Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association


Submit an Article

Members of the MMLA are invited and encouraged to submit articles to the Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association in English, Spanish, French, and German. Please note that the JMMLA no longer accepts submissions on open topics: Each Spring issue will be a single-topic special issue; each Fall issue will be devoted to papers building on the conference theme from the previous year. The current calls for papers are listed below.

Please read the submission guidelines for additional information.

Note: The JMMLA accepts journal article submissions via Manuscript Manager. Review the Manuscript Manager tutorial guide in either workflow demonstration or article format to reference additional details on submitting an essay.


Current JMMLA Call for Submissions

Spring 2023: Issue on the Theme "Affective Labors"

The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association invites submissions for its spring 2023 special issue focused on the theme “Affective Labor.” The special issue editors seek essays from across historical periods that address the role of affective labor in literature, film, and media. We seek analyses of the role of kin work, caring labor, nurturing and maternal activities; of pink collar, gendered labor; and other ways in which the affective is put to work, broadly conceived. The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2022.

A non-exhaustive list of subjects we would appreciate reading essays on includes:

  • Kin as work, including motherhood and patriarchy in representations of affective labor;
  • Care work memoirs, including representations of pink-collar labor;
  • Race and affective labor, including the perpetuation of empire through affective labor;
  • The commercialization of nurturing, including gender and queerness in narratives of affective labor;
  • “Feeling rules” and how they are learned and exploited;
  • Precarity, class, and feeling: how particular styles of feeling in work reproduce class distinctions;
  • “Cruel Optimism” and the falsity of affective labor as the promise of meaningful work;
  • Pleasure, love, hate, and violence in representations of affective labor.

The special issue editors seek essays that are inflected by affective labor’s major theorists. Essays may draw inspiration from:

  • Arlie Hochschild’s sociological analyses of emotional labor and its gendered effects;
  • The International Wages for Housework Campaign’s analyses of social reproduction work and work by or inspired by its leaders (g., Selma James, Mariarosa Dalla Costa, Silvia Federici, Maria Mies, Claudia von Werlhof, Kathi Weeks);
  • Sara Ahmed’s examination of affect for its political divvying up of work environments and sorting of subjects;
  • Sianne Ngai’s unravelling of the work that contemporary capitalist aesthetics does to and for its consumers;
  • Feminist arguments to abolish the family, most especially contemporary accounts made by Sophie Lewis, M.E. O’Brien;
  • Immaterial labor theorists’ analyses of affect’s relation to language-work and just-in-time production in the emergence of post-Fordism (g., Paolo Virno, Maurizio Lazzarato, Christian Marazzi, Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, Franco Berardi).

We also invite mini-essays (about 2,000 words) for a cluster within this special issue devoted to affective labor in the academy. We are interested in brief takes that explore the intertwining of the affective and the prelogical; affect as a pressure to perform university service; the affects of alt-ac; and the affective complexities of academic precarity.

Queries may be directed to the issue co-editors, Joshua Gooch (goochj@dyc.edu) and Douglas Dowland (d-dowland@onu.edu).


Fall 2022: Issue on the Theme "Cultures of Collectivity"

The Midwest Modern Language Association welcomes submissions to the fall 2022 issue of the Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association addressing the theme of its 2021 conference, “Cultures of Collectivity.” The 2021 conference explored this theme by asking 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 essays 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, etc.)

Essays in English, French, Spanish, German, or Portuguese should be submitted by May 15, 2022, for full consideration. Submission procedures and formatting guidelines are described on the journal page of the website for the Midwest Modern Language Association. Please direct all questions to the MMLA at mmla@luc.edu.


Spring 2022: Special Issue on the Theme "Influence and Inspiration"

The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association invites submissions for its spring 2022 special issue focused on the theme “Influence and Inspiration.” Essays in this issue will consider authors in terms of what Erica Hunt, in “Notes Toward an Oppositional Poetics,” has called “contiguity,” a series of complex interactions, real and imagined, among writers. Models like those articulated by T.S. Eliot, Harold Bloom, and others envision literary history as a linear structure, in which a writer is apprenticed to writers of previous generations to learn from and then overthrow them. By contrast, Hunt sees literary history as a series of complex interconnections, real and imagined, made by writers and their readers. These richer affiliative structures carry within them, Hunt suggests, the potential to resist the kinds of “convention and label [that] bind and organize us” to “rationalized lines of authority.” To challenge traditional modes of literary history, according to Hunt, has the potential to challenge social and political structures more broadly.

We welcome contributions exploring the ways authors respond to influence and inspiration. Contributors may approach the subject literally (a mentor shaping the work of a protégé), but a genealogical model could be attenuated or lateral (writing to or through a predecessor or within a movement), allowing us to attend to networks of exchange and imagined kinships. And, while such lines of influence might entail struggle, they can also value supportive and generative connection. Influence might be consciously acknowledged and embraced, but its effects might also be unconscious (or even denied) yet nevertheless significant. We might map continuities onto authors in ways that illuminate their aesthetic values as well as our own. We can also look across disciplines, considering how authors have been inspired by creators in other fields, like musicians and visual artists. How does reading one author’s text in relationship to another’s illuminate both? How might such genealogies expand our sense of genre by providing more examples of what’s possible, generically, thematically, socially, politically? How have authors been inspired to write alongside, through, or back to one another? How have the conditions that enable (or disable) understanding influence as appropriation or even theft shifted over time, and what interconnections have those shifts enabled or disabled?  How might such affiliative models create communities, illuminate submerged literary histories, or complicate our ideas of literary movements? How might such recognitions “enhance our capacity to strategically read our condition more critically and creatively,” leading us, as Hunt hopes, “to interrupt and join”?

Possible topics may include:

  • Mentorships and editing
  • Literary communities and movements
  • Networks
  • Cross-talk
  • Generational change
  • Cross-disciplinary exchange
  • Aesthetic continuities and ruptures
  • Appropriation and plagiarism
  • Anxiety of influence
  • Canonicity and re-vision
  • Opposition and critique
  • Filiation and affiliation
  • Parody and play
  • Intertextuality

Essays in English, French, Spanish, German, or Portuguese should be submitted by June 30, 2022, for full consideration. Submission procedures and formatting guidelines are described on the submissions page of the website for the Midwest Modern Language Association. Please direct all questions to the MMLA at mmla@luc.edu or to the editor of this special issue, Deborah Mix, at dmmix@bsu.edu.


JMMLA Editorial Staff

Editors: Michelle Medeiros, Marquette University & Shanna Salinas, Kalamazoo College

Editorial Assistant: Emily L. Sharrett, Loyola University Chicago

Guest Editors, Spring 2023: Douglas Dowland, Ohio Northern University & Joshua Gooch, D'Youville College

Guest Editor, Spring 2022: Deborah Mix, Ball State University

Guest Editors, Fall 2021: Justin Hastings, Loyola University Chicago & Shannon Derby, Emerson College

Guest Editor, Spring 2021: Matthew Lambert, Northwestern Oklahoma State University 

Guest Editors, Spring 2020: Jack Kerkering, Loyola University Chicago & Michelle Medeiros, Marquette University

Guest Editor, Spring 2019: Michelle Medeiros, Marquette University

Guest Editor, Spring 2018: Dale Tracy, Royal Military College of Canada

Guest Editor, Spring 2017: Emily Lutenski, Saint Louis University

Guest Editors, Spring 2016: Kathryn Dolan, Missouri University of Science and Technology & Andrea Knutson, Oakland University

Guest Editor, Spring 2015: Jason Arthur, Rockhurst University