Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What I've learned at MLA

1. There's such a thing as "Affect Studies." I don't know what it is or how I feel about it; in fact, I'm trying to maintain a profound lack of affect in reference to this emerging field.

2. There's such a thing as a "Fatsion blog," on which fat women post photos of themselves in their daily outfits and write comments on how their clothes make them feel. Moreover, it is possible to get a Ph.D. by studying Fatsion blogs.

3. I don't intend to post any photos of myself in today's outfit, but the purple scarf is certainly attracting attention. Hurrah for brilliant color!

4. No one will notice your brilliant ideas if you speak softly, lean away from the mike, and employ a sing-song rhythm that lulls listeners into snoozeland.

5. It is important to study foreign languages. Who knew?

6. "Virtual research communities" promise to prevent the proliferation of "unrelated silos of data." Are data silos more like grain silos or missile silos?

7. "Backlash" can now be used as a verb. How long has this been going on and why didn't anyone inform me?

8. It is possible to present a paper at MLA decrying "the soullessness of critical discourse" and the academy's "bias against human inwardness." Moreover, even if you give that paper at 8:30 a.m. on the final day of the conference and hide it in a panel titled "Poetry and Prayer," it will provoke interesting conversation among an ample number of attendees.

9. No matter how many times I give conference papers, I still get nervous. An hour from now I'll be doing my song and dance, and I just hope someone cares to come and listen. I promise not to sing anyone to sleep.


Anonymous said...

Hope it's going well, Bev! I'm sure it is! :) Betsy

Annie Em said...

How did it go Bev? No doubt the purple scarf made everyone so HAPPY for the flash of color that they simply loved everything you said!

And that 8:30am panel ( "the soullessness of critical discourse" ) sounds fascinating: alas, I was up waaaaay too late last night to consider anything requiring brain function that early.

carol said...

Which foreign languages? Could this mean a resurgence of Comparative Literature?

Bardiac said...

Hope it went well for you!