Most Downloaded from CORE, August 2017

James Harland. “Rethinking Ethnicity and “Otherness” in Early Anglo-Saxon England.”

Oscar Martinez-Peñate. El Salvador Sociología General.

Matthew Kirschenbaum. “The Speculative Situation.”.

Laura Green. “Hall of Mirrors: Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness and Modernist Fictions of Identity.”
Journal article.

Roger Whitson. “DTC 375: Languages, Text, and Technology (Revised for Fall 2017).”

Anastasia Salter. “Principles of Visual Language Syllabus.”

Shawn Moore. “ENC 1101: Composition and Rhetoric.”

Isabel Galina, Alex Gil, Padmini Ray Murray, and Vika Zafrin. “Copyright and Creator Rights in DH Projects: A Checklist.”

Amanda Licastro. “Composition and Writing with Sources.”

Susan Marie Martin. “Downloads: Attitudinal Grooming in Ontario’s Schools.”
Conference proceeding.

Top Ten October Downloads from CORE, the MLA Repository

Here are the items that were most downloaded from CORE in September 2016.

  1. Other
    Douglas Green. “On “The Coddling of the American Mind”.”
    98 downloads in September; 1128 total downloads
  2. Book chapter
    Lisa Zunshine. “Culture of Greedy Mind Readers.”
    89 downloads in September; 167 total downloads
  3. Article
    Doug Steward. “Data on Humanities Doctorate Recipients by Race and Ethnicity.”
    70 downloads in September; 106 total downloads
  4. Article
    Lisa Zunshine. “The Commotion of Souls.”
    68 downloads in September; 68 total downloads*
  5. Bibliography
    Lisa Zunshine. “Bibliography for Cognitive Literary Studies.”
    59 downloads in September; 59 total downloads*
  6. Book chapter
    Kathleen Fitzpatrick. “The Pleasure of the Blog: The Early Novel, the Serial, and the Narrative Archive.”
    43 downloads in September; 103 total downloads
  7. Book chapter
    Kendra Leonard. “Shakespeare, Madness, and Music: Scoring Insanity in Cinematic Adaptations.”
    37 downloads in September; 68 total downloads
  8. Article
    James E. Dobson. “Can An Algorithm Be Disturbed?: Machine Learning, Intrinsic Criticism, and the Digital Humanities.”
    21 downloads in September; 140 total downloads
  9. Article
    Amanda Starling Gould. “Restor(y)ing the Ground: Digital Environmental Media Studies.”
    21 downloads in September; 30 total downloads
  10. Article
    Geraldine Heng. “The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages I: Race Studies, Modernity, and the Middle Ages.”
    21 downloads in September; 269 total downloads

*Newly deposited in September

Top Summer Downloads from the MLA Repository

Here are the ten most downloaded items from CORE, the MLA repository, this summer.

  1. Article
    Doug Steward. “Academic Freedom: Norms, Methods, Contestations.
    592 downloads in July and August
  2. Syllabus
    Brian Croxall. “Introduction to Digital Humanities, Spring 2015 syllabus.”
    125 downloads in July and August
  3. Syllabus
    Laura C. Mandell. “Going Public: Bringing the Humanities Home.”
    97 downloads in July and August
  4. Syllabus
    Anastasia Salter. “Digital Cultures & Narrative.”
    71 downloads in July and August
  5. Syllabus
    Serguei Oushakine. “Language and Subjectivity: Theories of Formation.
    68 downloads in July and August
  6. Syllabus
    Brian Croxall. “Introduction to Digital Humanities, Spring 2014 syllabus.”
    63 downloads in July and August
  7. Other
    Douglas Green. “On “The Coddling of the American Mind”.”
    54 downloads in July and August
  8. Syllabus
    Roger Whitson. “DTC 101: Introduction to Digital Technology and Culture.
    54 downloads in July and August
  9. Syllabus
    Whitney Trettien. “Digital Editing and Curation (Spring 2016).
    54 downloads in July and August
  10. Essay
    Hugh M. Richmond. “The Dead Albatross: “New Criticism” as a Humanist Fallacy.”
    51 downloads in July and August.

Top CORE Downloads in March 2016

CORE, the MLA’s repository, now boasts 300 items, available to anyone with an Internet connection. Below are the most downloaded deposits in March 2016.

  1. Editorial
    Douglas E. Green. “On ‘The Coddling of the American Mind.’”
    117 downloads in March (764 total)
  2. Syllabus
    Paul Fyfe. “Reading Literature in the Digital Age.”
    105 downloads in March (105 total)
  3. Conference Paper
    Peter Brooks. “Connected Academics and the Ethics of Reading.”
    64 downloads in March (64 total)
  4. Syllabus
    Sonia Nora Feder-Lewis. “Leadership in Literature Course Syllabus.”
    53 downloads in March (53 total)
  5. Syllabus
    Paul Fyfe. “Interpretive Machines.”
    51 downloads in March (51 total)
  6. Conference Paper
    Michelle R. Warren. “Ar-ar-archive.”
    47 downloads in March (47 total)
  7. Article
    Binod Paudyal. “Breaking the Boundary: Reading Lahiri’s The Lowland as a Neo-cosmopolitan Fiction.”
    24 downloads in March (48 total)
  8. Article
    Binod Paudyal. “Reimagining Transnational Identities in Lahiri’s The Namesake.”
    22 downloads in March (22 total)
  9. Conference paper
    Sarah Werner. “When Is a Source Not a Source?”
    21 downloads in March (136 total)
  10. Article
    Lorelei Caraman.“Literature and Psychoanalysis: Whose Madness Is It Anyway?”
    21 downloads in March (21 total)
Man reading on tablet

Now Trending: What’s Popular in the MLA Repository

We’re delighted to announce that as of 1 March, 11 of the 260 items uploaded to CORE, the MLA repository, have been downloaded over 100 times. As this list shows, it is not only scholarly articles that are of interest to readers but also conference proceedings, journalism, and curricular materials.

If you’re an MLA member, why not join us in our celebration of Open Education Week (7–12 March) and contribute to the open sharing of educational resources by uploading a syllabus, assignment, or learning object to the repository?

  1. Editorial
    Douglas E. Green. “On ‘The Coddling of the American Mind.’”
  2. Conference proceeding
    Lina Insana and Emily Todd. “Recruiting Majors in English and World Languages.”
  3. Article
    Lisa Zunshine. “The Secret Life of Fiction.”
  4. Chapter
    Lisa Zunshine. “Introduction to Cognitive Literary Studies.”
  5. Article
    Amanda L. French. “A Strangely Useless Thing’: Iseult Gonne and Yeats.”
  6. Syllabus
    Kathleen Woodward. “Reading Affect in Literary Studies.”
  7. Article
    Geraldine Heng. “The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages 1: Race Studies, Modernity, and the Middle Ages.”
  8. Conference paper
    Sarah Werner. “When Is a Source Not a Source?”
  9. Chapter
    Sean Latham and Gayle B. Rogers. “Introduction: Is There a There There?”
  10. Article
    Dennis Looney. “What Should You Expect from the MLA Job Interview? And What Do Your Interviewers Expect from You?”
  11. Learning object
    Rachel Arteaga. “Introductory Digital Humanities Curriculum for the High School English Classroom.”

Literary Studies in the Digital Age: An Interview

Victoria, BC-March 28/06-Professor Ray Siemens with a projection of historical writing and computer analysis of the writing (better confirm my explaination. -Photograph by Diana Nethercott
Photograph by Diana Nethercott

In April, we interviewed Ray Siemens, who, with Kenneth M. Price, Dene M. Grigar, and Elizabeth Lorang, is an editor of Literary Studies in the Digital Age (LSDA). This month, two new essays were added to the MLA’s first born-digital collection: Matthias Bauer and Angelika Zirker’s “Whipping Boys Explained: Literary Annotation and Digital Humanities” and Gabriel Hankins’s “Correspondence: Theory, Practice, and Horizons.” Below, we talk to Siemens about the process of developing an open-access, openly peer-reviewed book on MLA Commons.

Tell us a little about LSDA’s inception.

LSDA was really a proactive initiative to let people know what DH [the digital humanities] could offer literary study, a place for us to provide reflection on digital-research practice and a coming together of the research and language communities. It came from a supergood place, and the MLA administration was extremely supportive. It was the start of a partnership with the DH community rather than a subservient relationship between the MLA and that community.

Initially, it was going to be a traditional print volume in the MLA’s primer series, and it was just a happy circumstance that with Kathleen Fitzpatrick coming on board, someone said, “Why are we going to print at all?” And so we created what I think remains the first digital, open-access MLA publication.

How did that move change the volume?

Well, it made it more immediate and readily available to its audience, which was great since the work is cutting-edge. It also meant that the academic audience it is meant to serve could pick it up more quickly, use it in the classroom, comment on it—and a lot of that comment is happening behind the scenes too, by e-mail.

Yes, we were a bit disappointed by that, since we’d envisaged the comments happening out in the open, which is what CommentPress is built for.

Well, we’re naturally a nuanced, annotated culture. We read and take notes; we record facts; we make notes; we work in that way. But the performative element of being on display can get in the way of that base, of that impulse to annotate.

Culture is still measured in terms of product, and scholars aren’t given credit for something that is evolving, that is harder to measure. The MLA’s Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Digital Media helps with some of that, and it is changing. In the sciences, the emphasis is on the process rather than the product—you can augment and build on a data set. We are more ready to make assertions when we think something is complete. We think of annotation as a definitive statement rather than something that can evolve.

But to return to the question of how the volume changed when we went digital: well, the field is a fast-moving one, and publishing it this way allowed us to come up with the notion of an evolving anthology, allowed us to consider having it evolve in terms of the areas traditionally represented, and to be more fluid and more open to new possibilities as changes happened in the field. It also allowed us to gain additional breadth and coverage, and having it open-access on the Commons has really helped with engagement. We’re now imagining an iterative evolution, but we could also change the scope, broaden out. Imagine David [Hoover]’s piece about text analysis; he has a colleague doing something similar but with different technology. Maybe someone will talk about Google map overlays. . . . It has also been suggested that we broaden the scope and include language study. We’re not there yet, but what we have done is invite two more people to join the editorial team, members of the library studies community, which is very active in digital creation.

Given that the humanities at large still values product over process, do you think a project like this is still only something that a scholar of advanced rank could undertake?

Well, yes, tenure certainly encourages a professionally driven type of rewards system. My personal belief in doing what you love aside, my professional side would have been naturally hesitant to invest time while I was being [considered for tenure]. I would have probably felt obliged to focus on approved professional products. Here again the MLA guidelines have been supportive in trying to argue that it’s not the medium that’s important but the assurance of quality. The guidelines have not only created value for digital work, but they have encouraged dialogue, education, understanding. Scholars should take the guidelines and talk to their colleagues, the dean. Some people have been able to make great strides by following those guidelines, having a conversation—and they’ve created amazing work.

Back to Ken and me: we were able to do this, I think, because we were cochairing the committee, and we were already midcareer.

Can you talk a little about the open review process?

The open review process is two-stage. Submissions go first to the editorial group, who look at them for scope before posting them for open review. Readers can comment directly, contact editors, and feed into standard review—all of which supports an assurance of quality. Quality assessment is vital and allows us to live up to our social contract. Open review is especially pertinent in the environment of MLA Commons, one of consensual engagement. I think it allows us to do more [and do it] better, but people are kind of hesitant. . . . I think when Shakespeare Quarterly had that issue up for open review, it garnered far fewer comments than they had hoped. On the plus side, though, [open review] opens up ideas and allows for a broader, more engaged, more diverse form of knowledge construction around evolving objects—think of Wikipedia, where there is evidence of the changes that have been made, an open and dynamic engagement with knowledge objects. We are still analogically inclined to what feels finished even though it’s not: there are multiple editions of books.

How has LSDA been received?

People are reading it, engaging with it, quoting it, using it in classrooms—and far more of them than would have done [so] if it had been a print volume. I’m sure of that. We continue getting comments and suggestions about what we could do next, ways to expand and add to the collection. Some have suggested concentrated anthologies around specific topics, where an essay in the original collection would serve as a springboard for a cluster. And people are submitting! The structure of LSDA allows for its growth and integration beyond its current iteration. It will be readily available to people when they become interested and used to annotating and linking. . . .

We’re just not there yet?

 The thing about the future is that you know where it’s going, and you get kinda impatient waiting for it to get there, . . . but we can see it! We know it’s going to happen!



The CORE Ten: Top Downloads in 2015

The MLA launched CORE, its library-quality repository that allows members to share their research and pedagogical materials with the world, in beta in late May. Seven months later, it is home to almost two hundred items—that’s a deposit rate of about one item a day (not bad for a newcomer)! And as this list of the ten most downloaded items shows, people are downloading not only published scholarly articles but also conference proceedings, journalism, syllabi, and curricular materials.

One of the unique features of CORE is its connection to MLA forums on the Commons. A member can choose to associate a deposit with up to five forums, triggering its inclusion in the forum’s CORE collection and the sending of e-mail notifications to the members of those forums. The results speak for themselves: items shared with at least one forum upon deposit had, on average, a download rate that was 257% higher than those shared with none.

We have high hopes and big plans for CORE in 2016, including a new home page that showcases recent and popular deposits and new Commons profiles that highlight a member’s CORE contributions. We’re also working toward increased interoperability with other repositories, multifile upload, and implementing functionality that allows Commons users to discuss items deposited with CORE.

We thank all those members who have made their work openly available so far and encourage others to join them and deposit something of their own.

The CORE Ten: Top Downloads in 2015

(As of 18 December.)

1. Conference proceeding
Lina Insana and Emily Todd. “Recruiting Majors in English and World Languages.” (327 downloads)

2. Article
Lisa Zunshine. “The Secret Life of Fiction.” PMLA 130.3 (2015): 724–31. (169 downloads)

3. Chapter
Lisa Zunshine. “Introduction to Cognitive Literary Studies.” The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies. Oxford UP, 2015. 1–9. (150 downloads)

4. Syllabus
Kathleen Woodward. “Reading Affect in Literary Studies.” (104 downloads)

5. Learning object
Rachel Arteaga. “Introductory Digital Humanities Curriculum for the High School English Classroom.” (80 downloads)

6. Article
Geraldine Heng. “The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages 1: Race Studies, Modernity, and the Middle Ages.” Literature Compass 8.5 (2011): 258–74. (64 downloads)

7. Article
Gaurav G. Desai. “Oceans Connect: The Indian Ocean and African Identities.” PMLA 125.3 (2010): 713–20. (55 downloads)

8. Editorial
Douglas E. Green. “On ‘The Coddling of the American Mind.’” Augsburg Echo 2 Oct. 2015. (53 downloads)

9= Article
James Dobson. “Can an Algorithm Be Disturbed? Machine Learning, Intrinsic Criticism, and the Digital Humanities.” College Literature 42.4 (2015): 543–64. (46 downloads)

9= Article
Matthew Kirschenbaum. “Operating Systems of the Mind: Bibliography after Word Processing (the Example of Updike).” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 108.4 (2014): 380–412. (46 downloads)

9= Article
Dennis Looney. “What Should You Expect from the MLA Job Interview? And What Do Your Interviewers Expect from You?” ADFL Bulletin 37.1 (2005): 30–32. (46 downloads)


Make Revolution Irresistible: The Role of the Cultural Worker in the Twenty-­First Century

SALAMISHAH TILLET, an associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of Sites of Slavery: Citizenship and Racial Democracy in the Post–Civil Rights Imagination (Duke UP, 2012) and a cofounder of the Chicago-based nonprofit A Long Walk Home. This article was first published in the March 2015 issue of PMLA.

Download (PDF, 300KB)

Korean Texts and Translations: A Survey

The series Texts and Translations was founded in 1991 to provide students and faculty members with important texts and high-quality translations that otherwise are not available at an affordable price. The books in the series are aimed at students in upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses—in national literatures in languages other than English, comparative literature, literature in translation, ethnic studies, area studies, and women’s studies. The Publications Committee seeks to develop several new titles in Korean for the series. To this end, the committee has appointed an editorial board of specialists in Korean for 2014–17.

This survey is designed to gather information about instructors’ materials for teaching texts and translations of Korean works. Respondents are invited to answer the questions below; they are also encouraged to submit a proposal for the series.

Please answer the questions on the form below and click Submit when you are finished. Your responses will be collected by the office of scholarly communication. If you wish to submit a proposal for the series, please send it by e-mail to Potential topics might include but are not limited to new fiction, speculative fiction, and the literature of total mobilization. More information on the series guidelines can be found here. Thank you for helping in the development of the Texts and Translations series.

Speculum reviews Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower

gower_4cThe October 2014 issue of Speculum published a review of the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower, edited by R. F. Yeager and Brian W. Gastle.

Angela Jane Weisl writes:

Overall, this volume makes a fine case for Gower in the classroom. The editors have anticipated my questions, at least, and found compelling scholars to answer them. For anyone who wants to add Gower to their lineup at any level, or for those who already do but find themselves at a bit of a loss for how best to teach him, or for those who just want to try something new, this volume provides it. . . . Having read it, I believe that I will now attempt to add Gower in my British literature survey and perhaps include him in my medieval literature course as well, which attests to the value of this volume for those of us who want to expand our syllabi to include this most medieval author.

You can read the full review in Speculum (89.4 [2014]: 1211–12).

Purchase this book in the MLA bookstore (members get 30% off all titles).


Review of Approaches to Teaching The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber)


The February 2015 issue of the Journal of Asian Studies published a review of the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber), edited by Andrew Schonebaum and Tina Lu.

Zuyan Zhou writes:

As its title suggests, this volume is intended to introduce effective approaches to teaching the Chinese literary magnum opus, The Story of the Stone. . . . Despite being designed to appeal to novices, the book will engage advanced scholars as well, for some essays penned by scholars steeped in Redology probe to a depth that will also interest specialists in the field.

You can read the full review in the Journal of Asian Studies (74.1 [2015]: 207–08).

Purchase this book in the MLA bookstore (members get 30% off all titles).