MLA Report to the Teagle Foundation on the Undergraduate Major in Language and Literature

In 2006, the MLA responded to the Teagle Foundation's invitation to disciplinary associations to prepare white papers on "the relationship between the goals and objectives of undergraduate concentrations in their disciplines and those of a liberal education." With the foundation's support, the MLA brought together a working group of leaders in English and modern foreign languages, including college presidents and deans, as well as distinguished members of the legal and medical professions and visiting consultants. Developed over a period of eighteen months, the working group's report to the foundation proposes a framework for organizing English and other modern language and literature programs within the general parameters of a liberal arts education. The report also suggests ways for departments to strengthen majors in our fields and attract new generations of students to a traditional core of liberal study: language, literature, and culture.

Web publication, February 2009

The members of the Teagle working group:

  • Rita Charon, Columbia University

  • Carol T. Christ, Smith College

  • Gerald Graff, University of Illinois, Chicago

  • Marshall W. Gregory, Butler University

  • Michael Holquist, Yale University (chair)

  • David B. Marshall, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Imani Perry, Rutgers Law School, Camden

  • Randolph D. Pope, University of Virginia

  • Geneva Smitherman, Michigan State University

  • David M. Steiner, Hunter College, City University of New York

  • Joan Hinde Stewart, Hamilton College

  • Jenifer K. Ward, Cornish College of the Arts

  • Rosemary G. Feal, Executive Director, MLA

  • Nelly Furman, Director of Programs and ADFL

  • David Laurence, Director of Research and ADE