The Marxist Literary Group, an affiliated organization of the Modern Language Association, was formed in the early 1970s to promote the study of the social, political, and ideological elements and effects of literary texts and other cultural artefacts. The MLG especially wishes to promote scholarly consideration and discussion of the theoretical and practical contribution of Marxism and the Marxist tradition in the humanities and related disciplines. The MLG's major activities include the annual Summer Institute on Culture and Society and the journal Mediations. At each MLA convention we hold one or more paper sessions, a business meeting, and a cash bar (often cited as the most popular cash bar at the MLA, with attendances of up to 500 people). We also sponsor an annual session at the MMLA, with whom we are officially affiliated and occasionally at other regional MLA meetings. You can join the MLG listserv here.
A Brief History of the MLG
The Marxist Literary Group was formed by Jameson and a number of his graduate students, including James Kavanagh, Bill Langen, Gene Holland, June Howard and John Beverley, at the University of California, San Diego in 1969-70. Read more...
The Marxist Literary Group governance document.
This governance document was first adopted by the MLG membership in June 1995, and amended by approval of Paul Smith (Acting President) and Phil Goldstein (Treasurer) in February 2005, as follows:
Amendments were made to section 7 (Financial Matters) and pertain to the organization’s application to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status. Clause 7.2 is intended to meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.
The Constitution was amended by the approval of the MLG membership in June 2007, as follows:
Amendments were made to update the names of officers; to take the prevalence of digital communication into account; and to free the Mediations Editorial Collective from having to seek constitutional changes for routine editorial decisions. Non-substantive changes were also made for clarity and internal consistency.
The Constitution was amended by the approval of the MLG membership in June 2014 to establish the position of Vice President.
1. The Marxist Literary Group shall promote scholarly consideration and discussion of the theoretical and practical contribution of Marxism and the Marxist tradition to studies in the humanities and related disciplines.
2. Governance Statement
1. The MLG is committed to the most stringent principles of participatory democracy. In any collective decision-making context consensus shall be sought. Where consensus is not possible, non-restrictive voting shall express the majority will of the group present. Qualified voters in any decision-making context shall be defined as those present, except in the case of elections for office (see 3.1.2, below). Any and all consensual or voted decisions shall be open to further discussion and voting; that is, decisions made and policies decided in one context may be called to discussion and/or vote in another context and no decision shall be considered imperturbable. 2. In matters requiring executive action, the President shall be required to consult as widely as practicably possible with the membership before making any decision. The President's decisions may be called to discussion and/or vote by members. 3. The President shall be encouraged to form ad hoc advisory groups of at least six members in deciding any and all executive matters.
1. Full membership of the MLG requires payment of dues in each calendar year. Current dues are $20 per annum for full-time faculty, $10 per annum for all others. 2. The standing and the voting rights of members shall be dependent only upon participation in a given forum. Non-members participating in a given forum have equal standing and voting rights as members. This provision excludes elections for MLG offices. 3. A current list of paid-up members shall be held by the Secretary. This list shall be for internal use only and may not be divulged to any member, participant or outside party, other than duly appointed MLG officers.
1. Officers shall be deemed facilitators of the will of the MLG membership and its forums, and shall not be directly empowered to be policy makers or decision makers. 2. The Vice President shall carry out the duties of the President when circumstances prevent the President from performing them. 3. The President shall encourage and ensure the execution of all MLG's regular activities including but not limited to MLA and regional MLA sessions and activities, and the organization of the Institute on Culture and Society each year. The President shall act as facilitator of all business meetings or shall delegate a member to act as facilitator. The President shall ensure the maximum possible dissemination of information concerning MLG activities. 4. The Treasurer shall oversee the financial status of the MLG and monitor solvency, disburse funds where appropriate, and encourage donations and other income generation. 5. The Secretary shall be responsible for overseeing MLG communications with the MLA. The Secretary shall establish proper procedure for calling and holding elections as and when required and shall ensure proper conduct of such elections. 6. The Mediations Editorial Collective shall consist of 5 or more members and is open to all volunteers, subject to consensus amongst existing members of the collective. Editorial matters shall be decided by the Mediations Editorial Collective. 7. The editorial collective of Mediations shall be deemed a properly constituted advisory committee for the President in matters requiring executive action. 8. There are no pre-established terms for officers or for membership of the Mediations editorial collective. However, elections for offices may be called at any time. 9. Under no circumstances may any MLG officer be remunerated from MLG funds. Administrative expenses incurred by officers are not normally reimbursable.
5. Current Officers (as of January 2015): President: Nicholas Brown. Vice President: Kevin Floyd. Secretary: Modhumita Roy. Co-Treasurers: Courtney Maloney.
6. Appointments to Offices
1. There are no regularly scheduled elections, but an election may be called at any time by any group of at least six (6) dues-paying members by signed petition to the MLG Secretary. 2. The establishment of proper procedure for calling and holding elections shall be the responsibility of the Secretary.
2. Elections for officers shall be held among currently paid-up members only.
7. Financial Matters
1. Income is predominantly from members' dues, ICS registration, and donations. Any balance is held in an interest-bearing, non-checking account at a bank named by the current Treasurer. 2. a. The MLG is organized exclusively for educational purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. b. No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, of be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof (section 1). No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for political office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on a) by an organization exempt from federal tax under section 501 c (3) of the Internal revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or b) by any an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the IR code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. c. In the event of the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of the section 501(c)(3) of the IR Code or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes
President: Kevin Floyd
Vice President: Beverley Best
Secretary: Modhumita Roy
Treasurer: Courtney Maloney