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About the ADE and ADFL | Modern Language Association

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About the ADE and ADFL

Projects of the Modern Language Association

Founded by department chairs in the 1960s, 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. Together, they represent nearly fifteen hundred departments, writing programs, and humanities divisions in two- and four-year colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. 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.

Professional Networking and Development

Departmental membership in the ADE and ADFL connects department administrators to a network of peers. Becoming part of this network helps department leaders see how local issues are shared and shaped across the profession, giving them the broad perspective they need for their administrative work. Department chairs, directors of graduate and undergraduate studies, and other faculty members become more effective advocates for their departments by exchanging ideas and learning from one another. Discussion lists and MLA Commons pages keep department leaders connected throughout the year.

Research and Advocacy

The ADE and ADFL provide department leaders with authoritative and timely information and research on departmental, disciplinary, and higher education issues. Committee reports and statements of good practice address pressing problems faced by departments and lend department leaders the credibility of a national professional organization when advocating for their departments at their home institutions. Membership gives department leaders access to the MLA’s office of research and its extensive information resources, including reports on trends in undergraduate majors, graduate degrees, and faculty hiring, as well as to the MLA’s office of programs, which coordinates the language consultancy service, advising language departments on a variety of issues such as curriculum design, faculty governance, and strategic planning.

Summer Seminars

Chairs and other representatives from member departments gather at the summer seminars each June to discuss the latest issues facing departments of English and departments of languages other than English. Attendees work collaboratively to develop local solutions that are informed by a national conversation. Preseminar workshops offer attendees the opportunity to explore timely issues in depth, and a workshop for new chairs provides mentoring and guidance.

For more information, to inquire about departmental membership, or to get updated information on the summer seminars, visit the ADE or ADFL Web sites.