Northeast Modern Language Association Undergraduate Research Forum

A student presents at the 2019 NEMLA conference.

You are invited to submit a research proposal for the Northeast Modern Language Association's (NeMLA) 3rd Undergraduate Research Forum at its 52nd Convention in Philadelphia.

Project description

The Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) is a non-profit organization of teachers and scholars of literature, language, and culture and the largest regional affiliate of the Modern Language Association (MLA). This year, NeMLA will host its 3rd Undergraduate Research Forum at its 52nd Convention and undergraduate students like you are invited to submit a research proposal. The Convention is planned to take place March 11-14, 2021 at the Marriott Downtown Philadelphia. The format (virtual or in-person) will be decided as the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop.

This year's conference theme is, "Tradition and Innovation: Changing Worlds Through the Humanities." In the Renaissance, the term “humanities” meant anything that pertains to the secular, human world as opposed to the divine and the religious. In today’s colleges, the Humanities now refers to disciplines such as languages, literatures, cultural and identity studies, arts, and music. In your proposal, we encourage you to explore how evolving traditions in the Humanities have helped us understand our changing worlds, past and present, real and imaginary. We welcome submissions from Humanities and non-Humanities disciplines.

This year, we are asking you to submit your proposal for a 5-minute poster presentation to a specific panel. You may upload a maximum of 2 proposals to 2 different sessions of your choice (the proposals can be for the same project, or for different ones). Only one of these will be accepted. Please submit a 300-word abstract, a bibliography , and 100-word bio by Nov. 1, 2020 through the NeMLA website. Visit to create a member log in and submit your abstract.

  • Session 1: The Humanities and Other Disciplines How can language/literature intersect with STEMM and/or the social sciences? How does this interdisciplinarity help us to better explain history, understand the present, and/or realize our future potential?
  • Session 2: Humanities in the World How do the Humanities help us to interpret the world? How can the Humanities effect or create social, cultural, and political movements and changes? We encourage proposals on both past and present events.
  • Session 3: Humanities through the Humanities What makes a discipline part of the “Humanities?” How do these different disciplines intersect? How do different disciplines within the Humanities help us to answer the same questions and understand the world using different approaches?
  • Session 4: Humanities and Language What is the relationship between language and society? How does language construct thought? How does language shape the decisions we make and the actions we take?

For complete guidelines, please visit:

Project outcome

Students participating in this project will learn how to present at a scholarly conference. Students will learn how to create a poster presentation and present a 3- to 5-minute oral presentation on their research. By attending the conference, students will have the opportunity to connect and network with faculty and graduate students in their field, and can attend sessions related to their research. Students can also attend workshops on how to prepare a strong application for graduate school, and learn how to navigate the job market once they've completed their studies.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Less than a semester (0-2 months)
Start time Abstract proposals are due Nov. 1, 2020. Students will present their work March 11-14, 2021.
Level of collaboration Students can present individually or as part of a small group
Benefits Present at national conference
Who is eligible Confirm your eligibility with the faculty mentor
Fulbright Scholarship

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Fulbright Scholarship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Core partners

  • Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)

Project mentor

Jennifer Mdurvwa

Graduate Enrollment Coordinator

732 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-1340


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Students are required to submit a 300-word abstract proposal, bibliography and 100-word bio by Nov. 1 in order to be considered for this project.
  • It is strongly recommended that students meet with Jennifer Mdurvwa, a faculty mentor or a subject librarian prior to submission, but this is optional and not required.
  • If accepted to present, students should review both NeMLA's guidelines on poster presentations and ELN's poster tips and resources