[Milton-L] West Coast MLAs and rules

Watt, James jwatt at butler.edu
Wed Dec 31 10:38:31 EST 2008


Thanks, Michael Bryson, for your (just slightly acidic) comments.  It IS a sad fact, long noted by me, that even Religion and History types, have more interesting convention sites (and TIMES) than we do.  It probably has more to do with economics than anything else, but it is certainly true that with the exception of New Orleans and San Francisco, I NEVER looked forward to MLA in my career -- and even when I went I had to sacrifice Holiday time with my family to meet and greet with fellow humanists and hear a few good papers that I could just as easily have read at home --and probably to more lasting effect.  So why do we present such a woe begone image?  I suspect we have a secret desire to confirm our students' general opinion of our work --not the books and poems we teach, but our work: meticulous, precise, exhaustive and never very interesting.  I think they must have air conditioning and water heating conventions somewhere, too.  Where crucial information is swapped.  But hardly as dull as MLA.  Do I think your observation on rules is related to our choice of convention dates and places?  Oh yes.  Can't manage to be serious when people won't follow proper footnote procedures.

Happy New Year!

Jim Watt

P.S. Philadelphia is a lovely city in my experience; I'm especially fond of the Museum Mile (not to mention the Eagles and the Phillies), but I agree with you that December doesn't show her to her best advantage.  And San Francisco, for all its charm, (in fact the whole west coast) is definitely lacking in the museum / library area.
________________________________________
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Michael Bryson [michael.bryson at csun.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 12:46 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] West Coast MLAs and rules

The fact that West Coast MLAs (which often, though not always, means San Francisco MLAs) have lower attendance than East Coast MLAs is interesting. It says something about either the travel preferences of our tribe (humanities academics) or the demographic and population statistics of our tribe, or both (and this lower attendance seems to be a phenomenon that dates back well before the current economic meltdown). But one of the supreme ironies of humanities academia has always seemed to me to be our sheer an(or un)aestheticism. We flock to major (if often slightly dull) cities, while wearing badges on the town, and stand dozens deep at the hotel Starbucks. And cities like Philadelphia (lately, seemingly the semi-permanent home of the MLA...I have family from there, and roots there, so my snark comes from experience--Pat's and Geno's are great, but cheesesteaks are hardly the pinnacle of the culinary arts, and while the Italian Market is great, the fact that it is! f! ! rigging freezing that time of year is hardly a draw) in winter draw more of us than San Francisco in winter. San Francisco, which is a scant hour and a half south of Napa/Sonoma. San Francisco...home to Michael Mina, Gary Danko, and Fluer De Lys, and (with the requisite drives) Chez Panisse, Auberge De Soleil, and the French Laundy. San Francisco, possibly the most beautiful of US cities...or Philadelphia...gee, which one of these? Yes, I realize that financial considerations means many (or even most) of us travel to this annual exercise in academic togetherness at university expense (or not at all), but still...

Curiouser and curioser...

And as to the recent flurry of "one comment a day" comments...oh, please. Rules? Really? No...really? Might we have rather fewer of those, and rather more of a more Miltonic self-discipline? A top down hierarchy on something like a web/email-based discussion group strikes me as about as unMiltonic as it is possible to get. Oh yes, let's do have more rules...maybe some decrees which "unrevoked shall stand"...that'd be good...that doesn't cause any trouble, as we know.

Michael Bryson


---- Original message ----
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 22:45:53 -0600 (CST)
From: Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>
Subject: [Milton-L] MLA
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>The program seemed as thick as ever. Hiring was down. I don't know how that translates into numbers, but West Coast MLA's usually have fewer in attendance.
>
>Jameela Lares
>Professor of English
>The U. of So. Mississippi
>118 College Drive, #5037
>Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
>601 266-6214 ofc
>601 266-5757 fax
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>>From gilliaca at jmu.edu
>Sent Tue 12/30/2008 10:14 AM
>To John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>Subject Re: [Milton-L] "Mirton"
>
>
>How is attendance?
>
>Because my former university had to swallow a 15% buget cut from the state, only those interviewing job candidates could get travel money - and we sent fewer of those than usual. We were lucky to have begun the hiring process before these cuts came. There will be no hiring next fall, probably.
>
>There are no raises, there is no travel money for research or paper presentations, and 3 former colleagues who had earned time off for research were told that the money [to cover their classes] was frozen, but they would get their leaves 'in the future.'
>
>Some deprtments and schools have their own private foundations, so they may be able to travel as usual - the School of Business, for example.
>
>Anyhow - evidence of the economic flop at MLA?
>
>Enjoy and safe travel.
>C
>Cynthia A. Gilliatt
>English Department, JMU, ret.
>JMU Safe Zones supporter
>"You have made God in your own image when God hates the same people you hate." Fr. John Weston
>_______________________________________________
>Milton-L mailing list
>Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>
>Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>
>
>_______________________________________________
>Milton-L mailing list
>Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>
>Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/




More information about the Milton-L mailing list