Tuesday, February 16, 2016

CFPs for MLA 2017

Here is a list of Calls For Papers for relevant sessions being proposed for the 2017 MLA Convention in Philadelphia, PA.  Note that some sessions may not be guaranteed inclusion in the final program. This post will be updated as additional CFPs are posted.  Please consider submitting an abstract!

Sessions sponsored by the Slavic / East European / Eurasian groups at MLA:

Globalization and the Second World
From the age of empires to rise of the Internet, globalization overwrites existing borders; how have Eastern Europeans perceived this process, from their “second world” perspective? 300-word abstract, 3-page CV by 15 March 2016 to Edyta Bojanowska (bojanows@rutgers.edu).

100 Years of October: Reconsidering the Russian Revolution
This panel welcomes papers that examine the cultural impact and/or image of the 1917 Revolution from new perspectives, including (but not limited to) the vantage points of non-Russian literatures and cultures, such as those of Central Asia, the Caucasus, or the Far East. 200-word abstract and CV by March 15, 2016 to Rebecca Stanton (rjs19@columbia.edu).

Propaganda Reconsidered
How do emerging theoretical models contribute to the study of propaganda? This panel examines literature’s role in shaping ideologies and reconsiders the entanglement of art and politics. 200-word abstract, CV by 15 March 2016 to Jon Stone (jstone2@fandm.edu).

Soviet-era Dissidence Revived?
In light of authoritarianism in Russia today, how does the current generation of artists adopt or adapt elements of Soviet-era dissident tradition? 200-word abstract and CV by 15 March 2016 to Julia Vaingurt (vaingurt@uic.edu).

Travel Narratives and Communication Technology
From reliable postal systems to the telegraph to cellphones, how does changing communication technology affect experience and description of travel across long distances? CV and 200-word abstract by 15 March 2016 to Gabriella Safran (gsafran@stanford.edu).

Svetlana Alexievich and Sverkhliteratura
This panel analyzes the “super-literature” of Alexievich, Belorussian writer and 2015 Nobel Prize recipient, in light of her critique of fiction and against the broader cultural politics of post-socialist memory. CV, 200-word abstract by March 15 to Jeff Gatrall (gatrallj@mail.montclair.edu).

Flight, Migration, Diaspora
Beyond its humanitarian, logistical, and political challenges, Europe’s current refugee crisis underscores (and, paradoxically, masks) the fact that European civilizations have continuously been shaped and reshaped by the movement of populations. This panel will address how emigration, resettlement, and contact among diasporas are represented in modern and contemporary European literature. While we will draw on a broad variety of texts, our discussion will be anchored by a core question: How does textual representation challenge or reify national, ethnic, or state boundaries? CV, 200-word abstract by March 15 to Benjamin Paloff (paloff@umich.edu).

Special session CFPs
The following sessions are being proposed by individual members of the MLA, and may be of interest to members of the various Slavic / East European / Eurasian Forums:

Russian Formalism Reimagined
Long treated as a prelude, could anything about the school be interesting in its own right, to literary studies after post-structuralism? Papers on methods, themes, figures, or relations. Abstracts by 4 March 2016 to David J. Gorman (dgorman@niu.edu).

Russian Shakespeares
Papers investigating significant Russian adaptations or translations of Shakespeare's works that received little attention in the West. Abstract of 300-words – CV by 5 March 2016 to Sabina Amanbayeva (amanbayeva.sabina@gmail.com).

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Guide to the Slavic (&c.) Entities at MLA

What Slavic entities exist under the auspices of the MLA?

Three Slavic / East European / Eurasian - focused entities are administered or recognized by the MLA:
  1. The Russian and Eurasian Forum (LLC Russian and Eurasian -- the "LLC" stands for "Languages, Literatures, and Cultures").
  2. The Slavic and East European Forum (LLC Slavic and East European).
  3. The American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL), which is not part of MLA, but is recognized as an "Allied Organization."
Detailed information about the policies governing the three entities is available here: Policies for Forums and Allied Organizations.  A summary is given below:

Each of the two Forums (which are part of MLA's official structure) is governed by an Executive Committee of 5 people.  The current membership of each committee can be found here:
Note that service is counted by "Convention Year" (and a "Convention Year" ends with the Annual MLA Convention; thus, "Convention Year 2017" runs from Jan 15, 2016 through Jan 14, 2017). Forum Executive Committee members typically serve as Secretary of their respective committees in their 3rd year of service, and as Chair in their 4th year of service.

The chief responsibilities of the Forum Executive Committees (hereafter, FECs) are to organize panels/sessions of interest to the field at the annual MLA Convention; and to perpetuate themselves by nominating candidates to run for election to the FEC during the annual MLA election in the fall.

Representation on the MLA Delegate Assembly:
The Russian and Eurasian Forum also designates a delegate to the MLA Delegate Assembly; this delegate serves a three-year term.  For historical reasons, the Slavic and E. Euro. Forum does not currently send a representative to the Delegate Assembly.

AATSEEL, as an Allied Organization, is represented at the MLA by a Liaison who is a member of both organizations; his/her chief responsibilities are to arrange one or more AATSEEL-sponsored sessions at the annual MLA Convention, and to submit the necessary forms for the seven-yearly Allied Organization Review.

* * *


Each year, after the MLA Convention in January, the longest-serving member of each Forum Exec. Committee rotates off the committee, and is replaced by a new member, elected the preceding fall.  Forum executive committee elections are held in the fall along with the elections for second vice president, the Executive Council, and the Delegate Assembly. The executive committee of each forum is responsible for placing at least two names in nomination for each open seat on the executive committee. At least one of these names must be selected from a list of suggestions put forward by the membership.  If you would like to serve on one of the FECs or would like to suggest someone else, you can nominate yourself or another MLA member here: https://apps.mla.org/ballot_nominations

The MLA's Coordinator of Governance emails the necessary paperwork and instructions for election nominations to the Chair and Secretary of each FEC every year, ahead of the MLA Convention. 

* * * 


Forum Executive Committees meet each year during the MLA Convention. Typically, a joint meeting is arranged by the Chairs of the Russian & Eurasian and of the Slavic & East European Forums, and this meeting is also attended by the AATSEEL Liaison and by the Russian & Eurasian Forum's Delegate to the Assembly.  At this meeting, nominees are generated for the forthcoming fall elections to both FECs, and a set of topics is generated from which to form the Russian/Eurasian, Slavic/East European, and AATSEEL-sponsored panels at the following year's MLA Convention.  

* * * 


An overview of the guidelines for organizing a session at the MLA Convention is available here:

  • January (approx. Jan 6-10): At the MLA Convention, the meeting of the Slavic groups is held.
  • FebruaryCalls for Papers to form panels for the following year's Convention must be submitted via the MLA website, typically by February 28.   Note that the word limit for a CFP is 35 words, including the session title!
    Information about submitting CFPs is available here: https://apps.mla.org/conv_papers
  • MarchTypically, CFPs should list a deadline no later than March 15, so that the panel organizer has time to select participants, write up a proposal (using the submitted abstracts as a base) if the panel is a competitive one (i.e. nonguaranteed -- see info below re: guaranteed vs nonguaranteed panels), and submit all the program information to the appropriate person (FEC Chair or AATSEEL Liaison) well before the April 1 deadline. Sometimes, an organizer may extend the CFP deadline by a week to get more proposals, but then s/he needs to get the final panel information to the FEC Chair/Liaison quickly!
  • AprilApril 1 is the deadline for the FEC Chairs and AATSEEL Liaison to submit all program copy for sessions being proposed for the upcoming Convention.  (Session proposals may be submitted from early March. They are submitted online.  Only the designated individuals can access the proposal submission forms.  Details about how to access the forms are available in this FAQ.)  April 1 is also the deadline for submitting Membership Waiver requests -- see below.

    April 7 is the deadline for all proposed participants in the upcoming Convention to acquire or renew their MLA membership.  Waivers of the membership requirement may be granted for nonscholars (e.g., medical doctors, visual artists, etc.) and scholars who work in disciplines other than language and literature. An individual may be granted a waiver once every five years. The request for a waiver of membership must be made by the session organizer and must be submitted on the Request for a Waiver of Membership form by 1 April for the following January’s convention. 

Guaranteed, nonguaranteed, and collaborative sessions:
A "guaranteed" session is one that is guaranteed inclusion in the Convention program, regardless of topic.  A guaranteed session proposal only needs to contain the session title, participant names and affiliations, and (where applicable) paper titles.  

A "nonguaranteed" or "competitive" session must compete with other proposals for acceptance into the Convention program.  Unlike guaranteed session proposals, each proposal for a nonguaranteed session -- i.e., the material that is submitted on the Program Copy forms due April 1 -- must contain (1) a detailed description of and scholarly rationale for the session and (2) information about the participants' scholarship and its relevance.

A "collaborative" session is one that is co-sponsored by another MLA entity (so, another Forum or Allied Organization); collaborative sessions are also nonguaranteed.  AATSEEL can serve as a "collaborator" for either Forum if desired.  Each entity can submit only one collaborative session proposal, but that collaborative proposal is in addition to any other nonguaranteed session proposal the entity may be submitting.

Detailed information about how to put together a proposal for a nonguaranteed (and/or collaborative) session, including sample proposals and scoring guidelines, is available here:

How many sessions does each entity get to propose?The Russian and Eurasian Forum is allotted two guaranteed sessions each year. The Slavic and East European Forum and AATSEEL each have one guaranteed session.  In addition, each entity may propose one nonguaranteed session and one (nonguaranteed) collaborative session.

So the total number of session proposals available under the auspices of the three Slavic entities is:

Entity                            Guaranteed                  Nonguaranteed                   Collaborative
LLC Russ/Eurasian             2                                    1                                          1
LLC Slavic/E. Euro.             1                                    1                                          1
AATSEEL                               1                                    1                                          1
TOTAL:                              4                                   3                                       3