Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Literature, Language and Culture

The Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA) is a non-profit organization of teachers and scholars of literature, language, and culture. A regional affiliate of the Modern Language Association, the MMLA provides a forum for disseminating scholarship and improving teaching in the fields of literary and cultural criticism.  Loyola University Chicago supports the mission of the MMLA by serving as its institutional host.


Program Book, Updated 9/29/16‌ for the MMLA Conference


CALL FOR PAPERS (now past)

2016 MMLA Conference

"Border States"

St. Louis, Missouri

November 10-13, 2016


The Midwest Modern Language association invites proposals for the 2016 conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Papers are accepted on any topic, yet participants are welcome to consider this year's conference theme: "Border States."


"Border States" is inspired by the 2016 conference location in the historic and culturally rich city of St. Louis, Missouri—a site shaped by indigenous, French, Spanish, and U.S. contact and conquest; by efforts to maintain and topple the institution of slavery; by western expansion; by the Great Migration, white flight, and urban renewal; and by refugee resettlement. Today, St. Louis serves as a continued reminder of both stubborn divisions and promising coalitions across lines of race, class, region, and nation that continue to shape lives and inform literature. As a result, we encourage papers that tackle the issue of "Border States" in both literal and figurative senses. Topics could include, but are not limited to, the following:

Borderlands and borders; migration and mobility; freedom and unfreedom; liminality and precarity; littoral zones; North and South, East and West; transnationalism and regionalism; settlement and unsettlement; trans- identities; refugees and asylum; urbanization and suburbanization; adolescence; states of exception; states of being and mind; performance and the fourth wall; interdisciplinarity; genre-crossing; intertextuality; translation; the specialist and generalist; states of the profession; states of the humanities; pedagogical practices in secondary and higher education; the digital divide; posthumanism; textuality in the digital age.

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Proposals may be for: 

1) Special Sessions related to the conference theme:

Special Sessions do not require a full slate of papers, but instead, if accepted, assume that the session organizer (who may also give a paper) will serve as panel chair. Accepted Special Session Calls for Papers will be posted on the MMLA website at http://www.luc.edu/mmla/ and will require that the organizer receive proposals directly and vet them to build the full panel.

Special Session Calls for Papers should include the following information: organizer name, contact information, session title, and a Call for Papers indicating the organizer's preferred proposal length and deadline of April 5 for proposal submissions.


Special Session Calls for Papers are due April 20th via e-mail to mmla@luc.edu. Individual proposals to Special Sessions are then due to their organizers April 30th.


2) Permanent Sections of the MMLA that organize panels annually:

Permanent Sections post Calls for Papers on the MMLA website at http://www.luc.edu/mmla/. These are typically tied to some version of the conference theme. Please check the website regularly for additions to these calls and details on submitting proposals directly to the organizers.

Proposals to Permanent Sections are due to their organizers April 5.


3) Complete Panels or Individual Papers that do not tie into the conference theme.

Complete Panel and Individual Paper submissions should include the following information: presenter name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, paper title, and a 250-word proposal.

Proposals for Complete Panels should be submitted together as a unit.

Individual Papers that are accepted will be grouped into sessions; as a result, to facilitate scheduling please identify up to three of the following categories in which your paper may be most usefully placed:

American literature, Comparative Studies, English Literature, Francophone Literatures, Hispanophone Literatures, Genre Studies, German Literature, Interdisciplinary Approaches, Italian Literatures, Teaching, Medieval, Renaissance/Early Modern, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, Contemporary Literature, Colonial, Postcolonial, Travel, the Midwest. 

Individual Paper and Complete Panel proposals are due April 30th via e-mail to mmla@luc.edu.

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While the MMLA welcomes papers across languages and literatures, proposals must be in English unless submitted to a Permanent Session that stipulates proposals are welcome in languages other than English.

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Each Fall issue of the Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association will be devoted to papers that build upon the conference theme from the previous year; the Fall 2017 issue will thus extend "Border States." Fall issue submissions are due by the preceding April 15.