Having just returned from a trip to Los Angeles for the Modern Language Association convention, I decided to follow others' cues and post my presentation online. My motivation is, in part, to counter the dismissive attitudes of this LA Times blogger. It seems to me that the best response to the idea of English as esoteric or out-of-touch is to foster public conversations about the disciplines of literature, language and media. On this note, a vibrant Twitter "backchannel" (as one graduate student put it) took shape during the MLA convention and now offers an interesting archive of the event. The online buzz certainly suggests that the MLA—which represents everyone from new media scholars to medievalists—has much to say to the world both within and beyond the humanities.
It seems that Arcade is an ideal forum for continuing the public work of what I'm terming here "hashtag #MLA11."