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.

7 Comments

Catherine Larson

I urge you to maintain the current divisions of Early Modern Spanish Drama and Early Modern Spanish Prose and Poetry; this is not the place to seek room for new comparative/interdisciplinary sessions. The two current divisions are essential for scholars in our field. In like manner, i would like to voice my support for the allied organizational status of GEMELA and the Cervantes Society of America.

Virginia Blanton

It has been suggested that the divisions of Old English and Middle English be collapsed. I know representatives of those divisions, as well as scholars from around the world, have written to indicate that this is a grave mistake. There is an enormous amount of difference between Old and Middle English as languages and their literatures. I urge you not to make this decision, as it would once again indicate that any of our cultural heritage pre-1500 is not distinctive and therefore less important than more modern languages and literatures.

richard s peterson

Absurd and illogical to lump OE and ME together. “Deep study” would be lost.
Richard Peterson,
U of Connecticut, Storrs

Dr Susan L Fischer

I strongly urge that the current divisions of Early Modern Spanish Drama and Early Modern Spanish Prose and Poetry be maintained. This is not the place to create new comparative/interdisciplinary sessions. The two current divisions are essential for scholars in our fields of drama, prose, and poetry. Change is good but not at the cost of destroying structures that SUPPORT AND SUSTAIN our field. Additionally, I support strongly the maintenance of allied organizational status of BOTH GEMELA AND the Cervantes Society of America.

Charles Ganelin

I urge you in the strongest possible terms not to conflate the Early Modern Spanish literature divisions. Each of these is essential to the development of scholarship and humanistic thought in our field, and both represent from their respective positions significant advances in our understanding of Early Modern Spain. I am sure the MLA would never consider anything remotely similar to this move, for example, with regard to Shakespearean studies. I also strongly urge the MLA to maintain the allied organizations GEMELA and the Cervantes Society of America.

Profile photo of Susan Paun de Garcia Susan Paun de Garcia

In the strongest possible terms I urge the MLA to maintain the current divisions of Early Modern Spanish Drama and Early Modern Spanish Prose. Echoing the comments of Larson and Fischer, I agree that this is not the place to seek new comparative or interdisciplinary sessions. Sadly, the already limited presence and recognition of Spanish classical literature outside the field of Hispanists would be further reduced. This literature deserves more attention, not less. As well, I strongly support the allied organizational status of the Cervantes Society of America and GEMELA, both of which should be maintained.

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