The volume Teaching Mexicana and Chicana Writers of the Twentieth Century, edited by Elizabeth C. Martínez, is now in development in the MLA Options for Teaching series. To learn more about the volume and how to propose an essay, please visit the MLA Web site. Abstracts and CVs are due to the editors by 15 May 2016.
The MLA Committee on Honors and Awards invites authors and editors to compete for the association’s 2016 publication awards. In addition to the James Russell Lowell Prize and the MLA Prize for a First Book, which have a 1 March deadline, seven annual and sixteen biennial MLA prizes 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
At this year’s MLA convention in Austin, the editors of Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, Rebecca Frost Davis, Matthew K. Gold, Katherine D. Harris, and Jentery Sayers, demonstrated the project’s innovative platform to an enthusiastic crowd. Now, they invite you to continue the conversation by participating in the open peer-review process of their anthology. The third set of curated keywords will be open for comment until 22 February 2016, and the deadline for the second set has been extended to 31 January 2016.
Each entry in the collection focuses on a keyword in the practice of digital pedagogy (ranging from “play” to “collaboration” to “design”) and includes pedagogical artifacts, such as syllabi, exercises, lesson plans, and student work. New keywords will be added in batches throughout 2016, and the final project will include fifty keywords.
We invite papers for a special joint issue of the ADE and ADFL bulletins on literary studies and globalization. We are especially interested in papers that address institutional structures separating faculties and departments of English from those of foreign languages and literatures, as well as reflections on and models for how these departments might collaborate.
Please send 300-word abstracts to the MLA office of programs, ADE, and ADFL by 15 May 2016. Read the call for papers.
At its meeting on 9 January in Austin, the MLA Delegate Assembly conducted elections for the Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee, the Executive Council, the Nominating Committee, and the Elections Committee. The assembly approved a motion to dedicate one slot on the MLA Executive Council to a part-time faculty member. The assembly also took up several proposed constitutional amendments stemming from the implementation of the new forum structure, which would affect the size and composition of the assembly. It voted that forum delegates would be elected by forum members rather than by the forums’ executive committees. The assembly approved an amendment that would give an equal number of assembly seats to each of the seven electoral regions, the number to be determined by the assembly, and voted to change the name of the category from “special-interest delegates” to “professional-issues delegates.” The amendments will go to the Executive Council for review at its February meeting and then to the membership for a vote. In response to a recommendation from the Executive Council, the Delegate Assembly approved increasing the years of MLA membership required for granting life membership to reflect that members continue to teach and work actively in the profession well past the age of sixty-five. Finally, the assembly approved an emergency resolution that the MLA “support faculty and students who challenge Islamophobic rhetoric and the increased militarism, xenophobia, and racism associated with the upsurge in Islamophobia.” The resolution will also be considered at the council’s February meeting. A longer summary of the Delegate Assembly meeting will appear in the Spring MLA Newsletter, and a complete report will be published in the May 2016 issue of PMLA.
Kwame Anthony Appiah, the 2017 MLA president, has chosen Boundary Conditions as the presidential theme for the 2017 convention, which will be held in Philadelphia. Boundary conditions are, for mathematicians, the parameters that define the space in which one seeks solutions. So the theme offers, first, an invitation to reflect together on the parameters that determine our work. Our boundary conditions are sometimes spatial, sometimes identitarian, sometimes disciplinary and subdisciplinary, and boundaries themselves are sites of artistic production and of scholarship. As students of language and literature increasingly cross national boundaries, physically and virtually, we face new questions about composition and critical analysis, second-language pedagogy, translation, and the ideas of global literature and transnational cultural studies. How do our new boundary conditions affect our understanding of the projects of literary and cultural studies? How do new forms of communication—online education, digital libraries, blogs, hypertext, machine translation, social media, and new tools of textual analysis—reshape the boundary conditions of our work? And how are these boundary conditions affected by the new material circumstances in our universities—the growth of the precariat, challenges from opponents of liberal education, clashing conceptions of freedom of expression? Visit the MLA Web site to post a call for papers for the 2017 convention.
At its October meeting, the MLA Executive Council appointed Wai Chee Dimock, William Lampson Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University, to serve as the next editor of PMLA. Her term begins in July 2016 and runs for three years. She will succeed Simon Gikandi, who has been editor since July 2011.
Dimock has written on a wide range of topics in American literature and popular culture, publishing film criticism in the Los Angeles Review of Books and essays in Critical Inquiry, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. Her books include Empire for Liberty: Melville and the Poetics of Individualism; Residues of Justice: Literature, Law, Philosophy; Through Other Continents: American Literature across Deep Time; and the collaborative volume Shades of the Planet: American Literature as World Literature. She received her PhD from Yale University and her BA from Harvard University.
Two new essays join Literary Studies in the Digital Age, the MLA’s first born-digital, publicly available anthology. Matthias Bauer and Angelika Zirker’s “Whipping Boys Explained: Literary Annotation and Digital Humanities” and Gabriel Hankins’s “Correspondence: Theory, Practice, and Horizons” familiarize readers with tools, techniques, and processes used in digital literary studies.
The editors invite your participation in expanding this anthology. Please comment on the present volume and visit the call for papers to read instructions on submitting an essay.
Planning your time in Austin? Both the 2016 mobile Program and the Convention Guide offer quick information about on-site convention resources and floor plans for meeting venues. Visit mla16.org on your smartphone or tablet to search or browse convention sessions and events. You can even save sessions to a personalized list. The mobile Program can be browsed off-line and is updated automatically whenever you have a connection. Print copies of the Convention Guide will be available on-site.
This year’s elections may be over, but there is still time for members to make suggestions for the executive committee elections to be held in 2016. Serving on an executive committee is an excellent way for members to become more involved in association activities, to create exciting programming for the annual convention, and to work on developing MLA Commons as a tool for scholarly and professional collaboration. When arranging their elections, the executive committees of the MLA’s forums depend on suggestions from members. To suggest yourself for executive committee service or to recommend a colleague, please fill out a brief online suggestion form by 21 December.