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Proposing a Special Session

Vancouver 2015

Thank you for your interest in proposing a special session for the 2015 MLA Annual Convention in Vancouver. The deadline to submit a proposal was 1 April 2014.

Austin 2016

Special-session proposal forms for the 2016 convention will be available by early March 2015. Session organizers who wish to post a call for papers will be able to do so beginning 12 January 2015.

Important Proposal Information

  • Completed proposals must be submitted on the proposal form by 1 April.
  • Only current MLA members may propose a special session.
  • MLA members may propose only one special session per convention.
  • Audiovisual equipment requests must be included on the proposal form.
  • Special-session proposals may not be combined with other sessions or jointly submitted.
  • Session participants must be MLA members (or have their membership waived) by 7 April.
  • No more than two participants (including the session leader and respondent) may be from the same institution unless the institution is a key aspect of the session.
  • Proposals are reviewed by the Program Committee in May; session organizers are notified of the committee’s decision by early June.

The above is only a partial list of proposal instructions. We strongly recommend that you review the links below before beginning your proposal.

Proposal Form Examples

Detailed Description of Session
Information on the Panelists’ and Presiders’ Scholarship and Relevant Information
Tour of Special-Session Proposal Form

Useful Information for Session Proposers

Calendar of Deadlines
Procedures for Organizing Meetings at the MLA Convention
Scoring Guidelines for Special Sessions
Special-Session FAQs
What Makes a Successful Special-Session Proposal? 
Why Was the Session I Submitted Accepted for the Convention?




If you have questions about this form, please contact the appropriate MLA representative:

  • Karin Bagnall (; 646 576-5265) for division, discussion group, and American Literature Section sessions
  • Deirdre Henry ( for allied sessions
  • Stacey Courtney (; 646 576-5263) for special-session proposals
  • Your MLA committee liaison for MLA committee sessions
© 2014 Modern Language Association. Last updated 08/12/2014.