Photo by NASA

Presidential Forum

Presidential Forum: Vulnerable Times

Marianne Hirsch

When I proposed the theme “Vulnerable Times” for the 2014 convention, it was my hope that the idea of vulnerability, and of vulnerable times in particular, would pull together a number of strands. . . .

Photo by NASA

Presidential Forum

Vulnerable Times, Perpetrators and Victims

Ariella Azoulay

Qualifying times—for example, as “vulnerable times”—implies, among other things, an effort to demarcate an era, our era, from a previous one, but also to call our attention to the era’s duration. . . .

Photo by NASA

Presidential Forum

Vulnerability and Resistance

Judith Butler

Thinking about vulnerability and thinking about it together on this occasion are both notoriously difficult things to do. Is our thinking about vulnerability together a merely contingent fact, or is there something about vulnerability that becomes understandable only when we understand it as social relation? . . .

Photo by NASA

Presidential Forum

Reparations and the Human

David L. Eng

My remarks on vulnerable times are drawn from my forthcoming book, “Reparations and the Human,” which explores the politics of reparations, the human, and human rights in the context of Cold War Asia. . . .

Photo by NASA

Presidential Forum

The Great Acceleration and the Great Divergence: Vulnerability in the Anthropocene

Rob Nixon

I want to approach the question of vulnerability from the perspective of two of the greatest crises of our time: the environmental crisis and the inequality crisis. . . .

More Articles

Photo by NASA

Presidential Forum

Dancing with the Zapatistas

Diana Taylor

In August 2013, a few months before the twentieth anniversary of their armed uprising against the Mexican government on 1 January 1994, the Zapatistas decided to throw a party. . . .

Photo by Ben Watts


Beware, Be Wary

Catharine R. Stimpson

In great part, the history of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) reflects the efforts of people both inside and outside schools to reform them. Stoking these efforts is a fear that educators either cannot or will not do it themselves. . . .

Photo by Sakkra Paiboon


Clarifying College Readiness: The Common Core State Standards

Gerald Graff

“Public education is not broken,” says Diane Ravitch in her new book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools. “The diagnosis” of the corporate reformers “is wrong,” Ravitch writes, and their solutions are also wrong. . . .

Photo by Fort Worth Squatch


Common Core Standards: Past, Present, Future

Diane Ravitch

As an organization of teachers and scholars devoted to the study of language and literature, the MLA should be deeply involved in the debate about the Common Core State Standards. . . .

Photo by Colin Harris

From the Editor

From the Editor

Rosemary G. Feal

It gives me great pleasure to present the 2013 issue of Profession in this electronic format. While some members will miss having a print copy of the journal, others will be glad to access the essays on their mobile devices for reading on the go. The decision to forgo paper reflects not only a concern for the environment but also a new vision for the journal. . . .

Photo by Nathan Walls

Higher Ed

Professionalism, Citizenship, and the Problem of University Gover­nance

Julia M. Wright

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the pressures reshaping universities: the emergence of the corporate university, the increase in upper-level administrative appointments, the sharp shift toward sessional labor and the concomitant loss of tenure lines, the relentless raising of tuition fees as class sizes creep up as well (or expand exponentially in MOOCs), and myriad other responses . . .

Photo by omnipics


The New Mission and Location of United States Spanish Depart­ments: The Mount Holyoke College Experi­ence

Rogelio Miñana

The Spanish depart­ment at Mount Holyoke College has in the last six years pro­foundly transformed itself. It merged with the college’s Latina/o and Latin American studies programs to form a new academic unit possibly unique in the United States, while it thor­oughly recon­figured its major. . . .

Photo by Denis Jacquerye


Faculty Members, Accom­modation, and Access in Higher Education

Stephanie L. Kerschbaum and Others

In January 2012 the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) issued a report titled Accommodating Faculty Members Who Have Disabilities, and in January 2013 the presi­dential theme of the MLA convention was Avenues of Access, calling attention to disability and access, broadly conceived, in higher education. . . .

Photo by Dena Michele Rosko

Graduate Studies

Superliteracy in the Age of Information: Preparation for Higher Discourse (PHD)

Joseph R. Urgo

The amount of edu­cation required to prepare a human being for meaningful, effective interaction with the information infrastructure that undergirds the contem­porary social order has increased exponentially in the last seventy-five years. . . .

Photo by Alyson Hurt

From the Committee

Facing the Data: Introduction

Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo and Richard T. Rodríguez

Our introduction’s title, “Facing the Data,” signals the twofold aim of this special section of Profession: to assess the statistics documenting people of color in humanities doctoral programs, given in the MLA report Data on Humanities Doctorate Recipients and Faculty Members by Race and Ethnicity, and to bring into focus the faces of those composing the report’s data. . . .