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Modern Language Association

The Modern Language Association of America (often abbreviated MLA) is the principal professional association in the United States for scholars of literature and literary criticism. It has tens of thousands of members, mostly professors, graduate students, and other academics, who study literature in English, comparative literature, and many foreign languages.

The name MLA is often used colloquially among academics to refer to the national convention organized by the Modern Language Association, which is held just after Christmas every year. The convention is the largest and most important of the year for scholars of literature; most university literature departments interview candidates for all their open jobs at the convention. In addition to hiring, hundreds of panel discussions and lectures on diverse topics fill the convention's four days from early morning until the evening.

The MLA publishes several academic journals, including PMLA, one of the most prestigious journals in literary studies, and Profession, which discusses pedagogy in language and literature.

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