3
CHICAGO
The Politics of Cultural Studies

The MLA Annual Convention will be held in Chicago—a vibrant, worldclass city located in the center of the United States on the shore of Lake Michigan. Chicago boasts nearly fifty museums—such as the Art Institute of Chicago…. Well-known shopping districts, each with a distinct style, feature famous department stores and specialty boutiques…. There will be 247 division meetings, 44 discussion group meetings, 267 special sessions, 214 allied and affiliate organization meetings, and dozens of social events. Join your friends and colleagues at the MLA Annual Convention—and enjoy Chicago! Modern Language Association mailing

Q. But if academics cherish their isolation as much as you say, how could you hope ever to change things?

A. Academics are often tremendously ambivalent about “the pleasures of isolation” that they cultivate. Why else have academic conferences and symposia become so pervasive if it isn't that they answer to a longing for community that isn't being satisfied by their home campuses? You can sense this longing in the hyperexcited atmosphere at such events….

Equally pathetic is the abyss of local silence and indifference into which we academics send our publications…. when you go to a conference, your publication becomes a reference point, but to make it a reference point on your home campus would be like making one out of your sex life, or your religion. Gerald Graff, “Self-Interview”

THERE WERE only three problems with my idea for our next panel, I later told myself: the timing, the topic, and the temperaments involved. Given the good feeling at the end of our meeting in Bloomington, I probably could have gotten somewhere with the topic and the temperaments if only we'd been able to reconvene fairly soon. With the lead-time for most conference proposals at six months or more, I was pressing my luck under the

-88-

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Meetings of the Mind
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Meetings of the Mind *
  • 1 - How Do Disciplines Die? 3
  • 2 - Traveling Theory Comes Home 42
  • 3 - The Politics of Cultural Studies 88
  • 4 - Critical Confessions 134
  • Bibliography 187
  • Index 207
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