CANCELED – The Modern Language Association: Not Just a Handbook, Not Just a Convention


Date(s) - 04/27/2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

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Image of green rolling hills with text that reads: "The Modern Language Association: Not Just a Handbook, Not Just a Convention, 27 April 2022, 4:00pm Eastern"

This event has been canceled.

The Modern Language Association: Not Just a Handbook, Not Just a Convention

What can the MLA and other scholarly organizations do for graduate students?

The Modern Language Association is known primarily as a handbook, a convention, and a jobs list, but as the largest scholarly association for humanists in North America, the organization does far more than that. It is a place where those in language and literature fields can advocate for the humanities, learn about professional opportunities, gain new professional experiences, and find tools for advocating for themselves and others at their institutions. Join CUNY affiliates and recent and current MLA executive council members Esther Allen, Leah Richards, and Lisa Karakaya, as well as the MLA’s director of the office of academic program services and professional development Jason Rhody, for a conversation about what the MLA is doing and what it could be doing for graduate students. A panel discussion, moderated by Daniel Valtueña, will be followed by a Q&A and a town hall discussion.

RSVP for the panel by registering via Zoom! If you have any accessibility needs for this event, please email us at


Headshot for Esther AllenEsther Allen is a professor at Baruch College, where she directs the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence Program; she also teaches in the Ph.D. Programs in  French and in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures at City University of New York Graduate Center, where she’s been working on the forthcoming relaunch of the Translation Concentration in the MA in Liberal Studies Program. Allen is a two-time recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships (1995 and 2010) and was a 2009-2010 Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. In 2014-2015, she was a Biography Fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography. Her translation of Zama, a 1956 novel by Antonio Di Benedetto, won the 2017 National Translation Award; in 2018-2019, she was a Guggenheim Fellow working on the two subsequent novels in Di Benedetto’s Trilogy of Expectation.

Headshot for Lisa KarakayaLisa Karakaya obtained her PhD in French and francophone literature, with a certificate in women’s studies, at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), February 2020. Her dissertation examined the depiction of home and exile in the work of contemporary French and francophone women writers, and is currently in revisions for publication. Dr. Karakaya studies themes of social class, home, exile, and agency in contemporary women’s writing. She also focuses on questions of borders and liminal spaces. Some publications are “Hiraeth: Marie Cardinal’s Nostalgia and the Question of Class” published in the December 2017 Women in French Studies special issue journal, and an article on resistance in the work of Simone Schwarz-Bart, MMLA Journal spring 2019. Lisa Karakaya has taught French and French literature since 2011, and currently teaches at Hunter College High School.

Headshot for Leah RichardsLeah Richards (she/her) is a Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York, co-editor of Supernatural Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Art, Media, and Culture, an Off(-Off) Broadway theater reviewer for Thinking Theater NYC and Dusty Wrights’s Culture Catch, co-author of Not of the Living Dead: The Non-Zombie Films of  George A. Romero (forthcoming from McFarland) and co-editor of Representation in Steven Universe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). Her current research is on reanimated corpses and Welsh slate mines, but not at the same time.



Headshot for Daniel Valtueña smiling with trees in the backgroundDaniel Valtueña is a recent graduate from the Ph.D. Program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is a Mellon Humanities Public Fellow at the PublicsLab and served as a Program Manager at the Queens Council on the Arts during his doctoral studies. He is the Europa Joven Program Coordinator at the Madrid City Hall and curates the Artist-in-Residence Program at New York University’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center. His research and teaching focuses on contemporary Iberian cultures and performing arts.

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