Task Force Report

Charged by the MLA Executive Council in February 2012 “to consider the prospects for doctoral study in modern language and literature in the light of transformations in higher education and scholarly communication” (PMLA 127.4 [2012]: 1024), and funded in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature met at the MLA office in fall 2012 and spring and fall 2013 and at the 2013 and 2014 MLA conventions in Boston and Chicago.

The goal of the task force was to recommend changes to doctoral education in the modern languages and literatures that are consistent with the core mission of the humanities in general and the study of languages and literatures in particular. In its 2014 report, the task force proposed appropriate steps to address the changing circumstances, issues, and challenges of twenty-first-century doctoral study.

The Executive Council received and approved the task force’s report in February 2014, and it was published online in May 2014. The MLA now welcomes comments on the report. (The report is also available on the MLA Web site as a PDF.)

Members of the MLA Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature

Carlos J. Alonso (Columbia Univ.)
Russell A. Berman (Stanford Univ.), chair
Sylvie Debevec Henning (East Carolina Univ.)
Lanisa Kitchiner (Smithsonian Natl. Museum of African Art)
Bethany Nowviskie (Univ. of Virginia)
Elizabeth Schwartz Crane (San Joaquin Delta Coll., CA)
Sidonie Ann Smith (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Kathleen Woodward (Univ. of Washington, Seattle)

Staff Liaisons

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, director, MLA Office of Scholarly Communication
David Laurence, director, MLA Office of Research and ADE