The newest issue of the Modern Language Association (MLA) Newsletter is out and, in it, MLA is calling for innovative presentation proposals for the 128th MLA Annual Convention in Boston. In the newsletter, MLA does a wonderful service in articulating the need for innovative proposals as a way to support communication and discussion and innovative proposals as an addition to and not a replacement for traditional presentations.
The first piece in the newsletter (pages 1-2) explains the need and interest in innovative proposals and explains that the goal is to support enriched exchange. On page 5, Rosemary G. Feal, Executive Director of MLA, again explains the need to best support discussion and emphasizes the value of traditional paper presentations “spectacular papers, papers that they [scholars] have delivered in a way that was engaging and even memorable.” MLA presents a fair view that respects the value of different types of presentations, clearly as driven by the proper goals of the format supporting scholarly communication and discourse. Feal explains further that MLA not only wants to include innovative proposals to support enriched exchange, but that MLA will also be gathering feedback at the end of every session, providing workshops to help improve presentations, and will support the sharing of full papers through the convention site as linked to the online program.
This is great news. The structure of the MLA Annual Convention will continue to grow and adapt to best support presenter and audience needs by supplementing existing options, and the process will be done with ongoing feedback and support mechanisms. I was already looking forward to MLA 2013, and I’m now all the more excited to see new supports added in a thoughtful manner that retains support for what already works, for an overall enriched exchange.