Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Undergraduate Research Symposium

2019 MMLA “Cultures of Collectivity" Undergraduate Research Forum

Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 05-08 November

The Forum’s Goals and Rationale

The Midwest Modern Language Association is a regional affiliate of the Modern Language Association. Our annual conference hosts professors, graduate students, and undergraduate students who give presentations on their literary research. We invite proposals for the Undergraduate Research Forum for the 2020 conference in Milwaukee on any topic; we particularly welcome papers that engage with the conference’s theme of “Cultures of Collectivity.” This is a professional development opportunity, one that is particularly useful if you are interested in graduate school.

To apply, please submit an abstract of approximately 250 words along with your name, year in school, institution, and faculty mentor’s name to mmla@luc.edu by 30 April 2020. The abstract should summarize a paper of 8-10 pages; if accepted, you will deliver your paper in a 15-20 minute oral presentation in a panel with other presenters. Please note that the Undergraduate Research Forum is intended as a venue to present work done by undergraduate students; current graduate students are invited to submit their work to the conference’s regular sessions (the CFP for which may be found here: https://www.luc.edu/mmla/ convention/callforpapers/).

Please do note that despite the conference’s theme, it is the goal of the undergraduate research forum first and foremost to showcase and celebrate exciting new research by undergraduate students across the Midwest; we, therefore, accept papers on any literary topic and time period, regardless of its immediate relevance to the conference’s theme. Please propose your strongest work with the knowledge that the forum’s committee will do the work of organizing cohesive panels.

Cultures of Collectivity

For its 2020 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.).

ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR CASH PRIZE WILL BE AWARDED TO THE BEST PAPER GIVEN IN THE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FORUM.