are the new conditions we need?
  • What new conditions are emerging from literary thought and research?
  • What new conditions are emerging from our teaching, mentoring, grading, advising, and administering?
  • How can we use our established and evolving expertise to reconstruct our profession for the sake of our everyday labor—and for the transformative things we each envision?

Our work already strives to understand the world in new terms. Literary study uncovers interior visions for another life, for liberation and justice, and for enabling forces not subject to the limits of existing reality. Literary and cultural theory identify transformative methods of counteranalysis. The study of languages, rhetoric, and composition theory builds powers of interpretation and radical rewriting that are relevant to texts and institutions alike. All our activities engender the production of culture and cultural knowledge. The presidential theme encourages members to consider their existing work in the context of conditions that enable or interfere with it and to explore the transformations of those conditions that our work implies.

Our profession needs new working conditions. We already know many of these. Teaching positions should be stable, tenurable, and properly paid: the trend toward precarity must be reversed. Our research needs much better and broader funding; research opportunities must be made available to instructors at all types of colleges, particularly access-oriented and minority-serving institutions. The role of racism in structuring the life of our profession must be stamped out. Humanities departments need real influence over university decision-making; they need resources to affect public understanding of the many areas on which we have distinctive expertise. We need international networks that engage with scholars around the world, particularly in the global South. In short, we have done superb analyses of literature and languages in crisis. This theme invites us to extend and intensify that work and also to use our knowledge to think through the reconstruction of the profession, its institutions, and its wider environment.

In her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston wrote, “There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.”  Perhaps we can make 2022 a year that answers.

Visit the MLA website to post a call for papers for the 2023 convention.

Results of the 2021 MLA Elections

In balloting that closed on 10 December, MLA members elected Dana A. Williams (Howard University) as second vice president. Williams will become MLA president in January 2024. Susan Stanford Friedman, Leah S. Marcus, and Ifeoma C. Kiddoe Nwankwo were elected to the Executive Council. Full election results are available on the MLA website. Congratulations to all those elected to MLA offices! 

MLA Bibliography Honors Fellows

The MLA International Bibliography congratulates the 2021 Fellowship Award recipients:

  • David E. García, professor of English, Carthage College
  • Liorah Golomb, humanities librarian, University of Oklahoma
  • S. C. Kaplan, lecturer of French, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Jessica Ryan, librarian, scholarly communications assistant, Smith College

The fellows, who have contributed to the bibliography from 2018 to 2021, will be awarded a certificate of accomplishment and a check for $500 during the 2022 MLA Awards Ceremony, which takes place at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, 8 January, at the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, (Marquis 5). We offer our sincere thanks and appreciation for their service to the MLA International Bibliography!

Contribute to New MLA Volumes

You are invited to submit essay proposals for two new volumes in development: Teaching Economics and American Literatureedited by Katharine A. Burnett and Amy K. King, in the Options for Teaching series, and the nonseries volume Interventions: Asian American Rhetorical Activity across Time and Space, edited by Amy J. Wan and Morris Young. Proposals for both volumes must be submitted to their respective editors by 1 November 2021.

Instructors are encouraged to share their teaching experience by completing surveys for the following volumes currently in development in the Approaches to Teaching World Literature series: Approaches to Teaching the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell, edited by Deirdre d’Albertis and Deborah Denenholz Morse; Approaches to Teaching Medieval English Drama, edited by Emma Lipton and John Sebastian; and Approaches to Teaching Strange Tales from Liaozhai, edited by Rania Huntington. Information about proposing an essay is available at the end of each survey. Survey responses and essay proposals are due 1 November 2021.

MLA Members Receive 2021 NEH Grants

Congratulations to the twelve MLA members who are among the winners of the National Endowment for the Humanities grants announced in August 2021. Their projects include a free online resource for teaching Spanish to heritage learners; a digital publication of the notes of Viola Muse, a writer who took part in the Florida Federal Writers Project; a two-week institute on transcendentalism and social reform; and much more.

Wendy Belcher, Princeton University

Project Title: African Humanities Folkloric Project: Written Medieval Stories on Healing and Justice from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia Project

Description: Preparation for digital publication of 180 African Marian stories preserved in parchment manuscripts, which will be cataloged, transcribed, and translated from Ge’ez (classical Ethiopic) into English.

Project Title: Increasing Access to and Developing Digital Tools for Early African Literature

Project Description: The creation of a web-based platform and tools to enable scholars to search and engage with a unique online collection of African literature.

Robin Bernstein, Harvard University

Project Title: The Trials of William Freeman (1824–1847): A Story of Murder, Race, and America’s First Industrial Prison Project

Description: A history of incarceration in Auburn, New York, through the story of William Freeman, who was convicted of a quadruple murder in 1846.

Margaret Boyle, Bates College

Project Title: Identity and Multilingualism through Picture Books

Project Description: A two-week, hybrid institute for twenty-nine elementary school teachers to develop equitable teaching strategies using picture books.

Janine Fitzgerald, Fort Lewis College

Project Title: Yo Soy Porque Tú Eres: recursos para el aprendizaje de Español en contexto (Resources for Teaching Spanish in Context)

Project Description: Development of a free online OER (open educational resource) for teaching Spanish language using humanities collections to heritage learners.

Lauren Goodlad, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Project Title: Unboxing Artificial Intelligence: An International Collaboration Bringing Humanities Perspectives to AI

Project Description: Planning of an international collaboration on the topic of bringing humanities perspectives to the creation of artificial intelligence.

Laura Heffernan, University of North Florida

Project Title: Documenting Black Jacksonville: The Viola Muse Digital Edition

Project Description: Preparation for digital publication of the interview notes of Viola Muse (1891–1981), a writer who took part in the Florida Federal Writers Project from 1936 to 1940.

Casey Kayser University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Project Title: Pandemics in History, Literature, and Today

Project Description: A two-week, residential institute for thirty-six middle and high school educators that would provide comparative perspectives on the 1918 and 2020 global pandemics.

Lauren Klein, Emory University

Project Title: Data by Design: An Interactive History of Data Visualization

Project Description: The creation of a born-digital publication documenting and analyzing the history of data visualization from the eighteenth century to the present.

Sandra Petrulionis, Thoreau Society, Inc.

Project Title: Transcendentalism and Social Reform: Activism and Community Engagement in the Age of Thoreau

Project Description: A two-week, residential institute for twenty-five college and university faculty members on transcendentalism and social reform.

Lynn Ramey, Vanderbilt University

Project Title: Immersive Global Middle Ages Institute for Advanced Topics

Project Description: A 28-month initiative for fourteen participants to learn about the use of immersive digital technologies for teaching and learning about the global Middle Ages through in-person and virtual workshops hosted by the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and Vanderbilt University.

Sandra Spanier, Pennsylvania State University

Project Title: The Letters of Ernest Hemingway

Project Description: Preparation for print publication of volumes 6, 7, and 8 of a scholarly edition of the letters of American author Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961).

Charles Stivale, Purdue University

Project Title: Translation of the Seminars of French Philosopher Gilles Deleuze

Project Description: Preparation for online publication of English translations of seminar lectures delivered by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925–95).

Miriam Udel, Emory University

Project Title: Children’s Literature and Modern Jewish Culture

Project Description: Writing a book examining Jewish identity as constructed in Yiddish-language children’s literature.

 

MLA Members Awarded ACLS Fellowships

Congratulations to the ten MLA members who have been awarded 2021 American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellowships, which support early-career scholars whose voices, perspectives, and broad visions will strengthen institutions of higher education and humanistic disciplines in the years to come. Fellows take up year-long placements with members of ACLS’s Research University Consortium, where they can advance their research and professional development while contributing to the teaching, programming, and administrative work of their host university.

Fellowships

Maira Elizabeth Alvarez, School of International Letters and Cultures, Arizona State University

Tarrell Campbell, College of Liberal Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Maria A. Dikcis, Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, University of Chicago

Isabel A. Duarte-Gray, Division of Humanities, University of California, Los Angeles

Francesca Gacho, Communication of Science and Technology Program, Vanderbilt University

Michele U. Kenfack, Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning, Harvard University

Gaelle Le Calvez House, Division of Humanities, Yale University

Jordan Lovejoy, College of Liberal Arts Engagement Hub, University of Minnesota

Laura Muñoz, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California

Ena Selimovic, Division of Humanities, Yale University