Attendees can review the MLA's proposed changes here: http://groupsdiscussion.commons.mla.org/
Comments on this proposal are open until 2/1; the MLA Executive Committee will develop an implementation plan at its February meeting.
Here's a quick and dirty breakdown of the proposed changes:
There is no more distinction between Divisions and Discussion groups; they are all called “Forums” now.
Each forum will be guaranteed at least one session (but maybe 2) at every convention.
o Membership numbers – not the size of panel audiences – will determine how many extra sessions a forum gets.
o Forums can compete for extra sessions.
Members can join up to 5 forums and renew each year.
o Forums will undergo a self-review every five years.
o The MLA appears to be creating a flexible structure that will allow for forums to reconfigure as fields develop over time.
The forums are divided into 9 broad categories:
o Languages, Literatures, and Cultures: “Chicana and Chicano” is included here; there are no changes proposed to our forum; A new “Latina and Latino” forum has been proposed.
o Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies; 3 new forums have been proposed here that will be of interest to us: Caribbean, Global South, and Hemispheric American
o Genre Studies
o Media Studies
o Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing Studies
o Language Studies and Linguistics
o Theory and Method
o Transdisciplinary Connections
o Higher Education and the Profession
Comments on this draft are open until 1 February.
The Executive Council will review on-line comments and feedback from the open hearings at the January convention and determine implementation at its February meeting.