Saturday, May 9, 2015
May 9-10, 2015: NeMLA 2016 Plans
[This past weekend, the Northeast MLA held its annual spring conference in Toronto. I was there in my official capacity as the organization’s Vice President, as well as a presenter and audience member, and this week have followed up on a handful of the many interesting things that took place. Leading up to this special weekend post on how you can help me plan next year’s conference in Hartford!]
Four of the many ways you can help as NeMLA pivots to planning for the 2016 conference in Hartford (scheduled for March 16-20, 2016).
1) Propose a session: NeMLA is driven, first and foremost, by its members, and most especially by their work at the conference. That starts with sessions, from conventional panels to roundtables, seminars, and other possible forms. And that starts with you! So please consider proposing a session, on any topic (I’m particularly interested in interdisciplinary sessions, natch, but it’s all good), and help shape our conversations at and after Hartford!
2) Help us reach out: One of my three main goals for the 2016 conference is to connect NeMLA with the community of Hartford. To that end, I’ve started to talk at length with folks from the Hartford Public Schools, and welcome any and all perspectives on how we can both bring such educators to the conference and bring the conference out into that local community. But that’s not the only option for such communal connections, of course, and I’m open to any and all other ideas as well.
3) Addressing adjuncts and labor: My second main goal for Hartford is that we build on our great starting points over the past couple years and extend and deepen our engagements with issues of adjunct and contingent faculty, academic labor, and the related questions to which they connect. That means not only finding ways to support such faculty in coming to and participating in the conference (although yes), but also thinking about what NeMLA can do as an organization in relationship to all these issues. Please feel free to share your suggestions on all those levels with me, and/or with our CAITY Caucus President Emily Lauer!
4) An interdisciplinary keynote: As I wrote in Wednesday’s post, Daniela Antonucci brought a wonderfully interdisciplinary keynote performance to the 2015 conference, highlighting her and NeMLA’s commitment to interdisciplinary humanities as a methodology, a theme, and an emphasis for our and the humanities’ future. I very much want to continue with that commitment and emphasis, and to feature an interdisciplinary keynote at Hartford as well. I’m pretty sure I want to host it at the Mark Twain House, and thus perhaps to connect to Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe (whose house is next door), and/or related histories and questions. But as with every aspect of the conference, these ideas are in development and evolving, and I would love your perspective and input!
Next series starts Monday,
PS. I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, ideas, or interests for the 2016 conference, whether here in comments, by email, or any other way!