MLA Receives Grant for Expansion of MLA Commons

The MLA has received a generous $225,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand the association’s scholarly communication platform, MLA Commons. With support from the Mellon Foundation, the MLA will create Humanities Commons, a federated open-source network of sites that will link the MLA to other humanities societies to further interdisciplinary collaboration. During this pilot phase of the project, the MLA will establish and connect Commons networks for the College Art Association; the Association for Jewish Studies; and the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies and head the development of a shared identity-management system that will facilitate collaboration among society members. The project will be led by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, the MLA’s director of scholarly communication, and the grant period will run until 31 December 2016.

Program for Austin Convention Online

The Program for the 2016 MLA Annual Convention, which includes nearly 850 sessions and events, is now available on the MLA Web site. Find sessions by participant, subject, meeting time, or keyword. You can also browse sessions related to the presidential theme, Literature and Its Publics: Past, Present, and Future, including the Presidential Plenary and its linked session. If you are a participant, you can annotate your session listing with links to abstracts, drafts, or other supplementary material. The Program will also be available in print (which should reach members and convention registrants in early November), as a PDF of the print Program (linked from the online Program), and in a version optimized for mobile devices (available for use when the convention starts).

Suggesting Nominees for the 2016 Forum Executive Committee Elections

When the executive committees of the MLA’s forums meet during the January 2016 convention in Austin, they will take up the matter of nominations for the executive committee elections that will be held in fall 2016. Though the executive committees are responsible for making nominations, they are required to nominate at least one candidate who has been suggested by the wider MLA membership. Members are therefore encouraged to submit suggestions for the 2016 forum executive committee elections by filling out a brief suggestion form. Suggestions received by 21 December will be forwarded to the executive committees in time for their convention meetings.

Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Earlier this year, the MLA Delegate Assembly forwarded proposals for constitutional amendments to the Committee on Amendments to the Constitution. The amendments that the committee formulated allow the assembly to deal with the effects that the implementation of the new convention forum structure will have on the assembly’s size and composition. The next step in the amendment process is consideration by the Delegate Assembly at its meeting during the January 2016 convention in Austin. Additional information about the proposed amendments, including the texts of the amendments, is available at the Web site.

Travel Grants for 2016 MLA Convention

The MLA offers financial assistance to eligible non-tenure-track and unemployed members, regular and life members residing abroad, and graduate student members. The $400 grants partially reimburse expenses for travel to the MLA convention, which will be held in Austin from 7 to 10 January 2016. To find out if you are eligible to receive a grant and to learn how to apply, click here. The deadline for applications is 1 December 2015. Please refer questions to Annie Reiser at

Financial assistance for travel to the convention is partially supported by member contributions to the Professional Education Assistance Fund and the Good Neighbor Fund. If you can, please make a donation to help those who need assistance; your contribution is tax-deductible.

New Office of Outreach

The MLA is pleased to announce the creation of the office of outreach. Overseeing convention services, promotions, sales, communications, and development, the new office will work to broaden the reach of the MLA and strengthen communications and member engagement. Leading the new unit is Siovahn Walker, who joins the MLA from the Council for European Studies, where she served as director. Walker holds a PhD in history from Stanford University.

2015–16 Job Information List Opens

The MLA Job Information List database is now available for searching. Access to the database is free to all users. To search the list, users can log in with their MLA member credentials or create a nonmember log-in. (Please note that nonmember credentials are not stored from year to year, so you will be asked to create a new log-in for the 2015–16 list.) The JIL database is updated weekly to make job listings available in a timely manner. Please visit the MLA Web site for more information about access to the JIL and for tips on searching. Job seekers interested in careers outside the academy are also encouraged to view the MLA’s list of job sites for business, government, and not-for-profit jobs and to explore the other resources on the Connected Academics Web site.


Member Registration Open for Austin Convention

MLA members can now register and make travel arrangements and hotel reservations for the 2016 MLA Annual Convention, which will be held in Austin from 7 to 10 January 2016. Members will save $30 by registering by 1 October. Nonmembers can join the association now to register at member rates—a savings of $90—and enjoy the best selection of hotels (nonmember registration opens 2 October). Please visit the main convention page to learn more about the 2016 meeting—our first in Austin—including the presidential theme, Literature and Its Publics: Past, Present, and Future.