The MLA will be partnering with Ithaka S+R on its next Research Support Services program study to learn more about research needs in the disciplines of literature, cultural studies, and writing studies in the United States. We want to understand how you conduct your research so that we can better support your work. Beginning in late fall, MLA staff members, as well as librarians from up to fifteen academic institutions, will be interviewing faculty members who conduct research in these areas. If you are contacted for an interview, we would greatly appreciate your participation. Your input will help the MLA, academic libraries, and other information providers to better serve the needs of the research community. We look forward to sharing the results of this collaboration in fall 2019.
Get the most out of your MLA membership by selecting up to five primary forum affiliations. Forums bring together MLA members with similar scholarly and professional interests. There are over 150 forums in nine categories for you to choose from, such as Francophone Literature, Digital Humanities, History and Theory of Composition, Visual Culture, Law and the Humanities, and many more. Whatever your intellectual interests, you will find at least one group of like-minded colleagues. And remember to choose your primary forum affiliations by 15 October so that you can vote in forum executive committee elections and forum delegate elections this fall.
When the executive committees of the MLA’s forums meet during the January 2019 convention in Chicago, they will take up the matter of nominations for the executive committee elections that will be held in fall 2019. Though the executive committees are responsible for making nominations, each committee is required to nominate at least one candidate who has been suggested by the wider MLA membership (unless there are too few suggestions). Members are therefore encouraged to submit suggestions for the 2019 forum executive committee elections by filling out a brief suggestion form. Suggestions received by 17 December 2018 will be forwarded to the executive committees in time for their convention meetings.
The Modern Language Association congratulates the seven MLA members who were awarded National Endowment for the Humanities grants in August 2018. Their various projects include a seminar for higher education teachers on nineteenth-century western New York writers and a study of a 1970s African American women’s writing group.
Public Scholar Program
Devoney Looser, Arizona State University
Project Title: Biography of Sisters Jane Porter (1775–1850) and Anna Maria Porter (1778–1832), 19th-Century British Novelists
Description: Research and writing of a book on British sister novelists Jane Porter (1775–1850) and Anna Maria Porter (1778–1832), contemporaries of Jane Austen.
Courtney Thorsson, University of Oregon
Project Title: The Sisterhood: A Black Women’s Literary Organization
Description: Research and writing leading to publication of a book on a circle of African American women writers and how they supported one another’s work and careers. The group, which included Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde, met regularly in New York in the 1970s.
Seminars for School Teachers
Lori Branch, University of Iowa
Project Title: Religion, Secularism, and the Novel
Description: A three-week seminar for sixteen college and university faculty members examining the history of the novel as it relates to theses about the secularization of society or the continuing hold of religion on society, to be held at the University of Iowa.
John Jordan, University of California, Santa Cruz
Project Title: Reimagining the Literary Classic: Teaching Literature through Adaptations
Description: A three-week seminar for sixteen school teachers on adaptations of literary works.
Shirley Samuels, Cornell University
Project Title: Situating Democratic Writers in Western New York: Tocqueville, Cooper, Stanton, and Douglass
Description: A two-week seminar for sixteen college and university teachers to study the works of significant nineteenth-century writers in the historical and literary context of western New York.
Institutes for College and University Teachers
Liesl Olson, Newberry Library
Project Title: Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Chicago, 1893–1955
Description: A four-week institute for twenty-five college and university teachers to study modernist literary and artistic expression through the collections of the Newberry Library and sites in Chicago.
Scholarly Editions and Translations
Sandra Spanier, Penn State University, University Park
Project Title: The Letters of Ernest Hemingway
Description: Preparation for publication of volumes 5, 6, and 7 of a scholarly edition of six-thousand surviving letters of the American author Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961).
You are invited to submit essay proposals for a new volume in development in the Options for Teaching series, Teaching 9/11 and Its Aftermaths, edited by Eden Osucha. This volume proposes to address the challenge of teaching students whose understanding of the events and their contexts and consequences has no basis in personal memory. The essays will highlight the complexity, diversity, and breadth of the materials available to instructors teaching the literature and culture of 9/11 and its aftermaths, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and in a variety of institutional settings. To learn more about the volume and how to propose an essay, please visit the MLA Web site. Proposals must be submitted to the editor by 30 September 2018.
Voting on the 2018 ratification ballot concluded at midnight (EDT) on 1 June. Members ratified the 2018 Delegate Assembly’s approval of two constitutional amendments. One amendment changes the composition of the association’s board of trustees, provides for different term lengths, includes term limits, and eliminates references to restricted funds and budget accounts that no longer exist; the other ensures representation for community college faculty members on the Executive Council. Support for the amendments ranged from 96% to 98% of the members who voted in that section of the ballot. The amendments have been incorporated into the text of the constitution at the Web site.
Emergency Resolution 2018-2, which called on the MLA to condemn a Trump administration executive order prohibiting entry into the United States by citizens of several Muslim-majority countries as well as other government efforts “to target demographic groups on the basis of religion, race, or nationality,” was not ratified by the membership and therefore does not represent a position taken by the MLA. Resolutions forwarded to the membership must be ratified by a majority vote in which the number of those voting for ratification equals at least 10% of the association’s membership. This year 1,832 votes were required for ratification. There were 1,122 votes in favor of ratification and 134 votes against ratification. The resolution fell short of ratification by 710 votes.
The volumes Approaches to Teaching the Arthurian Tradition, edited by Dorsey Armstrong, and Approaches to Teaching Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, edited by Michael R. Katz and Alexander Burry, are now in development in the MLA Approaches to Teaching World Literature series. Instructors who have taught the works these volumes address are encouraged to complete surveys about their teaching experiences. Information about proposing an essay is available at the end of each survey.
Members are also invited to submit essay proposals for a new nonseries volume in development, Mission Driven: Reimagining Graduate Education for a Thriving Humanities Ecosystem, edited by Stacy Hartman and Yevgenya Strakovsky. Mission Driven seeks to reimagine the humanities’ potential to thrive in the twenty-first-century landscape and to envision new models of success. The editors invite essays that explore how graduate education can be mobilized to seed these changes. Proposals must be submitted by 1 July 2018.
The Modern Language Association congratulates the 2018 MLA Bibliography fellows who will serve from 2018 to 2021. The MLA International Bibliography staff members work with over 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 Web site or contact Helen Slavin.
Congratulations to the following:
- Allison E. Bernard, PhD candidate, Columbia University
- David E. García, professor, Carthage College
- Liorah A. Golomb, associate professor and humanities librarian, University of Oklahoma
- Bassey E. Irele, librarian for sub-Saharan Africa collection development, Harvard University
- S. C. Kaplan, lecturer of French, Rice University
- Antonio Cardentey Levin, PhD candidate, assistant professor, University of Florida
- Britt McGowan, associate librarian, Florida State University
- Jessica D. Ryan, scholarly communications assistant project manager, Smith College
- Christoph Schmitz, PhD candidate, Duke University
- Brian James Stone, assistant professor, California State Polytechnic University
You are invited to submit essay proposals for a new nonseries volume in development, Strategies and Perspectives on Social Justice Work, edited by Neal A. Lester. The essays in this volume will tease back the layers of what constitutes social justice theory and praxis and offer perspectives that reveal the many ways allies and supporters are taking and can take action. This volume proposes to address the actions and changes necessary for all those facing oppression, discrimination, violence, disenfranchisement, and dehumanization; it is meant to be an intervention for those in and outside various justice circles. Proposals must be submitted to the editor by 4 June 2018.
The Nominating Committee has arranged the 2018 elections for second vice president and the Executive Council, and the Elections Committee has arranged thirty-five contests for professional-issues and regional seats in the Delegate Assembly. Full election and candidate information will be available in the fall, with the election ballot.