What a strange Call For Papers

From the MLA 2009 conference list of special-session calls for papers:

MMLA in Free Fall: The Unbearable Hollowness of MLA Conventions. Conceptual vacuity, lessness of theory, urge for back-to-basics in MLA papers and the dying culture of capital. Abstracts by 10 Mar.

I’m all for institutional critique, but what are junior scholars and those as-yet unacquainted with the annual MLA convention to make of a call for papers like this? (And what are we to make of the MLA conference timing? Every year, it’s held between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Who thought there’s just not enough air travel at that time of year?)

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