News from the MLA is moving to MLA Commons. Beginning on 6 March, news headlines that appear on the MLA home page and in the biweekly digest e-mail message will be linked to posts on the Commons. If you subscribe to a feed for the news page on the MLA Web site, you can use the Subscribe link on the left of this page to set up your Commons feed.
A new volume in the Options for Teaching series, Teaching Translation, edited by Lawrence Venuti, is in development. You are invited to submit essay proposals for this volume through 1 May.
PDFs of the English and foreign language editions of the MLA Job Information List (JIL) are 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.
In response to the New York City Council’s pressure on Brooklyn College to rescind an invitation to a speaker the council considered controversial, Marianne Hirsch, the 2013–14 president of the MLA, wrote to Karen Gould, the president of Brooklyn College. Hirsch affirmed her support for the college’s “efforts to uphold the principles of freedom of expression and debate.” The full message is available on the From the President site.
The Spring 2013 Newsletter is now available online. The issue includes 2012 election results, an article on the launch of MLA Commons, Rosemary G. Feal’s editor’s column on her return to Guatemala, and Marianne Hirsch’s president’s column on rethinking the MLA’s division and discussion group structure. Visit the From the Executive Director blog for an expanded version of Feal’s column that includes photographs.
Recent PhD recipients who are interested in careers in government and the nonprofit sector are encouraged to apply for the Public Fellows program of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The program, which will place twenty fellows in staff positions at partnering organizations for two years, has an application deadline of 27 March 2013. To learn more or to apply online, please visit the ACLS Web site.
The MLA Committee on Honors and Awards invites authors and editors to compete for the association’s publication awards. There are eleven prizes with a 1 May deadline, including prizes that honor outstanding work in languages, literatures, and interdisciplinary studies and in specific genres (e.g., translation, scholarly edition). Information on the individual prizes, their deadlines, and the application process is available online. You may also request detailed information on any MLA prize by contacting the office of programs (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In a New York Times letter to the editor, MLA President Marianne Hirsch responds to Thomas L. Friedman’s article on the potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs). While acknowledging that MOOCs may expand access to university curricula, Hirsch warns that current models provide a narrow range of perspectives. She argues instead for cultivating “a multitude of professors with different views who can share deep critical thinking in a community of learners such as only the embodied experience of the classroom can yield.”
Thank you to all those who made the 2013 MLA Annual Convention a success. Nearly 8,000 people attended the Boston convention, and, in a postconvention survey, 67% of attendees rated Boston as an excellent convention city, and 27% as a good choice. We hope that you will continue to share your thoughts about the 2013 meeting by commenting on sessions in the online Program and participating in discussions on MLA Commons—and that you will join us in Chicago in 2014!
A transcript and audio recording of Michael Bérubé’s Presidential Address, delivered at the 2013 MLA Annual Convention in Boston, are now available online. In “How We Got Here,” Bérubé considers what inspired teachers of literature and language to join the profession, how they can make the case for the importance of what they do, and why they must strive to improve the working conditions of their colleagues. The 2012–13 president looks back on important initiatives of the past year with the hope “that this will have been a watershed year, the year when attention to the working conditions of the majority of our colleagues in higher education moved from the margin to the center of discussion.”