The College Language Association has a number of standing committees aimed at advancing the mission of the Association. Each committee has distinct responsibilities, outlined in the Bylaws, to conceive and monitor Association interests within their jurisdiction in consultation with the Executive Committee. All standing committees shall make annual written reports for approval at the official business meeting of the Association during the convention. The online committee pages (or "Circles") are members-only features accessible by selecting the committee name from the list provided below. 


Dr. Shanna Benjamin
Grinnell College
[email protected]

The Committee on Archives shall preserve and promote the records of the Association and solicit pertinent materials and artifacts from members for deposit in the repository that reflect their contribution to the Association.


Dr. Warren J. Carson
University of South Carolina, Upstate
[email protected]

The Committee on Awards shall select the Scholarship Award recipients from among scholarly and creative works in languages, literatures, and cultural studies by the members of the Association. The committee also shall select the Service Award recipients who have demonstrated outstanding commitments to the Association and to the academic community.

Black Studies

Dr. Thabiti Lewis
Washington State University, Vancouver
[email protected]

The Committee on Black Studies shall promote research and scholarly publication among members of the Association as well as among interested students, emphasizing both African and African American Studies and embracing trends and projects in related areas.

JSU_Helen Crump_smallCLA & Historically Black Colleges

Dr. helen j. crump
Jackson State University
[email protected]

The Committee on CLA and Historically Black Colleges shall seek ways of improving communications and strengthening relationships among CLA members at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and further conduct joint projects and insure the exposure of students and faculty to the Association, its ideals, and its offerings.

CLA & Historically White Colleges

Dr. Xavia Burton
University of Southern Indiana
[email protected]

The Committee on CLA and Historically White Colleges shall promote the Association as an academic resource to black and white faculty, promote the Association to graduate students in disciplines of languages, literatures, and cultural studies, promote the teaching of literatures of the African diaspora, increase the representation of black faculty in language and literature departments, and promote the status of African American literature as part of the literary canon at historically white colleges.


Dr. Dana A. Williams
Howard University
[email protected]

The Committee on the Constitution shall receive from members and present to the Association all proposed amendments to the Constitution. The committee shall review annually the Association's Constitution and Bylaws to ensure that the procedures of the Association are consistent with practice.

Creative Writing

Dr. Alana King
Austin Community College
[email protected]

The Committee on Creative Writing shall encourage and promote creative writing among members of the Association and among students in the institutions in which members are employed. The Committee shall make a recommendation to the Awards Committee on recipients of the Margaret Walker Prizes in Creative Writing.

Curriculum: English

Dr. Aaron Oforlea
Washington State University
[email protected]

The Committee on Curriculum: English shall sponsor studies of college curricula in languages and literature, offer constructive criticism of existing curricula, strive to enhance the work of teachers-in-training and teachers-in-service, and call to the attention of the Association noteworthy curricula experiences in the field of English.

Curriculum: World Languages

Dr. Liana Babayan
Augusta University
[email protected]

The Committee on Curriculum: World Languages shall sponsor studies of college curricula in languages and literature, offer constructive criticism of existing curricula, strive to enhance the work of teachers-in-training and teachers-in-service, and call the attention of the Association to noteworthy curricula experiences in the fields of language and literature.

International Outreach and Exchange

Dr. Clément A. Akassi
Howard University
[email protected]

The Committee on International Outreach and Exchange shall promote linguistic diversity; translate the convention’s annual call for papers into additional world languages; make available a team of translators for events; foster greater participation/attendance of international students, academics, writers/artists, and scholars to the annual convention; create a space of multilingual dialogue and exchange between Association members (individuals and institutions); and promote and/or enhance the transnational, multicultural, and interdisciplinary scholarship between national and international members.


Dr. McKinley E. Melton
Gettysburg College
[email protected]

The Committee on Membership shall extend the membership of the Association by soliciting all eligible persons at least two times a year prior to the convention and work to retain members by engaging and supporting them.


Dr. Elizabeth J. West
Georgia State University
[email protected]

The Committee on Nominations shall solicit nominations for a slate of officers every two years to be recommended for election by the Association and prepare biographical statements on the nominees to be included on the CLA website at least one month prior to the annual meeting. Members of the Association may nominate other names from the floor at the annual business meeting of the Association.


Dr. Carlyn Ferrari
Seattle University
[email protected]

The Committee on Research shall compile an annual annotated list of scholarly publications and creative projects of members for publication in the CLA Journal. The Committee shall also maintain a space for promoting members' books on the Association website, envision and promote opportunities for collaborative research, and establish more collaborative relationships with relevant organizations related to the study of languages, literature, and culture.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student

Mx. Anthony Boynton II
University of Kansas
[email protected]

The Committee on Undergraduate and Graduate Students shall recruit and retain undergraduate and graduate students to the Association, foster mentorship spaces and relationships for students with junior and senior faculty across specializations and geographies, create workshops on effective mentoring, lead professional development workshops, serve as a point of contact for undergraduate and graduate students with the Association, and discern the needs of and help facilitate access to resources for undergraduate and graduate students as they relate to the Association or the fields of literature, languages, and cultural studies.