We keep hearing that Sears, Toys ‘R Us, bookstore chains, etc all died because of the internet. As if anybody prevented them from changing their model in a way that would survive technology.
It’s the same with the MLA. It has shed all of the involvement with the job search process, and technology is its excuse. “Nobody will interview at the MLA when there is Skype. Nobody advertises jobs on the MLA website because there is a plethora of cheaper competitors.”
And so on. The possibility of offering something that the technology can’t (and there are million things) doesn’t even occur.
This year, the lineup of plenary speakers is simply ridiculous. There is not a single celebrity in sight. People would come to listen to celebrities.
The access to the book fair is barred to the badgeless. God forbid members of the public discover that professors publish books and maybe even – the horror! – try to read them.
The planning seems to be done with the express purpose of making the experience inconvenient. Language and literature sessions are few because it’s crucial to make space for endless sessions filled with SJW drivel. And so on.
So yeah, technology is definitely to blame. Definitely.