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Proposing a Special Session

Austin 2016

Thank you for your interest in proposing a special session for the 2016 MLA Annual Convention in Austin. The deadline to submit a proposal was 1 April 2015.

Philadelphia 2017

Special-session proposal forms for the 2017 convention will be available after the 2016 convention. Session organizers who wish to post a call for papers will be able to do so following the 2016 convention.

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 forums and plenaries
  • Deirdre Henry (; 646 576-5266) for allied sessions
  • Stacey Courtney (; 646 576-5263) for special-session proposals
  • Your MLA committee liaison for MLA committee sessions
© 2015 Modern Language Association. Last updated 04/03/2015.