Competing for 2013 Publication Prize in Italian Literary Studies

The MLA Committee on Honors and Awards invites authors to compete for the association’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies. The prize, which has a 1 August deadline, is open to manuscripts that have been accepted for publication by not-for-profit presses that are members of the Association of American University Presses and to manuscripts that have not yet been accepted for publication. Detailed information is available online. You may also request information on any MLA prize by contacting the office of programs (awards@mla.org).

Edition of Sarah Robinson Scott Letters Receives CSE Seal

On 3 June 2013, the Committee on Scholarly Editions (CSE) awarded the CSE seal to The Letters of Sarah Scott, edited by Nicole Pohl, to be published by Pickering and Chatto.

The CSE serves as a clearinghouse for information about scholarly editing and editorial projects, offers advice and consultation to editors on request, honors excellence in editing by awarding emblems to qualified volumes, and promotes dissemination of reliable texts for classroom use and among general readers. Editors or publishers who wish to submit their editions (preferably before or at the copyediting stage) for consideration for the CSE seal should contact the committee at cse@mla.org.

MLA Responds to Report on the Humanities and Social Sciences

In articles in the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed, the MLA’s executive director, Rosemary G. Feal, and its former president, Russell Berman, respond to a new American Academy of Arts and Sciences report on the humanities and social sciences. The report identifies challenges facing the humanities and social sciences, including decreased funding and skepticism about the economic value of these fields, and argues for the fields’ importance to the future of the United States. “At the very moment when China and some European nations are seeking to replicate our model of broad education in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences—as a stimulus to innovation and a source of social cohesion,” the report contends, “we are instead narrowing our focus and abandoning our sense of what education has been and should continue to be—our sense of what makes America great.”

Advocating Undergraduate Study of the Humanities

In a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article (log-in required) about the release of three reports by Harvard University’s Arts and Humanities Division, Rosemary G. Feal, the executive director of the MLA, reaffirmed the value of a humanities education. The writing and analytic skills that humanities majors develop are highly desirable to employers, Feal said, and should not be overshadowed by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The article outlines Harvard’s strategies to bolster interest in the humanities through new introductory courses, an emphasis on humanities offerings during freshman orientation, and theme-based interdisciplinary programs.

Hundredth Web Site of the Week

The MLA International Bibliography has posted its hundredth Web site of the week on its MLA Commons blog. The feature highlights online resources for language, literature, and culture—from a University of North Carolina multimedia exhibit on country folk music to a database of book bindings in the British Library. The hundredth Web site of the week is Performing the Queen’s Men, a site that shares video of performances by the Shakespeare and the Queen’s Men Project as well as materials from the company’s production research. You can view more Web sites and other features like Teaching Tuesdays, Now Indexing, and Just for Fun on the bibliography’s Commons blog.

New Issue of PMLA

The March 2013 issue of PMLA, just mailed to MLA members, features five regular essays, on the Anglo-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, the pursuit of sovereignty in Norman Mailer’s The Fight, modernism and melodrama, Palestine in debates on postcolonial Maghrebi culture, and the European tradition of the invitation poem. The issue also includes a guest column by Julie Ellison on the new public humanities; a debate in Theories and Methodologies on Kenneth W. Warren’s study What Was African American Literature?; Alan Liu’s essay on the meaning of the digital humanities, for The Changing Profession; and four surprising discoveries in the series Criticism in Translation and Little-Known Documents.

Last Call for the 2013 ADE and ADFL Summer Seminars

In the next few days hotel reservations will close for the 2013 ADE Summer Seminar, 27–30 June, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Although the cutoff dates for guaranteed hotel reservations have passed for the joint ADE-ADFL seminar, 6–9 June, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and for the ADFL Summer Seminar, 18–21 June, in Houston, Texas, hotels for those seminars will try to accommodate new registrants. Chairs and other departmental representatives interested in attending a seminar this year will find complete programs and information about registration and hotel accommodations at the ADE and ADFL Web sites.

Fitzpatrick Speaks about Open Access

In a statement at the National Academy of Sciences meeting on public access to federally supported research and development publications, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, the MLA’s director of scholarly communication, discussed the changing role of professional societies in the Internet era. Citing the ability to disseminate one’s work through a platform like MLA Commons, Fitzpatrick posited that “the value of joining a scholarly society in the age of open, public Web-based communication may be in participation.” Read the full text of her statement on the office of scholarly communication blog.

 

Be the Two-Thousandth Member of MLA Commons

Since MLA Commons launched in January, nearly two thousand MLA members have logged in to the network to create their profile, join groups related to their interests, start blogs, and much more. To celebrate, we’re awarding an iPad mini to the two-thousandth person to log in and create a profile. If you haven’t yet explored what you can do on the Commons, we invite you to log in with your MLA credentials, update your profile with a photo and description of your interests, and take a video tour of the site. We look forward to seeing you there!