NeMLA Woes

The stupid, stupid, stupid NeMLA went back on the promise to have a normal (or maybe semi-normal) conference in March of 2021 and announced yesterday that it’s going fully online.

I’m livid.

I mean, I’m seeing red, my BP is up and I’m angrily chewing on a large piece of mortadela while growling uncontrollably kind of livid.

I don’t go to conferences to read a talk out loud. I go for a change of scenery, lonely walks around a new city, connecting with people, hanging out together after a panel, meeting with early-career academics and chatting with them. The last real conference I went to, I met one of the blog’s readers and we had a great chat.

Being in a new place, outside of your regular environment is the whole point of a conference. It clears your brain and helps you move your research along as a result. What is the flipping point of a “conference” when all you get is another Zoom meeting in addition to five million Zoom meetings you already have?

And I was going to give such a fun talk. Remember how I roasted Almudena Grandes’s Frankenstein’s Mother here on the blog? I was going to give a whole talk on it. How fun is that?

I’m still going to do it because I promised to organize a session for my association but I feel zero enthusiasm for it.

9 thoughts on “NeMLA Woes”

  1. Have you sent an angry email yet? Maybe send them some of the paragraphs from this post and some covid statistics showing how exaggerated this fear is. You can’t be the only person who thinks this is silly and maybe you can get other academics to sign on. Plus I’m sure it costs quite a bit of money to attend a conference where no networking happens, which is bad for the conference existing in future years.

    Of course, do it when your blood pressure isn’t popping your eyeballs.


  2. I saw that, which is sad because this year the neMLA really looks promising. I obviously 100% agree with your view on conferences.


      1. Or was it Baltimore? A city we both love, I think. Crab cakes Baltimore, and Costa Rica Boston? Oh…. I miss the US. And saying that I miss the US and the neMLA is unbelievable.


  3. “And I was going to give such a fun talk. Remember how I roasted Almudena Grandes’s Frankenstein’s Mother here on the blog?”

    Please feel free to share any snarky comments from your actual talk about the novel here… 🙂


  4. Good thread here by a scientist who, so far as I can tell, has not taken a side in the “corona wars”:


    1. Great thread. My University handled it in an even smarter way but I’m not mentioning it in public for now. Once (if?) this is over, I’ll share the details. It’s a work of art what our admin did.


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