Phi Beta Cons

MLA Days

What they talk about at the Modern Languages Association’s annual meeting, according to Inside Higher Ed:

And attendees also got to hear a paper with the sort of title MLA-bashers love (“Is the Rectum a Text?) but whose substance shows that academic fashion may be less sex-obsessed than MLA-bashers like to think. … Morrison’s paper talk was surprising because — although it contained more uses of the word “asshole” than is the norm at scholarly meetings or most other meetings, for that matter — he’s actually arguing that there’s more to life than sex and that focusing on body parts, even supposedly subversive body parts, isn’t necessarily the best thing to do. … “We are exerting the same kind of exaggerated, deconstructed power that we once gave to female genitalia,” he said. “We’re still within a Freudian economy of the body.”

I’ve left out some of the dirtier bits. For those, follow the link. And remember, the MLA is “less sex-obsessed” than you think.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.


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