The recent Modern Language Association (MLA) held a session called, “Vulnerable Expression and the Arab Uprisings” to take a closer look at the post-Arab Spring world.
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It is one thing to think Marx was a brilliant economist, despite more than a century’s worth of evidence to the contrary. It is quite another to think he was a talented poet.
If the Modern Language Association (MLA) had done to Moby Dick what they did to Herman Melville, Captain Ahab might have kept his leg.
Every now and then you go to an academic conference and actually run across people who take close reading literally.
It’s hard to say what is more astounding in academe: the projects academics get emotionally attached to or the odd disconnect their finished products have with reality.
One of the ironies of the academic tendency to constantly renovate old disciplines is that yesterday’s modernists become today’s “Whatever became of?” question.
In one of the better attended panel discussions, the MLA’s panel on academic boycott of Israeli universities was contentious and one-sided.
David Yaffe of Syracuse University headlined a sparsely-attended (eight people) panel discussion on “The Seventies in Black and White: A Soundtrack.“ Yaffe said that he and singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell “smoked a joint together” when he was interviewing her.
He felt that he was “the Rip Van Winkle of the sustainability group” at the MLA and mentioned that twenty years ago, this was an issue at the MLA’s annual convention.