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Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

I would like to run for 2nd Vice-President of the MLA as well as literally change the face of the MLA. But we need your help.

June 26, 2014

If you are a member of the MLA, I would ask you to support signing the following petition in support of my candidacy for 2nd Vice-President of the MLA. From the petition, written by Marc Bousquet (who has been absolutely instrumental in getting us organized).

“This petition is presented by a group of individuals from diverse groups with a commitment to majority-faculty governance in professional associations. We hope to build a formal coalition in coming months involving such groups as the New Faculty Majority, the MLA Subconference and Radical Caucus, among many others with transdisciplinary commitments, such as CGEU and COCAL. Signature deadline is 8am EST on June 30, 2014. We expect to continue this process for the next three to five years. We expect to nominate some tenured advocates in the first year or two, but our commitment is primarily to electing graduate students and faculty serving nontenurably. 

“Signers of this petition indicate their nomination of all four candidates listed below, unless they name exceptions in the comments portion. All signers must be current MLA members. All signers will be reminded by email to validate their support by printing the petition, signing it in ink, and mailing it to Rosemary Feal, 26 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10004-1789. While the constitution does not bar electronic signatures, Carol Zuses, governance coordinator, has indicated her intention to contest any electronic signature without snail mail support. MLA officer candidates are constrained annually by field and membership category. This slate conforms to the requirements for all available officer seats. 

“Candidates: Executive Council: David Palumbo-Liu, Comparative Literature, Stanford; Sharon O'Dair, English/American, Alabama; Maria Maisto, Comparative Literature, New Faculty Majority, Cuyahoga Community College. 2nd Vice President: Lee Skallerup Bessette, Comparative Literature, CollegeReadyWriting, Morehead State. 

“In addition to the officer elections each year, we expect to field candidates for critical MLA committees with fall deadlines: Nominating Committee, Elections Committee and Delegate Assembly Organizing Committee. These petitions are not a critique of current officers or candidates; they simply represent the belief that the majority of faculty in governance should reflect the distribution of appointment types, which is overwhelmingly nontenurable.” 

It is an honor to be asked to serve, and I hope that we can get this petition signed and submitted before the deadline, and then get into the issues of what I stand for and why you should vote for us. Please sign and share widely. Remember, signing the petition doesn't mean you think I *should* be second vice-president, just that you support our inclusion on the ballot.


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Lee Skallerup Bessette

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