Jill’s questions

how mean is it to schedule a conference starting 12/26? What is the MLA?

Re the first, well, semesters start and end at such different times, that the days between Christmas and New Year’s are the only ones where they know for sure that nobody in academia has to work.

As for what it is, egad I am so sunk in this world it really didn’t occur to me that someone might not know about the MLA. I have GOT to get some friends of my own, ack.

The MLA is the Modern Language Association, and it is the organizing body for all language and literature departments in the U.S. and possibly Canada. All of them. This includes the feminist theory and postcolonial discourse deconstruction yadda yaddy that I’d thought of as history or philosophy or some sort of social sciences, but it’s basically about analyzing what people wrote about it all – and therefore, literature. I think. Anyway, the MLA is enormous, and the annual conference is a giant meat market and networking opportunity. It’s five days of job interviews, book promotions, panel discussions and schmoozing. It’s huge, and for a lot of academics, it’s the one chance a year they get to hang out with Their People and talk shop. DrBob always has a lot of fun with it, though since we moved to Germany it has um, affected a Christmas or two. Like the year we decided to celebrate Christmas after he was back, and he bought all our gifts at the airport duty free shop.

He won’t go this year, mostly because we no longer want him to find a job in the States. Too far to move, too hard on the kids, and we’ve kind of gotten used to these pinko Europeans and their commie healthcare and stuff.

Song du jour of the day: I Like the Way You Move, by Outkast.


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