Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Opportunities and Announcements

The MMLA regularly posts updates and announcements that might be of interest to our membership: Conference CFPs, grant and fellowship openings, publication opportunities and anything that engages with the scholarly interests of our members. Check this page regularly for new updates. 

Short and Long-Term Fellowship Avaliable at John Carter Brown Library

The John Carter Brown Library is a center for advanced research in history and the humanities, established in 1846 and located at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island since 1901. Its world-class collection on the early Americas includes rare books, manuscripts, maps, and supporting materials from the early decades of European print to the first half of the nineteenth century. The Library’s events, exhibitions, residential research fellowships, open-access policy, and digitization program make these resources available to researchers and communities around the world. The Library awards between 50-60 residential fellowships annually to scholars from the U.S. and abroad. 

Sponsorship of research at the John Carter Brown Library is reserved exclusively for scholars whose work is centered on the study of the Americas prior to 1825, including all aspects of European, African, and Native American engagements in global and comparative contexts. Short-term fellowships are open to individuals who are engaged in pre- and post-doctoral or independent research. Graduate students must have passed their preliminary or general examinations at the time of application. Short-term fellowships are available for periods of two to four months and carry a stipend of $2,100 per month. Long-Term Fellowships are available for periods of five to ten months and carry a monthly stipend of $4,200. PhD candidates are welcome to apply for long-term fellowships only if all degree requirements, including the successful defense of their dissertation, have been met by the application deadline of December 1, 2018.

Applicants of all nationalities will be considered for fellowships. Applicants may submit proposals in English, French, Spanish, or Portuguese.To find more information or to apply, please click here. Please write to jcb-fellowships@brown.edu with questions. 


Assistant Professor Opening at Park University

Assistant Professor of English - Professional and Technical Writing

The Department of English and Modern Languages at Park University is seeking applications for an Assistant Professor of English - Professional and Technical Writing to teach professional, technical, and first-year writing classes, upper-level rhetoric and composition courses in the English major, and develop courses for an existing minor in professional and technical writing.  This is a full-time, tenure-track position starting August 2019 with a standard teaching load of 4/4 with a mix of face-to-face and online classes.  There is potential for an applicant with the right experience to eventually coordinate first-year or professional writing.  Additional administrative duties come with appropriate release time.  The successful candidate will join a small but active department that values innovative teaching and collaboration.  The candidate selected for this position will be expected to participate in scholarship and engage in service to the department and the university. 

Minimum qualifications:  Ph.D. in professional and technical writing and/or rhetoric and composition with specialization in professional and technical writing from a regionally accredited institution of higher education; Ph.D. is required at time of appointment; evidence of successful teaching of professional, technical, and/or first-year writing courses; cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in graduate coursework.  

Desirable qualifications: experience teaching and designing online courses; experience working with diverse student populations; experience designing new courses in professional and technical writing; experience in writing program administration.

Qualified applicants should upload a curriculum vitae, cover letter, transcripts, brief statement of teaching philosophy, and 3 letters of recommendation (at least 2 of which emphasize teaching proficiency).  

Review of applications will begin on November 19, 2018 and will continue until the position is filled.   The candidate selected for this position must be able to meet eligibility requirements for work in the United States at the time the appointment is scheduled to begin and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment.   Park University, a private, not-for-profit University, founded in 1875, offers academic programs at 40 campus centers nationwide and online. The main campus is located approximately 10 minutes north of downtown Kansas City on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, in Parkville, Missouri.  Park University has an excellent benefits package including health and life insurance, retirement plan, and tuition paid undergraduate classes for employees and dependents. Park University is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women and minorities.  

Questions about the position can be directed to:

Dr. Silvia Byer and Dr. Stacey Kikendall, Search Committee Co-Chairs, Dept. of English and Modern Languages




Papers Wanted for ASLE Conference

Paradise in Flyover Country: MMLA Panel at ASLE 2019

As an affiliated organization, the Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA) organizes a panel at ASLE’s biennial conference (June 26-30, 2019; University of California, Davis, Davis, CA). 

The OED dates the phrase “flyover country” to 1980, a colloquialism whose usage—according to Google Ngram—has increased steadily ever since.  Indeed, in our current moment, it is difficult to escape negative media images of the U.S. Midwest.  On TV, the Midwest is often portrayed as humorously backward, a place to “escape” from (as in NBC’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).  In fiction, the region receives similar treatment: consider, for example, the unflattering portrayal of Kansas in Nathaniel Rich’s cli-fi novel Odds Against Tomorrow.  Bolstered by the opioid crisis, narratives of Midwestern decay and decline proliferate on NPR, in The New York Times, online—and, of course, in the rhetoric of President Trump, whose campaign strategically positioned Midwesterners themselves as the victims of environmental regulations and globalized trade.

What if were to imagine the Midwest otherwise—to view “flyover country” as a potential site of renewal in perilous times?  As a major farming region, the Midwest presents opportunities to reimagine industrialized agriculture and the pernicious social and ecological relations that surround it.  Likewise, the Midwest’s exploited landscapes present new imaginative possibilities: what new attachments and allegiances might be forged among people, plants, animals, microbes, and soil following coal and natural gas extraction? 

In keeping with the conference theme, this panel welcomes submissions that explore the Midwest, if not as a “paradise,” then as a site for multispecies flourishing.  Papers might apply a theoretical concept, such as Eben Kirksey’s notion of “emergent ecologies,” to real-life developments, or they might explore artistic representations of Midwestern regeneration.  Papers focused on any period or genre are welcome, as are papers on pedagogy and/or activism.  Creative pieces will also be considered.  Please submit a 250-300 word abstract through the ASLE website (click here  or click the link below) by December 15th.  Queries welcome.



The MLA Publication Award is now accepting submissions

We invite you to submit works and to call attention to the Modern Language Association’s upcoming publication prize competitions. In January 2020, eighteen publication prizes will be presented at the MLA Annual Convention in Seattle. In addition to the James Russell Lowell Prize for an outstanding scholarly work by a member of the association and the MLA Prize for a First Book, prizes will be awarded for the following subject areas and genres:

  • studies of Latin American and Spanish literatures and culture
  • comparative literary studies
  • French or francophone linguistic or literary studies
  • literary translations into English
  • scholarly translations into English
  • studies of black American literature or culture
  • studies of Italian languages, literatures, and culture
  • studies of twentieth- or twenty-first-century literature and thought
  • the teaching of languages other than English
  • scholarly editions of letters
  • scholarly editions of literary works
  • studies of Slavic language, linguistics, and literature
  • Latina and Latino or Chicana and Chicano literary and cultural studies
  • manuscripts in Italian literary studies

Detailed information on the prize competitions, including the number of copies required for submission, can be found on the MLA Web site.

Please note that books may compete for either the James Russell Lowell Prize or the MLA Prize for a First Book and one other prize, provided they meet eligibility requirements. Only books published in 2018 may compete for the annual prizes and for the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies; for biennial prizes, books published in 2017 and 2018 are eligible. Each prize consists of a cash award and a certificate.

Some prize competitions require MLA membership; authors who are not currently MLA members may become eligible to compete for these prizes by joining the association before the competition’s deadline.

For more information, please contact Annie Reiser (646 576-5141; awards@mla.org).


The Newberry is now accepting fellowship applications for the 2019-20 academic year!

The Newberry Library's long-standing fellowship program provides outstanding scholars with the time, space, and community required to pursue innovative and ground-breaking scholarship. In addition to the Library's collections, fellows are supported by a collegial interdisciplinary community of researchers, curators, and librarians. An array of scholarly and public programs also contributes to an engaging intellectual environment.

We invite interested individuals who wish to utilize the Newberry's collection to apply for our many fellowship opportunities:

Long-Term Fellowships are available to postdoctoral scholars for continuous residence at the Newberry for periods of 4 to 9 months; the stipend is $4,200 per month. Applicants must hold a PhD by the application deadline in order to be eligible. Long-Term Fellowships are intended to support individual scholarly research and promote serious intellectual exchange through active participation in the fellowship program. The deadline for long-term fellowships is November 1.

Short-Term Fellowships are available to postdoctoral scholars, PhD candidates, and those who hold other terminal degrees. Short-Term Fellowships are generally awarded for 1 to 2 months; unless otherwise noted the stipend is $2,500 per month. These fellowships support individual scholarly research for those who have a specific need for the Newberry's collection and are mainly restricted to individuals who live and work outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. The deadline for short-term opportunities is December 15.

Many of the Newberry's fellowship opportunities have specific eligibility requirements; in order to learn more about these requisites, as well as application guidelines, please visit our website. Questions should be addressed to research@newberry.org.


Call for Papers

C4: The Conference on Contemporary Celebrity Culture 

June 9-11, 2019 

Drake University Des Moines, IA 

“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about,” opines the dissipated Lord Henry in the opening chapter of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), Oscar Wilde’s novel of celebrity. Less blithely, however, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reminds us, in her TED talk “The Danger of a Single Story” (2009), that the way we talk about others can also recapitulate cultural injustice: “Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.” For Adichie, who kept her pregnancy very much out of the public eye, being talked about is often unwelcome, especially under pressure to “perform pregnancy.” 

C4: The Conference on Contemporary Celebrity Cutlure (Drake University; June 9-11, 2019) will consider the problematic of being “talked about” nearly 130 years after Wotton’s prescient utterance, in what some might argue is a very different celebrity-cultural moment. We invite abstracts for presentations on any aspect of celebrity culture in the 20th and 21st centuries, from any of a wide range of humanistic, creative, and social scientific perspectives. We particularly welcome playful, provocative, and experimental approaches and formats.  

Topics may include:

• Readings and analyses of individual celebrities. 

• Sociologies and anthropologies of celebrity culture. 

• Historicizations of particular celebrity formations. 

• Comparative cultural studies of celebrity. 

• Celebrity influence and influencers 

• The economics and politics of celebrity. 

• Celebrity as it manifests itself beyond the entertainment industry. 

• Anti-celebrity and alt-celebrity formations (Anonymous, Banksy). 

• Effects of celebrity on everyday life. 

• Celebrity practitioners (chefs, musicians, athletes, et al.) 

• Cults of celebrity. 

• Celebrity and its relationship to fame and notoriety. 

• Micro- and niche celebrity. 

• Fandoms and fan culture. 

• Celebrities and mass & social media. 

• Celebrity and “Reality.” 

• Celebrity fashion and branding. 

• The scholarship of celebrity.  

• Celebrity as performance art. 


C4 will feature up to 24 non-simultaneous, 20-minute plenary presentations over two days, in addition to an opening dinner, closing reception, and keynote presentation. Participants will be asked to attend all presentations and will be invited to submit article-length versions of their papers at the end of summer 2019 for inclusion in a peer-reviewed collection of essays. 

Thanks to support from the Drake University College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for the Humanities at Drake University, a modest registration fee of $150 will cover all conferencerelated expenses, including daily breakfast, opening dinner, and audio-visual technology needs. Conference-rate hotel accommodations near Drake’s campus will be available to participants. 

Please send proposals, including a 350-to-500-word abstract and a brief author’s biography, in the body of an email, to celebrity.conference@drake.edu by 15 September 2018. Please do not send attachments. Decisions will be announced by October 31, 2018; registration deadline: Februrary 1, 2019. 

Questions may be addressed to the C4 organizers: Renee Cramer, Professor of Law Politics and Society (renee.cramer@drake.edu) or Craig Owens, Professor of English (craig.owens@drake.edu), both of Drake University. Please, however, do not send proposals and abstracts to these addresses.