SCMLA Governance


The South Central Modern Language Association officially includes the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi, but our members now range far and wide, both in the United States and abroad.  Our mission is to enhance our members’ involvement in scholarship, teaching, and research in the modern languages and literatures.  We accomplish this through an annual conference held in one of our region’s popular cities; awards supporting travel, research, and conference papers; two annual newsletters containing calls for papers, grant announcements, member news, etc.; and the three times a year journal, South Central Review.  We welcome new and established scholars to join us in promoting emerging and traditional approaches to language and literary study. 



SCMLA 2017 Executive Committee


Paul Larson, President

Baylor University


Sylvia Morin, Vice President

University of Tennessee-Martin


Jeanne Gillespie, Past President

University of Southern Mississippi


José Juan Colín, Executive Director

University of Oklahoma


Richard J. Golsan, Editor (2013-2017)

South Central Review

Texas A&M University - College Station


Lynn Alexander, English (2015-2017)

University of Tennessee-Martin


Lowry Martin, French (2017-2019)

University of Texas – El Paso


Christoph Weber, German (2016-2018)

University of North Texas


Michael Ward, Russian and Less-Commonly-Taught Languages (2015-2017)

Trinity University - San Antonio


Jeffrey Oxford, Spanish (2015-2017)

Midwestern State University


Mallory Young, At-Large (2016-2018)

Tarleton State University


Sara Day, At Large (2017-2019)

Truman University


John G. Morris, American Literature (2017-2019)

Cameron University


SCMLA Committee Assignments For 2017


Book Prize Committee:   Paul Larson (chair)

Finance Committee:   José Juan Colín (chair), 

Grants Committee:   Sylvia Morin (chair) José Juan Colín (ex officio)

Awards Committee:   Sylvia Morin (chair), José Juan Colín (ex officio)

Nominating Committee: Jeanne Gillespie (chair),

Program Committee:   (chair)


2018 Executive Committee Candidate Statements



Lynn Alexander, University of Tennessee - Martin 


Lynn Alexander is Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts and Professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Martin.  A member of SCMLA since 1984, she is currently an English representative on the Executive Committee.  Lynn is the author of Women, Work, and Representation:  Needlewomen in Victorian Literature and Art (Ohio UP, 2003) and the editor of The Slaughter-House of Mammon (Locust Hill Press, 1992) and the Broadview edition of John Halifax, Gentleman (2005).  


In a time when organizations such as the NEH, NEA, PBS, and public libraries are threatened, it is important that organizations such as SCMLA keep its membership alert to and involved in activities that increase public awareness of the vital role that literature and language studies play in everyone’s life. We do this, in part, by demonstrating the relevance of study both now and in the past. Studying languages and literature increases our understanding of others and of our humanity. 


Scott L. Baugh, Texas Tech University


Scott L. Baugh is Associate Professor of English at Texas Tech University. His publications include Born of Resistance: Cara a Cara Encounters with Chicana/o Visual Culture (U of Arizona P, 2015; ed. with Víctor A. Sorell) and Latino American Cinema (Greenwood, 2012). Over the last twelve years, he has been elected to executive boards for the American Cultural Association and PCA/ACA, helped organize regular and special sessions for SCMLA, and participated in professional development activities at MLA, SCMLA, and other professional meetings.


I am honored to be nominated for vice president. Since my first SCMLA conference, as an MA student in 1997, I have enjoyed many collegial exchanges that have come with membership and look forward to more. I will aim to support a diverse conference program and the range of membership benefits for studying and teaching literature and languages. I’m especially impressed with SCMLA’s efforts toward early-career mentorship and attention to recent trends in job markets and ‘alternative-academic’ options, and I hope to continue to support these initiatives.



English Representative:

Thomas W. Reynolds, Jr., Northwestern State University of Louisiana


Thomas Reynolds is Associate Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, where he teaches courses in rhetoric and writing studies. He is also the president-elect of the NSU Faculty Senate. Thomas’s research focuses primarily on the multiple intersections between writing, writers, teaching, and technology, recently in relation to disability. A generalist at heart and by training, he often finds himself distracted by a desire to work on whatever he is teaching and reading, from Ben Franklin to August Wilson and Ernest Gaines and from Plato through Derrida or Coleridge to the latest meme. He has been a member of SCMLA since 2009.

As a faculty member at a regional university during this time of divestment in higher education, I believe that organizations like SCMLA are of increased importance both as a forum for sharing our work and as a support system for language and literature professionals in these challenging times. Now is the time to communicate clearly the value of the work we do with one another and the public, to show what we already know—language, literature, and the humanities are central to what makes us human. Even more importantly, now is the time to stand up for and with each other not only to defend our work and our workplaces but also to establish a community with a communal voice (if not always a unified one) for political and social activism in response to our current contexts locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. 



Jessica Murphy, University of Texas at Dallas

Jessica C. Murphy is Associate Professor of Literary Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas. Her research focuses on early modern English literature and culture, and gender studies. Murphy’s publications include a book, Virtuous Necessity: Conduct Literature and the Making of the Virtuous Woman in Early Modern England, published by the University of Michigan Press in 2015; journal articles; solo-authored and co-written book chapters; and a co-edited collection.


Each annual meeting of the SCMLA is a place of vibrant conversations and compelling connections within and across disciplines. As an organization, SCMLA also offers many opportunities to mentor and work with graduate students. We have tried to create a microcosm of the SCMLA as a whole in the English Renaissance Literature panels over the last five or so years, mixing panels so that faculty and graduate students have an opportunity to hear about each other’s work. I would like to be considered for English Representative so that I might have an opportunity to support the SCMLA’s spirit of mentorship at the Executive Committee level.



Russian and Less-Commonly-Taught-Languages Representative:

Irina I. Strout, Northeastern State University


Irina I. Strout received a B.A. degree in Languages and Linguistics from the Moscow State Linguistic University in 1999 in Moscow, Russia. Prior to her studies at the University of Tulsa and duties as a teaching assistant, she worked with multiple international concerns in the areas of business, aerospace and travel in Moscow, Russia, as an interpreter. Having received M.A. (2003) and Ph.D. in English from The University of Tulsa (2009) with the aid of a Bellwether Fellowship, Irina I. Strout was appointed a teaching Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. Her research and teaching interests include Victorian, Romanticism and 19th century Russian fiction, with sub-emphasis in gender studies. She currently is a Visiting Research Professor of English at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma where she teaches a variety of English courses from developmental writing, first-year composition, technical writing and literature-based composition courses. She has published a few articles on racial, historical, and social representations of gender in literature and is currently working on her book project, “Literary Disease: Writing Illness and Disability in Nineteenth-Century England and Russia,” which examines illness, suffering and disability in nineteenth-century British and Russian literature. Her statement on the importance of SCMLA: “The original writing of students and faculty as well as the scholarly study of literature is the very foundation of our societal civility and intellectual survival and SCMLA contributes to our scholarly engagement on every level”.


Annachiara Mariani, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Annachiara Mariani received her Ph.D in Italian Literature from Rutgers University in 2010 and she currently teaches Italian at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has published a book on Pirandello, and twentieth century "Grotesque" playwrights entitled: “The Fragmentation of the Early Twentieth Century Italian Theatrical Production”. She has also published articles on Romantic Poetry, the correlation between literature and cinema and twenty-first century Italian cinema.


I am honored to be nominated for the position of Russian and Less Commonly Taught Languages representative on the Executive Committee of SCMLA. I have been teaching Italian and Spanish at the University of Tennessee for 9 years and I have been active in SCMLA, participating in several conferences. I have also served as Chair and Secretary for the Italian section for SCMLA in 2014-2016, organized several panels, chaired sections and helped create a network of Italian scholars. If elected to this office, I would be the first representative from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where we have a growing and vibrant Italian, Russian, Portuguese program. I will actively recruit colleagues to participate in the annual SCMLA conferences. I have experience in this type of effort, having served as an officer in SCMLA and AATI for several years. I have also organized Italian and mixed panels dedicated to pedagogy and second language acquisition. I am excited for the opportunity to serve at the Executive Committee of SCMLA.



Spanish Representative:


Susana Perea-Fox, Oklahoma State University


Susana Perea-Fox is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at Oklahoma State University. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Spanish at Oklahoma State University,  and her Master’s of Arts and Doctoral degree at the University of Oklahoma in Latin American Literature and Cultural Anthropology.  She has published two books entitled Elena Garro y los rostros del poder (2007), and Historias, mitos y leyendas de la Laguna Blanca, Neuquén, Argentina (2011)está en el proceso de publicar una colección de ensayos Descifrando Latinoamérica: género, violencia y testimonio (2017), and is working in another book Las mujeres de Morelos cuentan cuentos, based on histories and legends told by women of the state of Morelos, México. She has published numerous articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries, mainly analyzing the works of women authors and the representation of women by all authors.  She has been active in SCMLA since 2003 and has presented papers, chaired and organized sessions regularly ever since. She affirms that it would be an honor to serve as Spanish representative for this beloved Association. 

Julie Ann Ward, University of Oklahoma

Julie Ann Ward joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma in 2014 as Assistant Professor of 20th- and 21st-Century Latin American Literature. Her research focuses on representations of the real in contemporary Latin America. Dr. Ward’s publications on this topic have appeared in Latin American Theatre ReviewRevista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea, and Paso de Gato, as well as the Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy. Her current book project is a study of Latin American Theatre of the Real.



The purpose of this non-profit Association shall be the advancement of scholarship, teaching, writing, and related professional activities within the modern languages, including their literatures and cultures. The Association serves a regional, national, and international membership from its base in the South Central region, consisting of the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

1. Any individual interested in the purposes of the Association may be admitted to membership by the payment of stipulated annual dues and may be continued as a member in good standing by the payment of such dues.
2. Any institution and/or department may obtain a non-voting membership by payment of the stipulated annual institutional dues.
3. Individual dues and institutional dues shall be determined by the membership and both shall be subject to revision at any annual meeting. All members shall be entitled to receive the publications of the Association.
4. A) Especially deserving members of the Association who have been active supporters of and leaders in the Association may be granted Life memberships requiring no further payment of dues. Such memberships will be recommended by a committee on Life and Honorary Membership, approved by the Executive Committee, and announced at the annual Business Meeting. The number of Life Memberships will not exceed twenty.
B) Scholars and artists and active patrons of languages who are not otherwise members of the Association may be elected to Honorary Membership by the Executive Committee on nomination by a Committee on Life and Honorary Membership. New
honorary members will be announced at the annual Business meeting. The number of Honorary Memberships will not exceed twenty.

1. The Executive Officers of the Association shall be: a President, a Vice-President, a Past President, an Editor of the Review and an Executive Director.
2. Their duties shall be those usually pertaining to their respective offices.
3. The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by ballot prior to the annual convention for a term of one year.
4. The Editor of the Review and the Executive Director shall be elected by the Executive Committee for a term of five years.
5. The institution of the Executive Director shall provide whatever means may be necessary for the proper maintenance of the executive offices. If the individual holding this office severs his or her connection with the sponsoring institution during a
five-year term, the location and personnel of the office shall be promptly reconsidered by the Executive Committee.
6. If an officer of the Association is unable to carry out his or her duties for any reason, the Executive Committee shall have the authority to take appropriate action.

1. The administration of the Association shall be in the hands of the Executive Committee composed of the President, Vice- President, the Past President, the Executive Director, the Editor of the Review, and eight members elected by the Association by ballot prior to the annual meeting.
2. The eight elected members of the Executive Committee provided for in Section 1 of this article shall serve for three years, two or three members to be elected each year.
3. The members of the Executive Committee shall be selected so as to represent as fully as possible the geographic distribution and the cultural groups of the Association.
4. The Executive Committee shall elect five members to constitute a Nominating Committee, who will canvass the membership and nominate persons to fill offices and vacancies on the Executive Committee and on the staff of Consulting Editors. The
Nominating Committee shall make its report to the Executive Committee for its concurrence, being careful always to consider the various cultural groups and geographical distribution in the Association. In nominating candidates for the Presidency it shall see that the same cultural group is not represented two years in succession. Any additional nominations must conform to the above stipulations.
5. The Executive Committee shall administer the affairs of the Association and take action necessary to carry out the purposes and promote the interests of the Association, including publications.
6. The Executive Committee shall submit a report of its activities at each annual meeting, and its policies and actions shall be subject to the direction and approval of the membership of the Association.
7. A majority shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Committee.

The Association shall hold an annual meeting at such place and times as the Executive Committee shall determine.

1. The Executive Director shall be responsible for the coordination of the programs for the annual meeting.
2. The Program of each section shall be arranged by its chair, who shall be elected by the section at the annual meeting. The section chair shall submit a program to the Executive Director at least three months before the annual meeting.
3. Local arrangements for the annual meeting shall be the responsibility of a local committee of the host institution(s), acting in consultation with appropriate officers of the Association.

The Association shall publish a Review three times per year staffed by an Editor, a Business Manager, two Associate Editors, and six Consulting Editors who shall be elected by the Association for a term of three years, staggered so that two new
Consulting Editors are elected each year. The Review shall be a scholarly journal for members of the Association and the profession at large.

Proposed amendments to this constitution shall first be approved by the Executive Committee; they shall then be published in the winter newsletter and be ratified by a majority at the next annual meeting of the Association in order to become effective.

The Association shall be dissolved by a vote of 2/3 of the membership in good standing after the matter has been moved and discussed in two consecutive annual meetings. In the event of such dissolution any remaining assets shall devolve on the
Modern Language Association of America.
Adopted 27 October 1967
Amended 30 October 1969
Amended 27 October 1972
Amended 22 October 1988
Amended 28 October 1993
Amended 30 October 1997
Amended 31 October 2002
Amended 30 October 2009