Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Call for Papers

"Cultures of Collectivity"


November 4-7

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


For its 2021 Convention, the Midwest Modern Language Association welcomes—especially, but not exclusively—proposals that broadly reflect aspects of its conference theme, “Cultures of Collectivity.”  We invite proposals for individual papers as well as for fully assembled panels or roundtables.

At heart, the conference theme seeks to address a set of questions about how meaning is forged in connection with collective acts. How, for example, are cultures created by the gathering together of human subjects? What modes of collectivity, be they formal or informal, arise from culture, or have arisen historically? How might we meet and answer the salient political and social challenges of our time through collective response and collaboration—as artists, as academics, as teachers and students, and as laborers? We seek proposals that wrestle with these (or related) transhistorical questions about what it means to work, think, and join together under the auspices of language, literature, and culture.

Topics could include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Collective movements throughout the history of art and culture (i.e. literary or critical “schools,” film collectives, art collectives)
  • Reading communities
  • Allusion, citation, and the formation of communities through bibliography and scholarship
  • Interdisciplinary / crossover work in contemporary art and the humanities
  • Language communities
  • Cultures of diaspora, including refugees and migrant communities, and their representation in literature / culture
  • Subcultures, the avant-garde, and countercultural movements
  • Collectivities and labor organizing, both inside and outside of the university
  • Professional / academic societies and the communities they foster
  • Publishing collectives
  • The role of publishing in scholarly organizing
  • Professional or scholarly collaborations
  • Networking
  • Collaborative scholarly and artistic forms (i.e. co-authoring)
  • Graduate student collectives (including TA unions, etc.) and efforts to establish them
  • Undergraduate collectives (including Sigma Tau Delta, honors societies, clubs, literary magazines, etc.)
  • Collaborative pedagogy and team-teaching
  • Collaborations in the classroom (i.e. group assignments, collective grading, etc.)


Proposals from faculty and graduate students may be for:

1) Special Sessions related to the conference theme:

Special Sessions do not require a full slate of papers, but instead, if accepted, assume that the session organizer (who may also give a paper) will serve as panel chair. Accepted Special Session Calls for Papers are posted on the MMLA website and will require that the organizer receive proposals directly and vet them to build the full panel.

Special Session Calls for Papers should include the following information: organizer name, contact information, session title, and a Call for Papers indicating the organizer's preferred proposal length and deadline of April 15th for proposal submissions.

Special Session submissions are due May 1st via e-mail to their organizers.  Submissions that are not assigned to special session panels are due by May 20th via email to mmla@luc.edu

2) Permanent Sections of the MMLA that organize panels annually:

Permanent Sections are typically tied to some version of the conference theme. Submissions to Permanent Sections are due to their organizers May 1st.  Submissions that are not assigned to permanent section panels are due by May 20th 1st via email to mmla@luc.edu.

3) Complete Panels or Individual Papers that do not tie into the conference theme.

Submissions should include the following information: presenter name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, paper title, a 250-word abstract, and a CV.

Proposals for Complete Panels should be submitted together as a unit.

Individual Papers that are accepted will be grouped into sessions; as a result, to facilitate scheduling please identify up to three of the following categories in which your paper may be most usefully placed:

American literature, Comparative Studies, English Literature, Francophone Literatures, Hispanophone Literatures, Genre Studies, German Literature, Interdisciplinary Approaches, Italian Literatures, Teaching, Medieval, Renaissance/Early Modern, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, Contemporary Literature, Colonial, Postcolonial, Travel, the Midwest.

Individual Paper and Complete Panel proposals are due May 20th via e-mail to mmla@luc.edu.

* * *

Proposals from undergraduate students will be considered for the Undergraduate Symposium by the program committee.  

Undergraduate submissions should include the following information: presenter name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, paper title, the Faculty mentor's name, and a 250-word abstract.

Proposals for the Undergraduate Symposium are due May 20th via e-mail to mmla@luc.edu.


While the MMLA welcomes papers across languages and literatures, proposals must be in English unless submitted to a Permanent Session that stipulates proposals are welcome in languages other than English.

* * *

Each Fall issue of the Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association will be devoted to papers that build upon the conference theme from the previous year; the Fall 2020 issue will thus extend “Duality, Doubles and Doppelgängers.” Fall issue submissions are due by April 15 after each convention.