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.
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!
Over seventy sites have been created on MLA Commons, from informal blogs to open-access publications using CommentPress to the new site from the MLA International Bibliography. If you’d like to start a blog on the Commons, you’ll find posts on creating a site, using CommentPress, and much more in the Welcome Group. We will be featuring selected sites in the forthcoming MLA Commons newsletter, so send a note to let us know what you’ve created and feel free to e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an interview with Ernesto Priego for 4Humanities, Rosemary G. Feal, the executive director of the MLA, discusses the association’s new initiatives, its ongoing work on behalf of teachers and students, and the importance of supporting a public role for the humanities.
PDFs of the English and foreign language editions of the April MLA Job Information List (JIL) are now available online. The lists contain live links provided by advertisers as well as links to apply through Interfolio for positions that are still accepting applications. Anyone who applies for a position from the JIL will receive an Interfolio Dossier account at no cost. With an account, a job seeker can submit application letters and CVs electronically for free. More information about the dossier service is available in the JIL section of the MLA Web site.
Are you interested in contributing to an MLA volume? You are invited to submit essay proposals for the Options for Teaching volume Teaching Latino/a Literature, edited by Frederick Luis Aldama, and to answer a survey and submit essay proposals for Approaches to Teaching Hugo’s Les Misérables, edited by Michal P. Ginsburg and Bradley Stephens. Essay proposals and survey responses will be accepted through 1 August.
The 2013 Nominating Committee has nominated Kwame Anthony Appiah, David J. Bartholomae, and Garrett Stewart for second vice president of the MLA and Douglas M. Armato, Brian Croxall, Morris E. Eaves, Margaret R. Higonnet, Anton Kaes, Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting, and Philip M. Weinstein for the MLA Executive Council. The 2013 Elections Committee has arranged contests to fill seventeen special-interest and thirty-eight regional seats in the Delegate Assembly. Background information on the candidates for second vice president and the Executive Council and the names and affiliations of the Delegate Assembly candidates are now available online. To propose an additional candidate for any of these positions, see the procedures for filing petitions described in articles 6.E, 8.A.2, and 10.E of the MLA constitution.
The Summer issue of the MLA Newsletter features candidates for the 2013 MLA elections, Marianne Hirsch’s column about what it means to be the Modern Language Association of America, and Rosemary G. Feal’s column on the association’s strategic planning.
Want to know what state has the highest concentration of Hungarian speakers or where Arabic is taught in your area? The MLA Language Map, which displays the locations and numbers of speakers of thirty languages commonly spoken in the United States, and the Language Map Data Center now include data from the 2006–10 American Community Survey. The addition allows you to compare 2000 and 2010 language communities through tables and graphs generated in the data center and to view up-to-date demographic information on the map. You can also use the map to find out which colleges and universities teach a given language and to retrieve fall 2009 enrollment data for those institutions. Enrollments for African, Native American, Pacific Island, and Scandinavian languages, previously available only in aggregate form, are now identified by name on the map.
The Committee on Information Technology has announced new updates to its guidelines for authors of Web pages and for technology support by institutions. The “Guidelines for Authors of Digital Resources” and “Guidelines for Information Technology Access and Support for the Modern Languages” have been approved by the MLA Executive Council and are now available in the committee’s area of the MLA Web site. They join “Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Media,” which was updated in 2012.