In a move that I was too naive to anticipate, Resistance devolved into resisting any attempt to end US wars in the Middle East.

My problem is that I’m too literal. When people say, “We are against war,” I think, “Ah, they are against war. I like that.” But what they really mean is “we are against the other side and whatever it supports.” Somehow, I never manage to anticipate this.

I’m a person who is befuddled by parties, so the tribal aspect of political identifications is completely beyond me. I know it exists but it’s so irrelevant to my life that I never take it into account.

MLA 2019

MLA when you have tenure is enormously different from MLA without. It’s actually very ego-boosting. I was at the Chicago MLA a decade ago when I was on the job market, and it was not a good experience. Everything was set up to make one feel as unwanted, disposable, poor, and contemptible as possible.

It’s kind of nice to come here in a different capacity. I spent a bunch of time today fielding messages from people who are asking to meet (publishers, graduate students, association people). And I’m not asking anybody for anything at all.

The MLA has chosen to remove itself from organizing the job market, so there aren’t masses of job seekers freaking out over impending interviews. The general environment is very upbeat.


I can’t help being bothered by this kind of thing:

MLA Info sent you a message: “Pack your badge and Program!” Be prepared! Pack comfy shoes, wear warm layers, and remember to bring your 2019 convention badge and Program (September PMLA).

The lisping, childish language is especially grating. “Comfy shoes?” Advice on how to dress? Hey, how about coming over to the hotel and tying my shoelaces for me if I’m so inept?