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Photo by alex
Photo by alex

Higher Ed

Closures and Mergers: The Theory and Practice of Restructuring Humanities Programs in the American Academy

Clorinda Donato and Susan C. Anderson

At institutions large and small, public or private, the rhetoric and reality of cuts, mergers, and closures have become familiar to anyone working in humanities disciplines, with the fields of classical and modern languages coming under particularly intense scrutiny in recent years. . . .

Photo by Delaney Turner
Photo by Delaney Turner

Case Study

Beyond Program Closures, the Menace of Slow Defunding

Philip E. Lewis

Let me try to set the stage for discussion of our announced topic, the cost of program mergers and closings. I first considered the topic of closings when, three years ago, the immediate past president of the Mellon Foundation, Don Randel, asked me whether we should consider a grant-making initiative. . . .

Photo by Colin Harris
Photo by Colin Harris

From the Editor

Profession in the World

Rosemary G. Feal

As I look to the ever-changing publication called Profession, I realize that it will increasingly need to speak to MLA members engaged in many professions and to serve the public humanities in different contexts and evolving ways. . . .

Photo by Nathan Walls
Photo by Nathan Walls

Higher Ed

Spanish in the World

Rolena Adorno

This is my proposal: to refuse to give up teaching in Spanish. . . . The English language is ubiquitous, but it is neither a universal nor a transparent, nondistorting lens through which all other modern languages can pass, in translation, without loss. . . .

Photo by Dena Michele Rosko
Photo by Dena Michele Rosko

Graduate Studies

Ethical Conundrums: Institutional Pressure and Graduate Student Needs in the Era of Contingency

David B. Downing

The ethical situation seems simple: The market has fewer tenure-track jobs; therefore graduate programs should supply fewer graduates to meet the diminished demand. . . . The problem is that merely shrinking the body count is exactly the wrong thing to do. . . .

Photo by Aimee Custis
Photo by Aimee Custis

Presidential Forum

The Humanities as Spectacle

Matti Bunzl

It's been nearly a year since The Heart of the Matter, a congressionally ordered report on the state of the humanities and social sciences, was issued by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. . . .

Photo by Stan Rawrysz
Photo by Stan Rawrysz

Presidential Forum

Vulnerability Without and Within

James Chandler

The overall conference theme this year was vulnerability, so I address two issues of vulnerability specifically associated with the role of humanities centers in this endeavor we call public humanities. . . .

Photo by Roman Boed
Photo by Roman Boed

Presidential Forum

Doors, Departments, and the Public Humanities

Julie Ellison

A week before the MLA 2014 Presidential Forum on the public humanities in vulnerable times, I walked through the corridors of the University of Michigan Department of English Language and Literature, reading doors. . . .

Photo by pohick2
Photo by pohick2

Presidential Forum

Public Humanities: Crisis and Possibility

Farah Jasmine Griffin

On landing in Chicago, the site of the 2014 MLA convention, I turned on my cell phone to find a number of texts and voice mails informing me of Amiri Baraka's death. . . .

Photo by Jacqueline Poggi
Photo by Jacqueline Poggi

Presidential Forum

The Public Humanities

Jean E. Howard

I begin by querying what we mean by the public humanities. For me, teaching is where I most often and most deeply engage in the work of the public humanities . . .
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