An Open Discussion of MLA Group Structure

A working group cochaired by Marianne Hirsch, president of the MLA, and Margaret Ferguson, first vice president of the MLA, in consultation with members of the executive committees of current divisions and discussion groups and with the advice of a large number of members, has created a draft proposal for a new MLA group structure and is seeking your guidance. Visit to join the discussion.

Cultural Excursions in Chicago

Registrants for the 2014 MLA Annual Convention are eligible to attend MLA-sponsored cultural excursions in Chicago. This year’s excursions offer attendees insider tours of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Goose Island Brewery and Pub, the Chicago History Museum, and the Newberry Library. Space is limited and fees apply. To participate, sign up during the registration process, or, if you have already registered, e-mail Convention registrants may also sign up a limited number of guests for each excursion. View full descriptions of the excursions on the MLA Web site.

Convention Registration Open for MLA Members

MLA members can now register and make travel arrangements and hotel reservations for the 2014 MLA Annual Convention, which will be held in Chicago on 9–12 January 2014. Members will save $30 by registering by 2 October. Nonmembers can join the association now to register at member rates—a savings of $90—and enjoy the best selection of hotels (nonmember registration opens 3 October). Please visit the convention page to learn more about the 2014 meeting, including the presidential theme, convention exhibitors, and cultural excursions in Chicago.

Discussion about Letters of Recommendation in the News

A new article in Inside Higher Ed spotlights MLA First Vice President Margaret Ferguson’s draft statement on streamlining letters of recommendation and the discussion it has sparked on MLA Commons. Incorporating suggestions from those who have commented on the Commons, Ferguson will ask the Executive Council to consider a revised statement in October. MLA members can comment on the draft by logging in to the Commons.

Dennis Looney to Join the MLA in 2014

The MLA is pleased to announce that Dennis Looney, professor in the Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh, will join the MLA staff as the director of programs and ADFL when Nelly Furman retires in January 2014. A scholar of Italian language and literature, Looney brings with him a decade of experience as a department chair. He has also served as assistant dean of humanities and as a member and president of the ADFL executive committee. We look forward to welcoming Dennis Looney, who is certain to build on the outstanding work done by Nelly Furman during her nearly ten years at the association.

Free MLA Job Information List to Launch This Month

The MLA Job Information List database will be available for searching on 13 September. Access to the database is free to all users. To search the list, users can log in with their MLA member credentials or create a nonmember log-in. The JIL database is updated weekly to make job listings available in a timely manner. Please visit the MLA Web site for more information about access to the JIL and for tips on searching.

Division and Discussion Group Conversations Moving to MLA Commons

Beginning 30 August, division and discussion group forums on the MLA Web site will be superseded by forums on MLA Commons, the association’s online network and scholarly communication platform for members. If you haven’t already visited your divisions’ or discussion groups’ areas on the Commons, we encourage you to log in and view your profile to see the groups you are already a member of. Click on Forum to start a conversation, respond to a topic, or post a notice about your convention session. If the group forum has been disabled by the group’s admin, please use the Feedback button on the right side of the group page to let us know.

Propose an Essay for an MLA Volume

Two new volumes in the Approaches series, one on Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and one on the works of Gertrude Stein, are now in development. You are invited to complete one or both surveys about your teaching needs and practices and to submit essay proposals for these volumes here.

Special Sale on Approaches to Teaching World Literature Volumes

More than one hundred volumes in the Approaches to Teaching World Literature series are now available at a special discount. Through 30 September, all volumes in the series are available at a 25% discount (regularly 20% for MLA members). No code is necessary to receive the discount, which is available to MLA members and nonmembers and will be automatically calculated at checkout.