2016 Convention Information and Services
Registration and Housing
All persons wishing to attend meetings or use convention services must register for the convention. Persons who plan to attend the convention may register through the MLA Web site.
Membership in the MLA
Individuals who join the association while registering for the convention are entitled to register at members’ rates. MLA membership runs from 15 January through 14 January of the subsequent year. For the convenience of those who would like to join the MLA, as well as for continuing members who would like to pay their 2016 dues, a membership desk will be located in the registration and welcome center.
All registration fees are in US dollars.
Early registration fees from 1 September through 1 October are as follows: regular members, $175; regular members outside the United States and Canada, $80; graduate student members, $55; emeriti members, $80; unemployed members and members employed part-time, $60.
Registration fees from 2 October through 8 December are as follows: regular members, $205; regular members outside the United States and Canada, $80; graduate student members, $55; emeriti members, $80; unemployed members and members employed part-time, $60; nonmembers, $265; graduate student nonmembers, $80.
Registration fees after 8 December are as follows: regular members, $235; regular members outside the United States and Canada, $85; graduate student members, $65; emeriti members, $90; unemployed members and members employed part-time, $70; nonmembers, $295; graduate student nonmembers, $90. Registrations will be accepted throughout December, but programs (for nonmembers) and badges may not be sent.
Attendees who have not registered may register during the convention at the registration areas located in the Austin Convention Center (Ballroom Prefunction, level 4) and the JW Marriott (Griffin Hall Prefunction, level 2). The registration areas will be open on 7 January from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., on 8 and 9 January from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on 10 January from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Requests for refunds of registration fees must be made in writing, accompanied by unused convention badges, sent to the head of convention programs at the MLA office, and postmarked no later than 8 January 2016. Refunds requested after 8 January 2016 will not be granted. A $20 service fee will be deducted from all refunds.
Hotel rooms at the special MLA rates are available only to persons who are registered for the convention. Each convention registrant can reserve one hotel room. Housing forms will not be processed if they include the names of persons in the profession who have not paid their registration fees for the convention. (Spouses, friends, and family members who wish to share a room with a registrant and who are also engaged in the study of language and literature must register and pay their registration fees for the convention.) Convention registrants who arrive in Austin without hotel arrangements may go to the housing desk at the Austin Convention Center (Ballroom Prefunction, level 4). A representative of CMR, the MLA housing service, will be there to help such attendees find housing and to assist attendees with any hotel issues they may have.
Transportation to and in Austin
MLA convention hotels are located near the convention venues (Austin Convention Center, JW Marriott, Hilton Austin).
Airport Transportation. Austin is served by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The rates for taxis from the airport to downtown Austin are $33–$38. Rates vary based on travel time and are subject to change. MetroAirport bus serves the airport for easy and economical travel to downtown Austin ($1.75 one way).
Amtrak trains enter and leave Austin (AUS) at 250 North Lamar Boulevard, about 15 blocks from the Austin Convention Center. Nearby MLA hotels can be reached by taxi.
Austin by Bicycle. B-Cycle is a bike-share program in Austin, with stations throughout the city where you can pick up or park one of the bicycles. There is a station on 4th Street by the Austin Convention Center, and stations near many of the MLA hotels. Barton Springs Bike Rental offers hourly rentals, roadside assistance, and bike tours.
A searchable program for the convention will be available online by October. A streamlined version for mobile devices will be available during the convention.
Audio- and Videotaping at Sessions
Neither audiotaping nor videotaping of sessions is normally permitted. Occasional exceptions may be made for members of the media taping short segments designed to convey the convention atmosphere. Such arrangements must be made through the press office and require the consent of all speakers at a session. When taping is approved, a representative of the media staff will accompany the reporter and crew. The session organizer will announce to the audience that audio- or videotaping will take place during a part of the session. Only background taping is allowed, not the taping of an entire session. Requests to film the convention as part of a creative or documentary project must have been submitted to the Executive Council by 16 October.
Badges are required for admission to convention sessions, the exhibit hall, and the Job Information Center. Badge holders are available at the MLA registration and welcome centers in the Austin Convention Center and the JW Marriott. Lost badges can be replaced for $10 at the MLA registration and welcome centers.
The Committee on Disability Issues in the Profession reminds attendees that refraining from using scented products will help ensure the comfort of everyone at the convention.
All MLA members and members of the profession that the MLA serves must register in order to participate in or attend sessions.
A convention speaker may obtain a pass for a guest who has no professional interest in language or literature; the pass is valid only to hear a paper given by that speaker at a single session. The speaker must request the pass at one of the MLA registration and welcome centers on the day of the session, before the centers close. The speaker must provide his or her name, session details (session number, room, date, and time), and the guest’s name. Passes may not be requested by guests of speakers or by MLA members who have not registered for the convention.
MLA convention registrants may obtain free passes to the exhibit hall for guests they accompany in the hall. Persons who are not registered for the convention and who are not accompanied by registrants may purchase a one-day pass to the exhibit hall for $10. These passes are available at the Exhibit Registration booth, Austin Convention Center (Ballroom Prefunction, level 4).
You may need to have a government-issued photo ID when you check into your hotel. Security personnel may ask to see your hotel room key or may ask that you be accompanied by a hotel guest with a room key.
MLA's Policies against Discrimination and Harassment
The MLA prohibits discrimination in employment, including discrimination in the form of harassment, against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, military status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Sexual harassment (such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature) is a specific type of discriminatory harassment and is prohibited. The MLA has policies in place to ensure that any violations involving MLA employees will be handled in an appropriate manner. If you believe you have been subjected to unlawful discrimination by an MLA employee, please contact Arlene Barnard or Terrence Callaghan.
The MLA reminds participants in the convention that federal law prohibits discrimination in employment, including discrimination in the form of harassment, against any person. Please ensure that all individuals in your organization who are participating in the MLA’s convention as your representatives are made aware of and understand that they must comply with applicable law.
Reading in Absentia
To encourage discussion and dialogue among panelists and attendees at convention sessions, reading in absentia (whether by Skype, videoconferencing, audio delivery, or presentation by surrogates) is not normally permitted. Presenters who are unable to attend the convention because of unforeseen emergencies are reminded that they may include a link to their papers in the online Program.
Smoking is prohibited in most public places in Austin.
Convention participants who would like to have childcare during the convention should preregister for a possible on-site childcare service through KiddieCorp. If a sufficient number of children are registered for childcare by 30 October, a daytime childcare center will operate in the Hilton Austin. If a sufficient number of children are not registered for the service by that date, the service will not be offered. Visit the "Childcare" page for more information on childcare arrangements or to obtain a preregistration form.
If daytime childcare is not offered through KiddieCorp, the MLA has funds available to reimburse up to $300 each to registered members who use childcare during convention hours. If more requests are received than can be reimbursed with available funds, preference will be given to graduate students and members in lower-income categories.
Members should submit a request for reimbursement, along with supporting documentation such as a receipt from a childcare service, no later than 29 January 2016 to Karin Bagnall, Head of Convention Programs, Modern Language Association, 85 Broad Street, suite 500, New York, NY 10004-2434.
Convention Guide and Convention Daily
The Convention Guide, containing city and hotel maps and providing general information pertinent throughout the convention, will be available as a PDF on the MLA Web site in December and as a handout at the convention. The Convention Daily prints special notices, changes in schedule, and brief reports on convention activities and appears Thursday, Friday, and Saturday during the convention. Copies are available free at the MLA registration and welcome centers; the 7 January issue will appear on the MLA Web site before the convention.
Disabilities, Facilities and Services for Persons with
The MLA is committed to making arrangements that allow all members of the association to participate in the convention. Stacey Courtney coordinates arrangements for persons with disabilities; she can be reached at the MLA convention office at email@example.com.
Desks for Attendees with Disabilities. There will be desks in the MLA registration and welcome centers at the Austin Convention Center (Ballroom Prefunction, level 4) and JW Marriott (Griffin Hall Prefunction, level 2) staffed with personnel who can provide assistance to convention attendees with disabilities. There will also be a desk at the Hilton Austin.
Meeting Rooms. Meeting rooms at the convention are accessible by elevator, and the doors are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
Hotel Rooms. To reserve hotel rooms that are specifically equipped for persons with permanent or temporary disabilities, participants must have checked the appropriate boxes on the convention registration and housing reservation forms or contacted Stacey Courtney in the MLA convention office by 13 November.
Transportation. A complimentary transportation service will be available throughout convention meeting hours to transport attendees with disabilities. Arrangements may be made at the desks for persons with disabilities. Further details will be available closer to the convention.
Sessions. Speakers are asked to bring five copies of their papers, even in draft form, for the use of members who wish to follow the written text. Speakers who use handouts should prepare some copies in a large-print format (14- to 16-point type size). Speakers should indicate whether they want their papers and handouts returned. Sign language interpreters and real-time captioning are available on request. The deadline to arrange for an interpreter is 13 November, though the convention office will make every effort to accommodate late requests. To arrange for either of these services, write or call Stacey Courtney in the MLA convention office.
Scooter Rentals. For navigating the convention more easily, scooters can be rented from Scootaround (888 441-7575 or http://locations.scootaround.com/MLA).
Friends of Bill W.
A room will be set aside for the Friends of Bill W. throughout convention hours. Meeting days and times will be listed closer to the convention.
Headquarters offices will be located in the Austin Convention Center (11A, level 4) and the JW Marriott (210, level 2). Members of the MLA convention staff will be available in the office whenever sessions are in progress to handle problems that might arise with meeting rooms or meeting facilities. Program organizers are asked to refer questions on such matters to the headquarters office, not to the venue management. More general questions will be answered by staff members at the MLA registration and welcome centers.
Areas furnished with comfortable chairs and tables where members may congregate for discussion or relaxation will be provided in the Austin Convention Center (Atrium foyer, level 4) and the JW Marriott (Lone Star East, level 3). A graduate student lounge will be located in the Austin Convention Center (10C, level 3).
Although the hotels will make every effort to deliver mail and messages received during the convention, the MLA can assume no responsibility for failure in delivery. Participants' hotels appear in the “Who’s Here” listing (see “Who’s Here” section) posted near the members’ lounge in the Austin Convention Center. Attendees may also post messages for colleagues on a bulletin board in the lounge.
MLA Registration and Welcome Centers
General questions about the convention and the association will be answered at the MLA registration and welcome centers in the Austin Convention Center (Ballroom Prefunction, level 4) and the JW Marriott Austin (Griffin Hall Prefunction, level 2). The Convention Guide and the Convention Daily will be available free at the registration and welcome centers. The centers will be open on 7 January from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., on 8 and 9 January from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on 10 January from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
The press office is located in the Austin Convention Center (13A, level 4).
Speaker Ready Rooms
Space in the Austin Convention Center (11B, level 4) and JW Marriott (207, level 2) has been reserved to allow speakers to run through their audiovisual presentations before their sessions. Those who have computer presentations are strongly encouraged to pretest their presentations in the speaker ready room during convention hours. Please contact Deirdre Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) with audiovisual questions. Requests for audiovisual equipment were due 1 April; we are unable to accommodate late requests.
We encourage attendees to tweet sessions using the convention hashtag (#mla16) and session hashtags (e.g., #S440).
“Who’s Here” Directory
The “Who’s Here” directory will be posted in the members’ lounge in the Austin Convention Center (Atrium foyer, level 4) and near the Job Information Center in the Hilton Austin (Ballroom Prefunction, level 4). The directory will include the names and convention addresses of persons who make hotel reservations through the housing bureau or send their local addresses to the MLA office before 12 December. Only the names of hotels listed on the convention housing form or local addresses are listed. Members are advised to check their own “Who’s Here” listings for accuracy and to make any necessary revisions. The information used to compile the list comes from the housing service, not from the MLA. Those who wish not to be listed in the “Who’s Here” directory can make that request on the convention registration form.
The MLA is providing free wireless Internet access in the meeting rooms and public areas of the Austin Convention Center, JW Marriott, and Hilton Austin.
Job Information Center
The MLA Job Information Center (Governor’s Ballroom, level 4, Hilton Austin) will be open on 7 January from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., on 8 and 9 January from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on 10 January from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
A list of available positions will be posted, and a counseling service for job candidates will be available in the interview area on 8 and 9 January. An interviewers’ sign-in file will be maintained. Space will be available for interviews, but candidates and interviewers are urged to arrange interviews in advance. Job candidates are reminded that almost no unscheduled interviews take place at the convention. Therefore, members are advised not to attend the convention for the sole purpose of seeking employment if they do not have scheduled interviews.
For Prearranged Interviews
Consult the interviewer’s sign-in file in the Job Information Center (Governor’s Ballroom, level 4, Hilton Austin) if you do not know whether your interview is scheduled for a hotel room or the interview area or if you need to find out the hotel room number for your interview. Allow yourself ample time to obtain this information.
If your interview is scheduled for the interview area, ask a Job Information Center staff member for the table number.
If the interview is scheduled in a hotel room or if the interviewer has not signed in, consult the “Who’s Here” directory near the Job Information Center. Once you know where the interviewer is staying, you can call the hotel information desk and be connected with the interviewer’s hotel room. (For reasons of safety, hotel staff members will not give guests’ room numbers to callers.) If the interviewer is not in, use the hotel’s message facilities. A message left in a hotel mailbox will be flashed on the guest’s room telephone. If the person is not listed in the “Who’s Here” directory, check the Program Participants section of the convention program to see whether that interviewer is speaking at or chairing a session and can be reached at a specific time and place or ask a Job Information Center staff member for help.
Be sure to schedule time to visit the exhibit hall (Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D–G, level 4). The hall is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on 8 and 9 January and from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on 10 January. Take advantage of special promotions and visit the Exhibit Hall Theater. Explore nearly one hundred exhibit booths representing a variety of materials and services of interest to teachers, scholars, and students of language and literature. Admission to the exhibit area is restricted to persons wearing badges or carrying appropriate passes.
Exhibit Hall Theater
Exhibitors will conduct presentations, readings, and product demonstrations in the MLA Exhibit Hall (Austin Convention Center, Ballroom D–G, level 4); view the Exhibit Hall Theater schedule in the Program for details on presentations, which will take place during the breaks between sessions.
View a list of the 2016 exhibitors.
Visit MLA PubCentral in the Austin Convention Center (Ballroom Prefunction, level 4) for everything related to MLA publications. Shop for MLA products at the booth, explore the MLA International Bibliography, update your MLA Commons profile, and browse the winners of MLA’s publication prizes all in one central location just outside the exhibit hall. Visit this section later in the fall for more details.
Booth Happenings. Please check the Convention Daily and the MLA Annual Convention Twitter feed for up-to-date information on exhibit booth activities.
Display and Video of 2015 MLA-Prize-Winning Books. A display of the books that are 2015 MLA prize winners and a video featuring material from the winners will be located in MLA PubCentral. Many of the prizewinning publishers are exhibiting and will have copies of these books for sale at their booths. The winners will receive their awards at the MLA Awards Ceremony, which will take place Saturday, 9 January, at 7:00 p.m. in the JW Marriott (Lone Star Ballroom D, level 3) and will be immediately followed by a reception.
MLA Commons. MLA Commons is designed to facilitate active member-to-member communication, to support the work of MLA groups, and much more. Staff members will be available to demonstrate the platform’s function and to assist with account activation in MLA PubCentral.
MLA International Bibliography. The MLA International Bibliography provides a subject index for books and articles published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics. Bibliography staff members will be on hand in MLA PubCentral to answer questions, provide demonstrations, and help with searches.
MLA Awards Ceremony
The awards ceremony will take place at 7:00 p.m. on 9 January in the JW Marriott (Lone Star Ballroom D, level 3). Roland Greene, Stanford Univ., MLA President, will announce the newly elected honorary fellows. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Univ., MLA First Vice President, will present the William Riley Parker Prize; James Russell Lowell Prize; MLA Prize for a First Book; Kenneth W. Mildenberger Prize; Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize; Morton N. Cohen Award; MLA Prize for a Scholarly Edition; Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies; Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies; Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures; Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Scholarly Study of Literature; Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies; Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies; Lois Roth Award; William Sanders Scarborough Prize; and MLA Prize in United States Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies. Rosemary G. Feal, MLA, will present the MLA International Bibliography Fellowship Awards. Rosemary G. Feal will announce the recipients of the seal of approval from the Committee on Scholarly Editions. Sonja Rae Fritzsche, Illinois Wesleyan Univ., ADFL President, will present the ADFL Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession to Malcolm Alan Compitello. Kent Cartwright, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, ADE President, will present the ADE Francis Andrew March Award to John David Guillory. Remarks by William Adams, National Endowment for the Humanities will follow. The session is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
The Presidential Address will take place at 6:45 p.m. on 8 January in the JW Marriott (Lone Star Ballroom D, level 3). Executive Director Rosemary G. Feal will report on the association’s 2015 activities, and President Roland Greene will deliver the Presidential Address. The session is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
The Presidential Plenary will take place at 10:15 a.m. on 8 January in the JW Marriott (Lone Star Ballroom D, level 3).
Council of Editors of Learned Journals
Officers and experienced editors who are members of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) will be available for consultation and advice for other editors and scholars who have questions about what to expect in journal submission, peer review, and publishing processes. Beginning scholars (graduate students and entry-level professors) are particularly welcome.
Editors from CELJ will be available to provide informal information and private consultations on 8 January from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. and on 9 January from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center (12B, level 4). Those interested in meeting with a CELJ editor at the MLA convention should write to Graham MacPhee at email@example.com.
On 7 January from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the JW Marriott (Lone Star G, level 3), representatives from federal government agencies will offer a workshop highlighting federal careers that require expertise in languages and culture—translator, interpreter, instructor, intelligence analyst, language analyst, foreign language program manager, foreign service officer, and law enforcement officer. A question-and-answer period concludes the session.
On 8 January from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center (17A, level 4), representatives from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will offer a workshop that highlights recent awards and outlines current funding opportunities. In addition to emphasizing grant programs that support individual and collaborative research and education, the workshop includes information on the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities. A question-and-answer period will follow.
Established in 1971 as an elected body representing the membership at large, the Delegate Assembly, composed of over 270 delegates, debates issues of concern to the membership and advises the Executive Council on the association’s policies, direction, goals, and structure.
Formal deliberations of the assembly, at which any MLA member can speak (subject to strict time limits), are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on 9 January in the JW Marriott (JW Grand Ballroom 5–6, level 4). This meeting is open only to MLA members. Please remember to wear your badge.
An open hearing of the Delegate Assembly, at which MLA members may present their views, will be held at 10:15 a.m. on 8 January in the JW Marriott (401, level 4). This meeting is open only to MLA members. Please remember to wear your badge. Members who wish to submit emergency resolutions to the Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee should attend the open hearing on resolutions on 8 January at 12:00 noon in the JW Marriott (401, level 4). This meeting is open only to MLA members. Please remember to wear your badge. The deadline for submitting emergency resolutions to the presider is 12:30 p.m.
Procedures for submitting resolutions, which are general statements of membership sentiment, are described in article 11.C.3 of the MLA constitution, in “Preparing Resolutions for the Delegate Assembly,” and in “Checklists for Submitting Resolutions.”
Calls for Papers
Go to the "Calls for Papers" page to submit (November 2015–28 February 2016) or review (November 2015–31 March 2016) calls for papers for the 2017 MLA convention in Philadelphia.
The 132nd MLA Annual Convention will take place in Philadelphia from 5 to 8 January 2017. The 133rd MLA Annual Convention will take place in New York City from 4 to 7 January 2018.
Forms and instructions for organizing sessions for the 2017 convention in Philadelphia will be available on the MLA Web site in March 2016.