Opportunities and Announcements

The MMLA regularly posts updates and announcements that might be of interest to our membership: Conference CFPs, grant and fellowship openings, publication opportunities, and anything that engages with the scholarly interests of our members. Check this page regularly for new updates.
If you have an announcement you would like us to share with our members, please email us at [email protected].
For additional opportunities and announcements, MMLA members are encouraged to view the websites of the following related associations:

Call for Papers:  Michigan College English Association Conference via Zoom

Saturday, October 5, 2024

Themes:  Crisis and Resilience

Featured Speaker: Dawn Burns, fiction writer and memoirist* 

Psychologist Laura Campbell-Sills argues that resilience goes beyond the ability to survive adversity, writing: “Resilience is seen as more than simple recovery from insult (Bonanno, 2004); rather it can be defined as positive growth or adaptation following periods of homeostatic disruption (Richardson, 2002)” (2006). In 2024, we continue to struggle with new waves of COVID-19 and the lingering social, psychological, and educational effects of the shutdown, as well as violence on our campuses, political polarization, and the splintering of our civil society. We also face the challenge of generative Artificial Intelligence, such as ChatGPT, to writing as we understand it. How will we as educators confront these crises and go beyond “simple recovery” to finding the possibilities for “positive growth or adaptation”? We welcome papers from a pedagogical perspective, creative responses to the themes of Crisis and Resilience, and literary analyses of works with these themes.

 The Michigan College English Association welcomes proposals from experienced academics, young scholars, and graduate students. We encourage a variety of papers, including pedagogical work, scholarly essays, creative writing, as well as workshops, crafting circles, and other activity-directed sessions. All proposals will be peer-reviewed. Participants do not have to live in Michigan or the United States, though we often feature in-state work.

We are also seeking documentarians to attend the sessions, take notes and write short reports to share with the Board in the weeks following the conference. The reports of last year’s documentarians were invaluable and went beyond our expectations, so consider carrying on this new tradition!

We will be reviving the MCEA tradition of $50 cash awards to graduate students: one for the best scholarly essay, one for the best creative reading. Any participants wishing to submit work to the contest should send a complete scholarly paper or creative piece to Ed Demerly at [email protected]

Here are some possible areas for presentations:

■      fiction, poetry, drama, creative nonfiction

■      classroom management                

■      curriculum development                

■      computer or on-line instruction     

■      race, class, and gender studies   

■      literacy                                              

■      professional expectations, evaluation, and assessment

■      English/writing departments and our society

■      the creative process

■      union/administration differences

■      film studies

■      textual analysis

■      preparing students for the work world

■      teaching composition, literature, linguistics

Conference proposals are due by September 21, 2024.  Early submissions are welcome.  Please send your name, university affiliation, e-mail address, phone number, time preference, and a 200-word abstract or sample of creative writing to Program Chairs Ilse Schweitzer, Cheryl Caesar, and Lori Burlingame via email at [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]. To submit a panel proposal, please include the information for all members (5 maximum participants) in the same proposal.

Topic Tags:  call for papers, Michigan College English Association, conference, crisis, resilience, generative AI, teaching, creative writing, composition, literature, linguistics

*Dawn Burns is thoroughly Midwestern, having lived her whole life in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. Often her characters are Midwestern too, like Evangelina McQuarry from Elkhart, Indiana, who may appear simple and uncomplicated but has a rich inner life in Evangelina Everyday (2022).

 Dawn’s MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame prepared her for a lifetime of writing, creative community building, and teaching. Dawn is founder of the SwampFire Retreat for Writers and Artists, and a recipient of excellence awards from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature and the Ohio Arts Council. An assistant professor at Michigan State University, Dawn is committed to writing and storytelling as acts of personal and social change both in and beyond her First Year Writing classroom. She is actively seeking publication for her book Born Beneath Pedro’s Sombrero, Raised in a Corn Palace: Tales from the National Association of Tourist Attraction Survivors.




MAY 16-19, 2024

Update: Deadline for proposals has been extended to February 2, 2024

Call for Individual and Pre-formed Panel Proposals

The concept of energy has a history that long pre-dates any dreams of resource extraction or electrification. Cultures around the world have viewed different energies, plural, as living forces. Depending on the context, the word “energy” might call up images of interconnected beings, landforms, species, and worldviews. Phases of existence have even been understood in terms of energy, since spirits of the dead are often thought to exert their energies on behalf of, or in opposition to, the living. Robin Wall Kimmerer’s explanation of the Potawatomi word puhpowee—“the force which causes mushrooms to push up from the earth overnight”—pertains to conceptions of energy in many different Indigenous cultures. According to this paradigm, humans are just one of the many types of life-forms inhabiting a “world of being, full of unseen energies that animate everything.” Kimmerer stresses that humans have the responsibility to regulate our personal energies in reciprocal relationships with the energies of the nonhumans with whom we share the world. Aldo Leopold’s famous description of the “fierce green fire” leaving the eyes of a mother wolf he helped kill, along with his definition of land as “a fountain of energy” rather than mere property, shows how similar ideas have taken shape in Western cultures.

Yet, while the dream of “a world of being” has endured, it has mostly been eclipsed by the notion that energy exists to be harnessed. The extractivist way of thinking about and living with energy has resulted in forms of devastation and injustice that everyone concerned about the state of the Earth knows all too well.

We invite proposals—for papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, and creative new forms of dialogue—addressing what ecocriticism, the energy humanities, and other disciplines can do to help change the current situation. We seek contributions that explore different ways of understanding energy and being in the world. Scholars in any discipline are welcome to apply.

Guiding questions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Which alternative, Indigenous, or non-Western cosmovisions and cosmologies of energy do people living in extractivist energy regimes need to learn about?
  • How are day-to-day energetic practices changing in the so-called Anthropocene?
  • How can environmental humanists, activists, and ordinary people claim seats at an energy “table” dominated by scientists, technocrats, and billionaires?
  • What might scientific and spiritual energy practices have to learn from each other?
  • How do those who spend most of their time resisting the extractivist paradigm channel personal, cultural, and more-than-human energies in ways that help them avoid draining their own energies (in the form of burnout)?
  • How can recent scientific discoveries about how people and nonhuman beings experience energies inform our research and teaching as scholars in the humanities?
  • Which literary, cinematic, rhetorical, and other representational energies are doing the best work in changing how various publics think about energy?
  • How are energies being restor(i)ed as meaningful parts of everyday life-worlds?

The symposium will take place in person at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville, from Thursday, May 16 to Sunday, May 19, 2024. (Scholars who seek alternative presentation formats may contact the co-organizers.) Friday and Saturday will be devoted to panels and plenary speakers, while Sunday will involve workshops at UNF (possibly elsewhere) and field trips and service activities in the ancestral homeland of the Mocama people, also known as the First Coast—site of the oldest permanent European settlements in what is now the United States.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Dr. Kendra Hamilton of Presbyterian College  (author of the forthcoming book Romancing the Gullah); author and activist Janisse Ray (Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and numerous other books); and Dr. Heidi Scott of the University of Maryland (Chaos and Cosmos: Literary Roots of Modern Ecology in the British Nineteenth CenturyFuel: An Ecocritical History, and many essays).

To propose an individual paper, please submit an abstract of approximately 300 words and a brief speaker bio to the proposal portal link below.

For pre-formed panel and roundtable proposals, please list names and emails of panelists in the “co-presenter” field; include an overall abstract for the session, as well as titles, brief proposal descriptions and one-sentence speaker bios for each contributor (500 words total).

All proposals are due by the extended deadline: February 2, 2024.


To discuss ideas regarding workshops and non-traditional dialogues, or to ask about anything else relating to the symposium, please contact the co-organizers, Jennifer Lieberman and Bart Welling, at [email protected].