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About the MLA | Modern Language Association

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About the MLA

Founded in 1883, the Modern Language Association of America provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. MLA members host an annual convention and other meetings, work with related organizations, and sustain one of the finest publishing programs in the humanities. For more than a century, members have worked to strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature. Learn more about the MLA's mission.

Are you a new MLA member or just curious about the resources the MLA has to offer? Please read a welcome letter from the current MLA president, Judith Butler, to find out how the association is working to support its members and the humanities more broadly.

The MLA at a Glance

  • Over 25,000 members in 100 countries

  • Programs serving English and foreign language teachers

  • An annual convention, with meetings on a wide variety of subjects, and smaller seminars across the country

  • The MLA International Bibliography, the only comprehensive bibliography in language and literature, available online

  • A book publication program issuing a number of new books each year and maintaining a backlist of over 200 titles

  • 4 major periodicals: the ADE Bulletin; the ADFL Bulletin; Profession; and PMLA, one of the most distinguished journals in the humanities

  • MLA Commons, a scholarly communication network and publishing platform

  • A quarterly newsletter providing updates on association events and initiatives, stories about members' innovative work, and other items of interest to members

  • 156 forums for the scholarly, teaching, and professional interests of members

  • More than 50 membership committees overseeing association activities and publications

  • Leadership in the national education community

Learn more about the association through our time line of MLA history.

Membership Involvement in Association Activities

  • Over 360 members are elected to govern the association through its Executive Council, Delegate Assembly, and other governance committees.

  • Over 760 members serve on the executive committees of the 156 forums that represent the scholarly, teaching, and professional interests of various constituencies within the membership and that help determine much of the program at the annual convention.

  • Over 2,000 members present each year at the convention.

  • Hundreds of readers join the 52 members of the PMLA Editorial Board and Advisory Committee in reviewing essays submitted for publication.

  • More than 120 specialists index articles and journals for the MLA International Bibliography.

  • Over 80 members are involved in selecting the winners of the 25 prizes the MLA awards for outstanding language and literature publications.

The ADE and ADFL

As projects of the Modern Language Association, the Association of Departments of English (ADE) and the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL) advocate for departments of English and departments of languages other than English, respectively. The ADE and ADFL provide information and research for member departments, creating institutional, national, and professional contexts for exploring policy, disciplinary challenges, trends, and best practices in the fields of composition and rhetoric, language studies, and literature in higher education. Learn more about the ADE and ADFL.