MLA 2007

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Well, if the presence of my name in my recently arrived program is any indication, I am now official:

Rhetoricizing Technology, Technologizing Rhetoric
Wednesday, December 27, 5:15-6:30, Philadelphia Marriott 411-412
1. The Rhetorical Canons as an Ecology of (New Media) Practice, Collin Gifford Brooke, Syracuse University
2. The Typesetter as the Scapegoat of Industrial Literature, Cary Hollinshead-Strick, University of Pennsylvania
3. Molecular Vision: Analogies of Technology in the Bio-Nano Age, Michelle A. Sidler, Auburn University

I've been referring to this as my first and last talk at MLA--after a couple of unsuccessful attempts in graduate school, I stopped trying to get on the program, and this year, it was kind of a whim. It happened that I was working on the chapter that the talk will come from at the time and, combined with the fact that I had planned on attending MLA anyhow, led me to give it a shot.

One of the things that took me too long to realize, I think, was that it's sure a lot easier to write abstracts for conferences or collections when the abstract is describing work that I've done rather than predicting work that I'll do. Not that I still don't future-tense my work that way sometimes. But MLA is a pretty tough get for comp-rhet folk, and it's probably no coincidence that my abstract was a good one this time around.

I did a light skim of the program tonight, circled a few panels, maybe 10 or 12 out of the 700+. It appears that the magic time (other than the time of my panel, of course) during the conference is the noon panel on Thursday. I have to choose from among a panel on textual materialities with Matt Kirschenbaum, Kari Kraus, and Peter Stallybrass, a panel on the public sphere which includes Michael Bérubé and Amardeep Singh, and another on Wikis. Nice of them to put them all in the same time slot.

Turns out too that the UberBlogger panel (featuring Bérubé, Bitch PhD, Scott Kaufman, John Holbo, and Scott McLemee) is Saturday morning at 8:30 am. Ugh. Although I suppose it's possible that I'll be worn out enough on Friday to turn in early and get up for it. We'll see.

That's all.

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Ever since Collin called my attention to the horrid time the MLA assigned the Meet the Bloggers panel, I've had a number of MoLA-related posts hopping around my head. I waited to release them 'til today because: I've been busily Read More


Now I'm going to have to go. :) It's only 20 minutes away anyway.

Hey, sounds like a great panel. I went to grad school with Michelle, so if I was going to MLA this time around (for the first time in like six years, I have an excuse *not* to go), I'd definitely check out your panel.

I was just thinking, Laura, that when it got closer, I would drop you a note and see if you were going to be there...nicely coincidented!

I totally understand, Chuck! Last year was my first one in several years, and I only went because I was chairing our search committee. It's good good good not to have to go...

I've given two talks at MLA, and surprisingly they were well attended. I say "surprisingly" since I never go to MLA talks (well, once I went in Philly to see my friend on a panel....) and I always assume everyone else is doing the same. And one panel I was one led to a book chapter in a collection the organizer put together. So not a bad deal, even though I don't care much for MLA overall. Especially when you're in a cool city like Philly and you have Monk's Cafe to hang out in.

Will Bitch PhD be hiding behind a curtain? Voice modulation? OMG, will we actually get to see her face??!!

I can't decide whether presenting on Wednesday night will be to my advantage or disadvantage, attendance-wise. The fact, though, that it'll be over before most of the interviewing and the wearing down of folk gives me a little hope, I suppose.

I've never been to Philly, so feel free to add other places to my list...


Well, I can tell you that she's not listed as "Bitch PhD" in the program. Mysterious!

And before you ask, no, I won't be giving my paper from behind a curtain either. :-)

darn, some years we go to Israel in the winter -- this is one of them.

Actually, the MLA doesn't allow veils or voice-modulators, so we decided to request every bit of A/V equipment available. She'll be clearly visible—behind three TVs, countless stacks of DVD players and a gaggle of overhead projectors shining their glory in every conceivable direction.

Seriously though, I didn't saddle us with that early hour. I only hope that the thought of a spectacular blogger brunch with lots of people you didn't even know you wanted to meet will entice you out of some ratty hotel bed on a Saturday morning.

P.S. I haven't gotten my program yet, but am I really presenting my first MLA paper on a Saturday morning?

Fraid so, Scott. I feel even worse for you knowing that it'll be like 5:30 am PST. Ugh. It'll be a struggle, but yours is one of the few panels I'm really looking forward to seeing, so I'm sure I'll make it.

Hey, I'd kick in to a fund to rent a fog machine or to get some dry ice. I must admit that, when I first saw your entry about the panel, I wondered what BPD would do. Given how much of the membership/registration process is now automated, it probably wouldn't have been impossible to register pseudonymously...

Timna, I'm pretty sure that most of us headed to Philly would swap with you, if you'd like... ;-)

I try and give the program a solid skim each year, and I will say that it seems like there's more there this year that I find interesting than in years past. Whether that's because of my interests spreading out or the quality of the conference, though, I couldn't say.

I've been to three MLAs and sessions have always seemed well attended, even sessions on topics like Germanic philology and Old Norse literature. (Well attended here means 15+ people in the audience, and I'm using CCCC, where I've seen a number of sessions with 5-6 people in attendance, for comparision.) Rhet/Comp sessions generally run much higher.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on October 24, 2006 10:42 PM.

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