Textual Transactions in Netherlandic Literature, Language and Culture

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
MLA Dutch Forum


3–6 January 2019, Chicago

Session organized by the MLA Dutch Forum

The Modern Language Association is the oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to the study of language and literature in America. For the 2019 convention of the Modern Language Association, the MLA Dutch Forum is organizing a session on the 2019 Presidential theme ‘Textual Transactions’. The convention will be held from 3–6 January, in Chicago.

Anne Gere, the 2018–19 president of the MLA, has chosen Textual Transactions as the presidential theme for the 2019 MLA Annual Convention in Chicago. This is described as follows:

Textual transactions are the mutually constitutive engagements of human beings, texts, and contexts.
Transactions are more than mere interactions, in which separate entities act on one another without being
changed at any essential level. In transactions all elements are part of an organic whole and are transformed
by their encounters, the way various organisms in an ecosystem shape and are shaped by one another.

This theme, then, invites us to move beyond simple dichotomies that can limit the ways we think about texts.
It presents an opportunity to rethink the theoretical and institutional structures that reinforce divisions
between the production and consumption of writing, between learning languages and understanding the
cultures in which they are embedded. It invites questions like these:

• What does the concept of textual transactions contribute to our thinking about translation?
• What transactions are embodied in transnational cultural studies?
• What roles do categories such as race, gender, and mother tongue play in textual transactions?

Given the transnational and international nature of Dutch letters, the topic of textual transactions is particularly acute for Netherlandic Literature, Language and Culture. Indeed, for the past several years the MLA Dutch Forum has been fostering a conversation about the place of Dutch literature within a larger global circuit of textual transmission, transaction, and transformation. We therefore invite papers on textual transactions within and beyond Dutch letters. Ideally, papers should put Dutch literature in conversation with other literatures and/or feature the global dimensions of Dutch letters. If you are interested in presenting a paper during MLA Dutch sessions, please send a 250-word abstract by 1 March 2018 to Johannes Burgers (Johannes.burgers@ashoka.edu.in)

More information on the MLA 2019 convention can be found on the MLA website: