The Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities addresses the general conditions of MLA members’ professional lives as teachers and scholars, whether in universities, colleges, or schools, or as independent scholars. The committee is concerned with the rights and responsibilities of scholars and teachers in all MLA fields, specifically the right of academic freedom and the responsibility of ethical conduct toward colleagues, students, and institutions. This includes the right and responsibility to understand and participate in institutional governance, planning, budgeting, and resource oversight. The committee monitors activities connected with the recruitment and promotion of faculty members, especially the Job Information Center at the association’s annual convention, and receives comments and recommends actions to ensure fairness. In addition, the committee considers the relations among research, teaching, and professional advancement. Specific professional concerns include transparency in the funding of research and teaching, the use and abuse of adjunct instructors, and the recruitment of minorities into the profession. The committee will develop strategies for dealing with bigotry and prejudice on campus and with inappropriate invocations of academic freedom whose effect is restrictive. These concerns engage questions of philosophy, methodology, and politics in the teaching of all fields encompassed by the MLA. The committee is charged with initiating relevant projects and publications but is not empowered to hear individual grievances.

To view a list of the committee’s members, please visit the MLA Web site.

Staff liaisons: David Laurence and Dennis Looney (

Click here to view the committee notebook.

This is a private group. To join you must be a registered site member and request group membership.