Undergraduate Research Symposium

(Hosted Annually at the MMLA Convention)

“Health in/of the Humanities”

Please Note: MMLA 2024, including the Undergraduate Research Symposium, will be fully in person.

No virtual or hybrid panels will be scheduled.

14-16 November 2024
Hilton Chicago
720 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60605

Goals and Rationale

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is an integral component of the MMLA's annual convention, which is a gathering of faculty members and graduate students from across the Midwest who present papers on their latest research. The Undergraduate Research Symposium's goal is to showcase and celebrate promising research by undergraduate students as well as offer a professional development opportunity that is especially useful to those who are interested in attending graduate school. 

 Proposal Guidelines

The MMLA invites proposals for a 15-20-minute, oral presentation of a 7-10-page, double-spaced paper at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. While proposals may be for papers on any literary topic and time period, we particularly welcome those that engage with the convention's theme. For more information regarding this year's theme, please see the MMLA's Calls for Papers.

To submit a proposal for the Undergraduate Research Symposium, the following materials are required by May 01 for each panelist:

  1. Presenter Name, Email Address, and Affiliation
  2. Academic Year
  3. Faculty Mentor's Name and Email Address
  4. Paper Title (15-word maximum)
  5. Abstract (approximately 250 words)

A strong abstract will identify the (a) topic under consideration, (b) main argument, and (c) specific texts or material that will be examined. Accepted proposals will be grouped into panels that are unified by a theme and chaired by a member of the MMLA staff or Program Committee. All presentations must be delivered in person at the annual convention.

Undergraduate Student Paper Prize

The MMLA's  Undergraduate Student Paper Prize is open to all undergraduates who have been selected to present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium for the annual convention. The $100 prize will be awarded to the strongest paper. 

Submissions are gathered after the convention so that undergraduates who wish to revise their papers minimally based on the feedback that they received may do so. Those interested in being considered for the Undergraduate Student Paper Prize must submit the following materials to the MMLA by November 30:

  1. A Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  2. The Presented Paper (3,000-word limit, excluding the Works Cited)

Submissions are reviewed by member's of the MMLA's Executive Committee, and the winning paper will be announced during the forthcoming newsletter. Previous winners of the Undergraduate Student Paper Prize can be found here.

Please Note: The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association (JMMLA) does not consider for publication essays submitted by undergraduates. At this time, contributing authors to the JMMLA must be pursuing or hold a graduate degree.

MMLA's Undergraduate Symposium Coordinator

Krislyn Zhorne  Loyola University Chicago