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Session Details

380. The Future of the Chicana and Chicano Literature Division

Tuesday, 10 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Sheraton I, Sheraton Chicago

Program arranged by the Division on Chicana and Chicano Literature

Presiding: Marissa K. Lopez, Univ. of California, Los Angeles

Marissa K. Lopez's Annotation:
Attendees can review the MLA's proposed changes here:

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.

Speakers: Norma Elia Cantú, Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City; Lawrence M. La Fountain–Stokes, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Lázaro Lima, Univ. of Richmond; Richard T. Rodríguez, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana; Ramón Saldívar, Stanford Univ.

Session Description:

In the light of the MLA’s recent efforts to restructure its divisions and discussion groups, this roundtable will reflect on the role of Chicana/o literature in the MLA and other institutions. What do we want this division to be as we move further into the twenty-first century, and how do we imagine Chicana/o literature in relation to other US Latina/o literatures?


  • American Literature – General

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