Results of 2016 Ratification Vote

Voting on the 2016 ratification ballot concluded at midnight (EDT) on 1 June. Members ratified the 2016 Delegate Assembly’s approval of six constitutional amendments to article 10, which deals with the composition and election of the assembly. Support for the amendments ranged from 89% to 95% of the members who voted in that section of the ballot. The amendments have been incorporated into the text of the constitution on the MLA Web site.

Resolution 2016-1, which called on the MLA to “support faculty members and students who challenge Islamophobic rhetoric and the increased militarism, xenophobia, and racism associated with the upsurge in Islamophobia,” 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 2,149 votes were required for ratification. There were 1,279 votes in favor of ratification and 410 votes against ratification. The resolution fell short of ratification by 870 votes. [Note: The MLA Statement on Islamophobia, approved by the Executive Council in December 2015, addresses the same subject as the resolution.]


New Digital Pedagogy Essays Available for Open Review

The editors of Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, Rebecca Frost Davis, Matthew K. Gold, Katherine D. Harris, and Jentery Sayers, invite you to participate in the open peer-review process of the anthology’s fourth set of curated keywords by 1 July 2016. Each entry in the collection focuses on a keyword in the practice of digital pegagogy (ranging from “access” to “history” to “mapping”) and includes pedagogical artifacts, such as syllabi, exercises, lesson plans, and student work. New keywords will be added in batches throughout 2016, and fifty keywords will be included in the final project.

Final Program for the 2016 International Symposium Available

The final program for the first MLA International Symposium is now available on the symposium Web site. The program is composed of sixty-eight panels, roundtables, and plenaries organized around the theme Other Europes: Migrations, Translations, Transformations. It features presentations in English, French, German, and Spanish and includes participants from over thirty countries across North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The symposium, to be held at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany, will begin on Thursday, 23 June, with discussions on borders and cosmopolitanism with Françoise Lionnet, Roland Greene, and K. Anthony Appiah, and will conclude on Saturday, 25 June, with a plenary on European “Dreams and Nightmares.”

2016 Ratification Ballot Awaits Members’ Attention

Final adoption of the constitutional amendments and the resolution approved by the Delegate Assembly at its January 2016 meeting depends on the vote of the membership. The online ballot is now available on the MLA Web site. Paper ballots can be requested until 16 May. The deadline for voting is midnight (EDT) on Wednesday, 1 June. All members in good standing as of 18 April are strongly encouraged to vote.

Executive Director Search Begun

Following Rosemary G. Feal’s announcement that she plans to step down as executive director of the MLA in summer 2017, the Executive Council has appointed a search committee and retained a search firm to find her successor. The nine-member search committee, representing MLA members’ diverse fields and forms of employment, is working with the search firm Isaacson, Miller to develop a position profile, which will be made available on the MLA Web site. MLA members are invited to submit nominations or applications directly to Isaacson, Miller on the site dedicated to the search. Read the full announcement on the Executive Council blog.

2016 Ratification Vote Now Under Way

At the 2016 convention the Delegate Assembly approved six amendments to the MLA constitution and one resolution. The assembly’s actions are not final, however, since they are subject to ratification by the MLA membership. Members are therefore encouraged to review this year’s ratification ballot and to exercise their right to vote. All members in good standing as of 18 April are eligible to vote. The online ballot is now available (member log-in required); requests for paper ballots must reach the coordinator of governance by Monday, 16 May. The deadline for receipt of ratification ballots is midnight (EDT) on 1 June.

New Handbook Launches

The eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, which debuted at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference and Bookfair, has received praise for its more streamlined approach to documentation. Created for a digital era in which publications migrate fluidly among different media, the new MLA style emphasizes the elements common to most works instead of publication format. Now, writers in all fields—from the sciences to the humanities—have the tools to intuitively document sources. As Kathleen Fitzpatrick, the MLA’s associate executive director and director of scholarly communication, told Inside Higher Ed, the new handbook “focuses on principles—not just on how to create a citation that is correct, but on the purposes of citation practice, as well as on strategies for evaluating sources.” It’s an approach that, according to Michael Greer, a lecturer in rhetoric and writing who is quoted in IHE, “is better aligned with instructors’ focus on process and critical thinking when teaching students the basics of writing with sources.” The change seeks to better support the fundamental goals of citation, as Fitzpatrick writes in the Los Angeles Review of Books: “to enable disparate pieces of scholarly writing to be connected with one another, and to communicate those connections reliably, simply, and clearly.”


Publication Prizes with 1 May Deadline

The MLA Committee on Honors and Awards invites authors and editors to compete for the association’s 2016 publication awards with a 1 May deadline. There are eleven competitions this year with a 1 May deadline, including for prizes that honor outstanding work in languages, literatures, interdisciplinary studies, and specific genres (e.g., translation, bibliography, scholarly edition). Information on the individual prizes, their deadlines, and the submission process is available online. You may also request detailed information on any MLA prize by contacting the office of programs (

Preliminary Program for the 2016 MLA International Symposium Available

The preliminary program is now available for Other Europes: Migrations, Translations, Transformations, the first in a series of MLA international symposia. Organized in collaboration with Heinrich Heine University, the conference will be held in Düsseldorf, Germany, from 23 to 25 June 2016.

Composed of nearly seventy sessions, featuring keynote talks, roundtables, traditional panel sessions, and workshops from a wide range of disciplines, the program includes panels in English, French, and German. Among those presenting are the MLA president, Kwame Anthony Appiah; the philosopher Susan Neiman; the artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien; and the writers Eva Hoffman and Yoko Tawada.

With hundreds of participants from across North and South America, Europe, and Asia, the symposium promises to be a stimulating and truly international event. To learn more or to register, please visit the symposium Web site.