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College Language Association Collection
25 linear feet
The College Language Association (CLA) is one of the largest, long-standing African American academic organizations in the U.S. Focusing on the disciplines of English, literature and foreign languages, the CLA offers an outlet for scholarly discourse, publication and planning for its fields of study. CLA is the successor to the Association of English Teachers in Negro Colleges that was founded at a meeting of eight college English teachers who met at LeMoyne College, Memphis, Tennessee in 1937. The Association was an idea that evolved from correspondence between professors Hugh M. Gloster of LeMoyne College and Gladstone Lewis Chandler of Morehouse College. In 1941 the Association broadened its scope to include the teaching of literature and foreign languages, changing its name to the Association of Teachers of Languages in Negro Colleges. In 1949 the name was changed to the College Language Association. As stated in its constitution, the CLA's objective is to improve the study and teaching of language skills, cultivate the appreciation of language and literature, share work of interest to the group and encourage scholarly research in the teaching of Black literature and culture as necessary aspects of higher education.
The CLA holds an annual convention and encourages research and writing through literary contests and awards. In 1957 the CLA Journal was launched to "provide another medium of scholarly expression" for its members and others of similar scholarly interests. Articles include literary history, criticism, bibliographies, book reviews, studies in the humanities, and the teaching of language and literature. CLA member, Carolyn Fowler, authored The College Language Association: A Social History chronicling the history of CLA up to 1979.
The College Language Association Collection consists of the administrative files of the organization and its officers. Included are correspondence, minutes, programs, financial papers, speeches, photographs, newsletters, and committee reports. Among the association leadership whose files are in the collection are Hugh M. Gloster, Lucy Grigsby, Dolan Hubbard, Richard Long, John F. Matheus, Therman O'Daniel, Eleanor Tignor and Darwin T. Turner.
More information about the current activity of the College Language Association