Monday, December 27, 2004

Outrageous would-be celebrities at the MLA

The Modern Language Association holds its annual meeting this week in Philadelphia and, as usual, participants attempt to outdo one another in seeking to grab media attention in self-consciously outrageous presentations. As John Strausbaugh says in the NYT, "What any of it has to do with teaching literature to America's college students remains as vexing a question to some today as it was a decade ago. There is, in fact, something achingly 90's about the whole affair. The association has come to resemble a hyperactive child who, having interrupted the grownups' conversation by dancing on the coffee table, can't be made to stop."

Here's a link to the article and the intro paragraphs:
Eggheads' Naughty Word Games
Published: December 27, 2004

Every year more than 10,000 literature scholars gather at the end of December for the convention of the Modern Language Association, the 120th of which begins today in Philadelphia.

The convention has become a holiday ritual for journalists, as routine as articles on the banning of Christmas crèches in public places, and every year a goodly number of those scholars tempt journalists to write articles, like this one, noting some of the wackier-sounding papers presented.

A note on the graphic: I don't know what Kandinsky has to do with MLA, probably nothing, but the MLA home page is very boring and this image is located on a site that links to it.

acknowlegement: Arts & Letters Daily

No comments: