December 10, 2018

Modern Language Association (New York City)

The Modern Language Association invites a Duke doctoral student to intern in the MLA Office of Programs working primarily on several of the following projects.  Please indicate which project(s) you prefer in your application. This internship is an opportunity to learn to apply your humanistic interests and expertise outside a traditional teaching position and to develop marketable skills that will be valuable in both traditional academic work and in the larger humanities ecosystem of cultural institutions, non-profits, foundations, and other mission-driven organizations. The internship will also include opportunities to work with staff developing  programming for the MLA Convention and ADE/ADFL Summer Seminars for department and program leaders.

1. The ADFL Language Consultancy Service and the ADE Consultancy Service advise departments of languages other than English (ADFL) and English departments (ADE) on a variety of issues such as curriculum design, faculty governance, labor practices, and strategic planning. This is primarily a research and writing position that will require the organization and synthesis of a large body of material. The intern will contribute to the design, development, and marketing of a toolkit of resources (books, articles, data sources, curricular models, professional statements and guidelines, etc.) to help department leaders and their faculty members:

  • Understand their programs in the context of national educational trends and conditions
  • Undertake effective curriculum review, teacher training, and professional development
  • Develop strategies to defend and promote their programs and majors
  • Develop innovative courses that increase enrollments in the humanities
  • Address institution-specific concerns about funding, resources, and governance
  • Promote effective dialogue and create community within programs
  • Develop appropriate tools for assessment of student learning.

2. The MLA Language Map and Data Center are resources for students, teachers, and anyone interested in learning about the linguistic and cultural composition of the United States. The interactive Map shows the locations and numbers of speakers of thirty languages commonly spoken in the United States and where these languages are taught in colleges and universities. The Data Center provides information about over three hundred languages spoken in the United States with comparative tables and graphs showing changes between 2000 and 2010 in American language communities. The intern will work with staff members developing new features, improving design, and marketing the map to cultural institutions like the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan. This position will involve work in data visualization, website design, marketing and outreach.

3. The MLA Census of Entrance and Degree Requirements for Languages Other Than English has been conducted periodically since 1953. The fourteenth census is currently underway and covers 2018-19. The requirements censuses, along with the enrollments censuses, are a crucial part of the MLA’s endeavor to study and explain the state of the language field in higher education. The requirements censuses reveal trends over time and show how institutions have added, dropped, or changed their requirements. Entrance and degree requirements are one measure of the value that an institution attaches to the study of languages other than English. The intern will: assist in online data gathering of institutional entrance and degree requirements; summarize and categorize the data, then save and enter the relevant data into an Access database; be responsible for digitizing the directory of the 1994-95 requirements census, which exists only in a print copy. The directory contains a summary of the specifics of entrance and degree requirements for all the institutions surveyed for the 1994-95 census. Digitization of this data will allow for an electronic comparison of the 1994-95, 2009-10, and 2018-19 censuses.

4. The MLA Academic Workforce Data Center is an important service to the academic community providing historic information about staffing patterns at individual institutions of higher education. Users can look up statistics on part-time, full-time, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track instructors at each institution and compare data from 1995 and 2009. The intern will learn to use the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which provides the basic data for describing and analyzing trends in higher education that is used by Congress, federal agencies, state governments, and education providers in making policy. The intern will work with staff members to update the database with information from 2010-2018.

Based in New York City, the MLA is a mission-driven professional association that promotes the study and teaching of languages and literatures through its programs, publications, annual convention, and advocacy work. The MLA exists to support the intellectual and professional lives of its members; it provides opportunities for members to share their scholarly work and teaching experiences with colleagues, discuss trends in the academy, and advocate humanities education and workplace equity. The association aims to advance the many areas of the humanities in which its members currently work, including literature, language, writing studies, screen arts, digital humanities, pedagogy, and library studies.