The third edition of the MLA's widely used Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures features sixteen completely new essays by leading scholars. Designed to highlight relations among languages and forms of discourse, the volume is organized into three sections. Understanding Language provides a broad overview of the field of linguistics, with special attention to language acquisition and the social life of languages. Forming Texts offers tools for understanding how speakers and writers shape language; it examines scholarship in the distinct but interrelated fields of rhetoric, composition, and poetics. Reading Literature and Culture continues the work of the first two sections by introducing major areas of critical study. The nine essays in this section cover textual and historical scholarship; interpretation; comparative, cultural, and translation studies; and the interdisciplinary topics of gender, sexuality, race, and migrations (among others). As in previous volumes, an epilogue examines the role of the scholar in contemporary society.
Each essay discusses the significance, underlying assumptions, and limits of an important field of inquiry; traces the historical development of its subject; introduces key terms; outlines modes of research now being pursued; postulates future developments; and provides a list of suggestions for further reading. This book will interest any member of the scholarly community seeking a review of recent scholarship, while it provides an indispensable resource for undergraduate and graduate students of modern languages and literatures.