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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

MLA welcomes you, sort of

Posted By on 01.08.14 at 04:13 PM


The Modern Language Association, trade group for about 30,000 university professors, is holding its annual meeting here, beginning tomorrow. As noted by many others, this mass event, sprawling over three hotels, is a mash-up of mostly esoteric bull sessions, cattle-call job interviews, and bacchanal.

Already on the hot seat for including among its hundreds of sessions one on "Academic Boycotts: A Conversation about Israel and Palestine," with a panel apparently devoid of anyone who might argue against such a boycott, the MLA is limiting press coverage. I am among the excluded.

I was informed, however, that there are 40 sessions open to the public, which I am welcome to attend. And so are you.

They include one on "Red Chicago," a couple on "Chicago's Spanish-Language Literature," and an interview with John Sayles along with a screening of his film, Eight Men Out. Also: "When Chicago was in Vogue: A 'Second Awakening' in African-American Art and Culture," and "One Hundred Years of Bollywood." Check out the list of public offerings here.

And, in case you want to see what you're missing, here's the full program.

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