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MLA Preview 2013

It’s that time of year again. Accuracy in Academia is off to cover the Modern Language Association [1]’s annual convention. This is the largest gathering of English professors on the planet.

Thousands of professors will flock to Boston to hear about the very latest cutting edge courses. Among the presentations we are looking forward to are these:

By the way, that’s only in one of the first panels.  It’s competing with many others including one that features a presentation on the “New Materialism at the Bottom of the Sea.” (Apparently Finding Nemo  and The Little Mermaid only scratched the surface.)  In turn, both of those panels may lose audience interest to one on Early American Sex that includes sections on:

To be fair, as you might expect Chaucer and Shakespeare are not in terribly short supply at the MLA, albeit frequently with a modern twist, e.g.,  “Dirty Chaucer,” and “Shakespeare and Selfhood: New Keywords.”  Nonetheless, literature enthusiasts might be perplexed by the inclusion of panels such as the one on Fantasizing Stardom with speeches on “The Emotional Life of Stardom: On- and Offscreen Intimacies,” and “The Stars Down Below.”

And that’s just the first hour of the first day. The conference stretches on for three more days so we’ll be in Beantown for a fortnight.  During that time, more than a thousand professors, adjuncts and graduate students will give addresses at 786 panels. We will catch as many as we can.

Choosing which ones to attend is a tricky undertaking with choices such as:

As well, there is the entire panel on Serial Television Across Boundaries:

And that’s just the first day.


Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia [2].

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org [3].