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Higher Ed

Spanish in the World

Rolena Adorno

This is my proposal: to refuse to give up teaching in Spanish. . . . The English language is ubiquitous, but it is neither a universal nor a transparent, nondistorting lens through which all other modern languages can pass, in translation, without loss. . . .


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Graduate Studies

Ethical Conundrums: Institutional Pressure and Graduate Student Needs in the Era of Contingency

David B. Downing

The ethical situation seems simple: The market has fewer tenure-track jobs; therefore graduate programs should supply fewer graduates to meet the diminished demand. . . . The problem is that merely shrinking the body count is exactly the wrong thing to do. . . .


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Presidential Forum

MLA Presidential Forum: The Public Humanities in Vulnerable Times

Laura Wexler

Ordinarily, considerations of the public humanities move very quickly to debates about the humanities: What do we mean by the humanities? Where is it to be found or relocated? How can it be sustained? Is there a crisis in the humanities? . . .


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Presidential Forum

The Humanities as Spectacle

Matti Bunzl

It's been nearly a year since The Heart of the Matter, a congressionally ordered report on the state of the humanities and social sciences, was issued by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. . . .


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Presidential Forum

Vulnerability Without and Within

James Chandler

The overall conference theme this year was vulnerability, so I address two issues of vulnerability specifically associated with the role of humanities centers in this endeavor we call public humanities. . . .


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Presidential Forum

Doors, Departments, and the Public Humanities

Julie Ellison

A week before the MLA 2014 Presidential Forum on the public humanities in vulnerable times, I walked through the corridors of the University of Michigan Department of English Language and Literature, reading doors. . . .


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Presidential Forum

Public Humanities: Crisis and Possibility

Farah Jasmine Griffin

On landing in Chicago, the site of the 2014 MLA convention, I turned on my cell phone to find a number of texts and voice mails informing me of Amiri Baraka's death. . . .


Photo by Jacqueline Poggi

Presidential Forum

The Public Humanities

Jean E. Howard

I begin by querying what we mean by the public humanities. For me, teaching is where I most often and most deeply engage in the work of the public humanities . . .


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Curriculum

A New Brecht for LA: Public Scholarship through Technology in Project-Based Graduate Education

Per Urlaub

Calls for the recalibration of doctoral programs in the humanities at American universities are increasing in number and urgency, with suggestions aimed at length of study, alternative careers, and the role and shape of dissertations. . . .


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Presidential Forum

Educating Students Who Do Not Speak the Societal Language: The Social Construction of Language-Learner Categories

Guadalupe Valdés, Luis Poza, and Maneka Deanna Brooks

On 21 September 2012, California Assembly Bill 2193 was approved by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill added sections to California's Education Code defining the terms long-term English learner and English learner at risk of becoming a long-term English learner. . . .


Photo by Grant Hutchison

Presidential Forum

Resisting Trivialization

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

In a recent education supplement of the New York Times, a piece advising recent graduates on entering professional schools begins with the words, "We're not talking about humanities" (Hoover). . . .


Photo by Bill Dickinson

Presidential Forum

Lessons for Losing

Mary Louise Pratt

The terms language and vulnerability come together in many ways. There is the vulnerability of infants, who quickly perceive they are nonverbal beings in a verbal world and for whom acquiring language becomes the central focus of effort. There is the vulnerability of the dislocated . . .


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Presidential Forum

Professional Migration, Neoliberal Development Discourses, and Language Vulnerability

Suresh Canagarajah

Languages are often made vulnerable for reasons beyond our control. Environmental factors, such as climate change or natural disasters, and social disturbances, such as ethnic conflicts and civil wars, displace people from their homes and displace, with the people, their languages. . . .


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Presidential Forum

Introduction: “Trauma, Memory, Vulnerability”

Susan Rubin Suleiman

Marianne Hirsch, describing her choice of theme for the 2014 MLA convention, wrote, “Vulnerable Times addresses vulnerabilities of life, the planet, and our professional disciplines, in our own time and throughout history. Its aim is to illuminate acts of imagination and forms of solidarity and resistance that promote social change.” . . .
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