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Northeast Modern Language Association

Graduate Student Caucus

With the generous support of NeMLA, the Graduate Student Caucus is able to provide the below privileges for graduate students. Please visit our website for further information about events and opportunities.

Annual Convention Events

The Graduate Student Caucus organizes the following events and activities at NeMLA’s annual convention.

Details about these events, including specific descriptions and scheduling information, are published on the convention pages as they become available.

Travel Awards (Deadline December 1)

The Graduate Student Caucus provides a number of travel awards to graduate students. The awards are open to any graduate student who has been accepted to present at the upcoming NeMLA convention. 

Evaluation is based on the quality of the student’s abstract and the relevance of the topic to the student's respective field. Applications are subject to double-blind review.

Applications must be sent to between October 15 and December 1 with the following information in the body of the email:

  1. The applicant’s name and email address
  2. The title of the accepted abstract
  3. The accepted abstract
  4. A statement, which must be 250 words or less and must describe the relevance of the presentation to the graduate student’s field of study. If the presentation is part of a larger project, the statement must explain the larger project’s intervention into the field.

Students can expect to hear from the Graduate Caucus by mid-January.

Graduate Student Caucus Essay Award (Deadline January 15)

NeMLA awards an annual prize to the best graduate student paper presented at any of the Convention’s sections. The Essay Award is open to any participant who was a graduate student when they presented at the previous convention. 

A cash prize of $100 will be awarded at the current convention, and the prize-winning essay will automatically be considered for publication by Modern Language Studies. All essays are then subject to MLS’s double-blind review.

Applications must be sent to with two PDF attachments:

1. Cover sheet with applicant’s name, address, and academic affiliation

2. Revised essay with no identifying information included, which meets the submission criteria below.

Criteria for all Caucus Essay Awards

Submitted essays should be between 7,000 and 9,000 words (MLS has a 10,000-word limit, notes and works cited included) and prepared anonymously. Unrevised paper presentations are not accepted and will be returned. The author’s name, address, and academic affiliation should appear only on a separate cover sheet; DO NOT include author’s name anywhere on the paper itself. Submissions should use MLA citation style. Submissions not meeting these criteria will be returned.

A list of prior winners is available here.

Office Descriptions

Officers include the following:


The President oversees the caucus and is elected triennially. The President serves on the NeMLA board, and as such is the liaison between the graduate student constituency and NeMLA. The President attends both fall and spring board meetings (the fall board meeting is a virtual meeting using conferencing software). Other responsibilities include chairing the Travel Award and Essay Award committee, organizing the Meet and Greet and chairing the business meeting at the NeMLA convention, and assisting other committee members in GSC operations. The President might also propose and chair a GSC session at the yearly convention.

Vice President

This is a two-year position. The Vice President assists the President with caucus affairs. The Vice President is responsible for administrating the Travel Awards and Essay Award, holding GSC elections, and conducting the GSC post-convention survey. The Vice President will also propose and chair a GSC session at the yearly convention.

Communications Director

This is a two-year position. The Communications Director updates the GSC website, oversees the Room/Ride Share message board, and posts weekly to Facebook and Twitter. It is important for the Communications Director to advertise GSC Awards and other NeMLA updates, as well as share professionalization information. The Communications Director also compiles a list of “Grad-Friendly Food” near the convention and assists in Travel Award evaluations and Essay Award evaluations. The Communications Director might also propose and chair a GSC session at the yearly convention.

Future Nominations

The Graduate Student Caucus seeks nominations (self-nominations are encouraged) for committee positions. Please email nominations to the Vice President. 

In your email, indicate whether the nomination is for Communications Director, Vice President or President in the subject line. Emailed nominations should include the nominee’s name, email address, and institutional affiliation, as well as a brief narrative that outlines: the nominee’s experience and involvement with NeMLA, other relevant experience, current graduate status and degree pursued, and details on what the nominee would contribute to the position and the GSC committee. Please note: nominees must be current graduate students.

The election will be held via an online survey shortly after the deadline, and graduate students will be sent a link with which to vote. All graduate student members of NeMLA will be eligible to vote. 

Nominations for the two-year Graduate Student Caucus committee positions of Vice President and Communications Director are due March 1, 2019

Nominations for the three-year Graduate Student Caucus committee position of President are due March 1, 2020

For more information about elections, please email the Vice President.

Current Officers

President and Graduate Caucus Board Representative

Nicole Lowman, University at Buffalo

Vice President and Chair of the Graduate Caucus Roundtable

James Van Wyck, Fordham University

Communications Director

elections forthcoming