The MLA was huge and hectic this year, as it usually is, with 40 panels going on at once; interviews happening in hotel suites, mass gladiatorial arena-like settings, and lobbies; a huge book exhibit; and unofficial events of various sorts.
Thursday contained a day of programs on the sound of poetry. I missed friends Matt Kirschenbaum, Kari Kraus, and Peter Stallybrass speaking about the material history of digital and non-digital texts due to the co-occurring Canadian sonic invasion: As they gave papers, Steve McCaffrey delivered Hugo Ball’s “Karawane” and Christian Bök read his “Mushroom Clouds” and “Synth Loops.” There were also papers from Kennry Goldsmith, Charles Bernstein, Johanna Drucker, and Craig Dworkin; Caroline Bergvall read as part of this track, too. The next day, Scott Rettberg spoke opposite his fellow Electronic Literature Collection editor Kate Hayles, the ELO had a get-together, and almost 60 people read in the MLA offsite reading.
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Philadelphia Survives Modern Language Association Again
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