The largest scholarly meeting in the humanities, the MLA convention brings together thousands of members to discuss new research, participate in workshops, and build their professional networks.

Professor of American Literary Studies, Dr. Jesse Aleman presented “Latino/a Rebels: Confederate Secession, Cuban Rebellion, and United States Latino/a Revolutionaries” in a panel discussion arranged by the forum LLC Southern United States entitled,”The Revoluntion(ary) South.” Dr. Aleman also participated in a panel arranged by the Society for the Study of Southern Literature entitled, “Straddling the Dividing Line: Reconsidering the Civil War.” The panel session committed itself to new readings of the Civil War that dwell on the negotiations and paradoxes that emerge when we straddle the boundaries of periods, regions, and disciplines.

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Lauren Perry (second on left), Dr. Juliet Shields, Dr. Caroline McCracken-Flesher, Dr. Alan Riach, and Dr. John Corbett

ALS PhD Student, Lauren Perry presented on a Presidential Panel entitled, “On the Boundary Line: Choosing Authors for the Edinburgh Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Writers.” The session focused on the question, “Who, when, how is a Scottish author?” And if there is any meaningful way to think about a national literature given that in the early twenty-first century we are alert to canonicity and its discontents, aware of difference, and critical of boundaries. The panel aimed to stir discussion in the context of Scottish literature.

Amy Gore, a doctoral candidate in American Literary Studies, organized and proposed a special session panel for the MLA titled “Indigenous Books, Indigenous Bodies.” This panel opened up a scholarly conversation into the “boundary conditions” that separate Indigenous literature from the real and imagined conditions of Indigenous bodies and theorized their material relationships. On the panel, she presented part of the opening chapter of her dissertation: “Refiguring the Disembodied Book: Performativity and the Gothic Aesthetics of Samson Occom’s A Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul.”