Saturday, January 11, 2014

cracking up

I'm sure that everyone's MLA 2014 pictures are much the same, whether taken by day (above) or by night (below).  I just wish that I'd got out really really early the first morning that I was here, to catch everything when it was icier yet.  This is the river, melting ...

As for the MLA, lovely though it's been to see old friends (not enough of you ...), it was also a nightmare being at the delegate assembly for 5 hours.  Yes, five hours.  And I stayed on and on because I wanted to vote for the emergency resolution at the end, condemning the academic administrations who have in turn condemned, etc., the ASA for its recent motion.  Whether or not I would have voted for or against that motion isn't the question for me: the question here is the over-reaction on the part of a number of university presidents, etc - my own included - who seem to have thought that the resolution passed was far more hard-line and inflexible towards academic freedom than the wording actually indicates.  Close reading is, perhaps, one of the benefits of an education in the humanities (harking back to an earlier, and much better discussion this afternoon).  But in the end, there weren't enough votes for that emergency resolution to be discussed and put to the vote - so I might as well have been at a panel, or for that matter playing Angry Birds, which, every time the discussion stopped and procedural correctness was deliberated upon, I was sorely tempted to do.

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