Post Academic


Another MLA Online Roundup

Posted in Absurdities by Caroline Roberts on January 10, 2011
Tags: , , , ,

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionI would have made this a Twitter roundup, but the #mla11 feed is admirably polite and professional, aside from concerns about cliquishness among a certain group. To which I say, this is a convention, not high school, so make your own group if you don’t like the dominant group. It can be done. It’s a large convention, not a cafeteria. Watch “Police Academy” or “Stripes” or any other inspiring misfit comedy, take some notes and call me in the morning.

Anyway, on to the roundup:

1. I haven’t seen much about individual interviews, but I feel comfortable saying that the award for Worst MLA Interview 2011 has already been won. Here’s a sliver from College Misery about an awkward meeting with an inside candidate … right in the middle of the interview:

“Oh, Glen is also a candidate for the job. But since he knows more about the position than the rest of us, we asked him to come along so that all the candidates would benefit from his knowledge.”

“And he left the room…” I started.

“Oh, yes,” the chair said. “It would be poor form for him to sit in for the interview.”

Poor form, indeed. I’d like to propose an MLA rule: If you have an inside candidate you like so much that you have him sit in on all the interviews, then at least save the other interviewees some trouble and use Skype. I’d also love to know how the candidate made it through that hot mess without going all Hulk on the committee.

2. Speaking of the Hulk, what would an MLA online roundup be without a comment from the MLA’s biggest star:

adjuncthulk: #MLA11 IS LIKE MARVEL COMIC: FULL OF LOTS OF PEOPLE IN FUNNY CLOTHES, NAMEDROPPING OTHER PEOPLE IN FUNNY CLOTHES!!!

May Adjunct Hulk get an even better job from the MLA … and not necessarily in academia. Adjunct Hulk has some serious comedy-writing chops!

Cover of Smart Set Magazine, September 1911. From Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

3. The MLA kept it digital in several ways, not just with tweets. Those crazy kids put together a page full of MLA Lolcats. Of course, in the tradition of academics, the LOLz are wordy and obscure the cat. A word to the wise, dear academics who are dipping their toes into all things digital: Never obscure the Lolcat. Lolcats (and their fans) can be more temperamental than Adjunct Hulk.

4. Finally, William Pannapacker, patron saint of post-academics, may have started the “cliquish” hubbub regarding the digital humanities. But I’m more interested in a sartorial threat that he posed in a blog post at Brainstorm:

If this keeps up, I might start wearing ironic T-shirts under my black sport coat.

If you do, sir, send Post Academic a picture. I recommend Chevy Chase’s “I’m Up Here” T-Shirt from Community Season 1.

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3 Responses to 'Another MLA Online Roundup'

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  1. […] Convention, Caroline Roberts of the blogPost Academicrefers to the #mla11 twitter feed as “admirably polite and professional.” Although true as far as it goes, this characterization tells us very little about what made […]


  2. I have to claim the worst MLA interview experience of the year. It’s the interview that never happened because the committee was made up of a bunch of ridiculously incompetent losers. Read my letters to them on my blog.

    • Arnold Pan said,

      Holy moley, that’s bad. I guess folks like to say, “If that’s how they treat you, you don’t want the job anyway.” Even if that might actually be true, but I know that’s lame consolation. What’s lamer is that you could probably say that about the whole profession.


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