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Beginning 30 August, division and discussion group forums on the MLA Web site will be superseded by forums on MLA Commons, the association’s online network and scholarly communication platform for members.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.

New MLA Publication Prize

The MLA Committee on Honors and Awards invites authors and editors to compete for the inaugural Modern Language Association Prize in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. Established in 2012, the prize is awarded to a member of the association for an outstanding scholarly work in the field of Native American literatures, cultures, and languages. Works published in 2012 or 2013 are eligible for the first prize, to be awarded in 2014. Detailed information is available online or can be requested by contacting the office of programs (awards@mla.org).

Executive Council Statement Opposing State Interference in College Curricula

In response to the recently released e-mail messages of the former Indiana governor Mitchell E. Daniels, the MLA’s Executive Council has approved a statement condemning the interference of state officials in college curricula. The statement affirms the importance of teachers’ ability to choose their own reading assignments and the principle that “free inquiry is the cornerstone of democratic education.”

MLA Receives Planning Grant for Next Phase of MLA Commons

The MLA is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $40,500 planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to begin the second phase of development of the association’s scholarly communication platform, MLA Commons. With support from the Mellon Foundation, the MLA will lead in the creation of Humanities Commons, a federated network of sites that will link the MLA with other humanities organizations to further collaborative interdisciplinary research. During the planning phase, the MLA will meet with other organizations to develop a governance structure and support model and will work with the Commons in a Box team from the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), and with developers to produce technical specifications for the new network.

PMLA Special Topic: Literature in the World

The PMLA Editorial Board invites essays on literature in a diverse and multilingual world. The special issue will seek to provide a critical reflection on the diversity of both dominant and less-taught languages and of their spheres of use, to engage with the vernacular and the indigenous as critical categories, and to consider conceptual or thematic structures that invite literary studies to move outside the rubrics of nation, state, and national language. The coordinator of the special topic is Simon Gikandi (Princeton Univ.). The deadline for submissions is 3 November 2014. For a complete description of the topic and for submission guidelines, please see the MLA Web site.

Summer Job Information List Online

A PDF of the Summer 2013 Job Information List, which includes both English and foreign language listings, is now available on the MLA Web site. 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.

An Update on the Review of Divisions and Discussion Groups

Marianne Hirsch, president of the MLA, and Margaret Ferguson, first vice president of the MLA, have posted a letter to members about the status of their working group’s review of the association’s divisions and discussion groups. After receiving comments from executive committee members in the spring, the group has decided to pursue an approach that seeks “to create space for new fields while reiterating our commitment to the deep study of language and literature in their historical and cultural contexts, as well as to the protection of small fields.” The group will release a draft of its proposed revisions on MLA Commons in August to seek further feedback from the membership.