Trapped by Modern Language

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Every year we hit the road to find out what English Departments are up to at the Modern Language Association (MLA) convention and always come back depressed.

MLA black lives matter

A look at some of the panels we have to look forward to at the next MLA meeting may give you some idea of why their annual confabs induce such profound melancholy in us:

  • Sublime Bodies, circa 1730-1830;
  • Touching Disability: Crip Theory in the Archive;
  • Teaching Animal Studies;
  • Queer Theory’s Bad Objects;
  • Speed Mentoring;
  • The Pornographic and the Literary (this might be a good alternative title for the conference);
  • Queer Proximities (Are you detecting a favorite MLA theme?);
  • The Language of Sexual Violence and the Rhetoric of Consent;
  • Using Your Language Proficiency and Cultural Expertise in a Federal Government Career;
  • Bootstrapping Broads: On the Work of Writing Labor;
  • Disability, Contingency, Neoliberalism;
  • Bitching Writing: The New and Old Politics of Gender in Rhetoric and Composition;
  • New Animals: Critical Theory after Posthumanism;
  • Alternative Mobilities;
  • Deconstructing Civility;
  • Trans Poetics and Feminism;
  • Informatics of Selfhood;
  • Vaqueer@s;
  • Rhetorics of Disability: Disclosure in Life Writing;
  • Derrida’s Universities:
  • Rethinking Sexuality at the Fin de Siecle;
  • Comparative State Racisms;
  • Race, Ethnicity and United States Poetry; and
  • “Queers Read This?”: LGBT Literature Now.

And that only takes us halfway through the conference.