Basic information about the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the Delegate Assembly, to be held on Saturday, 9 January, during the 2016 MLA Annual Convention in Austin (session 571), has been posted at the Web site. So that association members may engage with the issues to be discussed at the Delegate Assembly meeting, meeting documents will be posted in the members-only area of the site as they become available. MLA members who wish to address the assembly on a particular issue should consult the relevant document(s) in advance.
The Winter 2015 MLA Newsletter is now available online. Read the issue for information about the Austin convention, Roland Greene’s president’s column on the public work of interpretation, Rosemary G. Feal’s editor’s column on the challenges facing the Commission on Language Learning, and a report on the 2014–15 Job Information List.
Members are strongly encouraged to cast their votes in this year’s elections for second vice president, the Executive Council, the Delegate Assembly, and the convention forum executive committees. All 2015 members are eligible to vote; those who wish to join or renew for the 2015 membership year should e-mail email@example.com by 30 November. The online ballot (member log-in required) will be available until 12:00 midnight (EST) on Thursday, 10 December. To request a paper ballot, please e-mail the coordinator of governance by 18 November. Please don’t delay–vote online or request a paper ballot now.
MLA members are invited to participate in the National Humanities Alliance’s Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day on 14–15 March 2016 in Washington, DC. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with other humanities advocates from around the country and to communicate the value of the humanities to members of Congress and to key congressional staff members. Featured speakers include NEH Chairman William “Bro” Adams and Max Kenner, founder and executive director of Bard Prison Initiative. More details, including registration and hotel information, are available on the National Humanities Alliance Web site.
The volume Approaches to Teaching Plum in the Golden Vase, edited by Andrew Schonebaum, is now in development in the MLA Approaches to Teaching World Literature series. Instructors who have taught this work are encouraged to contribute to the volume by completing a survey about their experiences. Information about proposing an essay is available at the end of the survey.
Interested members still have nearly a year to prepare submissions for Cultures of Reading, a special topic in a future issue of PMLA. The PMLA Editorial Board invites essays that explore reading as a plural activity and that consider readers and the social institutions of literacy in any period or cultural tradition. Potential contributors are encouraged to think about reading expansively—and to consider it as a social practice that enrolls the reader in textual communities or as an integral aspect of particular forms of subjectivity or of memory. The coordinators of the special topic are Evelyne Ender (Hunter Coll., City Univ. of New York) and Deidre Lynch (Harvard Univ.).
Have you ever wondered how you could become more involved in association activities? Would you like to expand your field’s boundaries by creating exciting programming for the annual convention? How about furthering the development of MLA Commons as a tool for scholarly and professional collaboration? Service on a forum executive committee allows members to pursue these opportunities. During the upcoming convention each executive committee will nominate at least two members for the fall 2016 committee election; at least one of these names must be selected from a list of suggestions put forward by the membership. To suggest yourself for executive committee service or to recommend a colleague, please fill out a brief online suggestion form by 21 December.
Because of a minimal interest in the proposed on-site childcare service, the MLA is instead offering reimbursements of up to $300 to members who are registered for the convention and use childcare services, whether through one of the convention hotels or another service, during convention hours. If more requests are received than can be reimbursed with available funds, preference will be given to graduate students and members in lower-income categories. More information, including a list of recommended childcare providers, is available on the MLA Web site.
Recently mailed to MLA members, the March 2015 issue of PMLA features six regular essays; a Changing Profession cluster, “The Semipublic Intellectual: Academia, Criticism, and the Internet Age”; a Theories and Methodologies cluster, “Reframing Postcolonial and Global Studies in the Longer Durée”; a tribute to the former PMLA editor Patsy Yaeger; and more. Library access is available at mlajournals.org.
As part of Campus Equity Week (26–30 October), the MLA, led by members of the Committee on Contingent Labor in the Profession (CCLIP), called on department chairs and deans to improve job security for non-tenure-track faculty members on their campuses. The CCLIP wrote to 5,700 administrators to make the case for multiyear contracts for all non-tenure-track faculty appointments and asked them to report on the situation at their institutions. The committee also launched a new MLA Commons site with resources for Campus Equity Week, including ways to participate, an interview with Executive Director Rosemary G. Feal about the MLA’s efforts, and a bibliography of books about contingent faculty members.