Y2K, Collective Ritual, and Sound in the New Millennium
The recent New Year brought back some slightly embarrassing memories of past ball-droppings, 1999 in particular. That was the year, you’ll remember, when the world as we know it was to end due to all the clocks in all computers reading 0000 instead of 2000 – nuclear plants were to implode, bank accounts would be scrambled and a month later, the world would resemble some scene from The Road Warrior. I’ll fess up. I bought into the Y2K hype hook-line-and-sinker. I hunkered down in my living room with some old friends playing Risk that New Year’s Eve, I awaited an event of cataclysmic proportions. As the countdown droned on TV, it seemed every dice roll took me one step closer to the end . . . 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Upon zero, nothing changed and anxiety slowly began to leak from my body. Sting appeared on TV and introduced the new millennium with his jazzy “Brand New Day.” With lyrics about time and second chances, I grew to associate the song with a sense of profound relief. No matter how hokey Stings lyrics were (he uses the term “fuddy-duddy” at one point), “Brand New Day” will forever remind me of second-chances and possibility. Part of a clever advertising coup designed to reinvigorate Sting’s flagging career, the gospel tropes used in “Brand New Day” fit as a discursive response to the apocryphal (and apocalyptic) conversations circulating about Y2K at the time.
The history of technology is filled with utopian and dystopian visions of the future. Famously depicted in Apple’s “1984” commercial, the technocratic American narrative (Think Reaganomics) goes something like this: While developments in technology can allow for an increased sense of autonomy and individuality, they are unerringly used for evil. This evil strongly resembles a stereotypical Soviet culture where individuality is sacrificed for the good of the collective whole. Therefore, good technology promotes the individual while evil technology supports the collective.
If this seems a little heavy handed, it should be noted that the whole endeavor of mass computing has its roots in American Cold War history. After the atomic catastrophes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Vannevar Bush, then Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, predicted the Internet with the “memex machine” in his article to The Atlantic, “As We May Think.” Written to an unassuming audience, Bush suggests the destructive potential of atomic weaponry heralded a concrete limit to traditional methods of warfare, because of this the next battlefronts would be informatic. Y2K is a dystopic variation on this theme, atomic blow up by-way-of nuclear power had even become incorporated into some of its myths. These myths were a fantasy, to be sure, but they were rooted in the collective fears of a confused and dysphoric America, an America which had recently overcome Communism and lauded its rapidly developing technological sector as a new source of economic capital on the world stage. Y2K was scary because it played on a cultural fear of technology, which was paradoxically one of America’s key exports at the time.
It is an interesting contrast between the cultural environment of post-Cold War America and the loose backup calls of “brand new day,” with its rhythmic pleas to “stand up!” increasing in frequency and intensity as the song continues. Though the song has nothing to do with Y2K, or even technology, its position as a televised event after the ball dropped December 31, 1999, had solidified it forever in my imagination as a spiritual reaction to the technological paranoia of the time. Sting conveys a baptism narrative; as a country we had mysteriously been absolved of our technocratic sins. I was (and am) a believer. As I sit writing this on my iMac, I consider the many marketing strategies Apple has used in the last decade to convince me of the ways their software and hardware could define me as an individual. Sting redeems the pursuit of individuality through the use of gospel tropes. Instead of an almighty passing the judgement of heaven or hell, a technocratic neoliberal economy threatened the wrath of Y2K to nonbelievers at the turn of the millennium. As the proverbial gates to a new era of prosperity opened, Sting climbed higher in falsetto, “Stand up and be counted every boy and girl/Stand up all you lovers in the world/We’re starting up a brand new day.”
This year, as I watched a web steam of the ball drop January 31, 2010, I was able to later navigate to the MTV website and enjoy a Flaming Lips concert in Oklahoma City live from my computer. In this transition, something struck me. The potentials of computing, particularly video and sound editing (iMovie, Garageband and their disseminatory middle-man YouTube) still rely on an earlier Cold-War rhetoric of individualism and creative innovation to express the potential strengths of technology. Meanwhile any sense of collective ritual is set to the whim of a mouse-click, from New York to Oklahoma in a heartbeat. These new rituals compete with the old in a new context of hyper-individuality; ironically “Brand New Day” has become stuck once more in my head, as it has been routinely on New Years for the past 10 years. From these changes in collective ritual, what will it mean to celebrate the new year in 2011?
Sound at MLA 2011
MLA 2011 offers almost an embarrassment of riches for the sound studies scholar in the new year, testifying to the remarkable recent growth of the field. I have scoured PMLA in order to bring you everything and anything of interest for audio culture peeps, from panels that strike right at the center of the field (“Frost and Sound Studies” for example, or the panel that yours truly will be speaking on, “Literature and Sound,” organized by Amitava Kumar on Saturday from 5:15–6:30 p.m., Plaza III, J. W. Marriott ) to panels that provocatively push (and sometimes explode) the boundaries between sound studies and other fields such as literary studies, music, poetry, disability studies, history, music, urban studies, and trauma studies. This being a blog and all, I have also included relevant panels about digital humanities scholarship, a link to the field that has been strengthened not only by Sounding Out! but by HASTAC’s 2010 online forum, “Feel the Noise.”
Like my coverage of ASA this past November, I will be tweeting real-time sound-related thoughts and ideas inspired by the sound-related panels I attend at our twitterfeed:http://twitter.com/soundingoutblog; follow us (and the MLA 2011 backchannel) for the scoop!
If I somehow missed you or your panel, please let me know!: email@example.com
Thursday, January 6th, 2011
Routes to Roots, Hollywood to Neighborhood
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Platinum Salon I, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the American Folklore Society. Presiding: Camilla Henriette Mortensen, Univ. of Oregon
“Routes to Roots, Hollywood to Neighborhood: A Soundtrack for the Angels,” Nick Spitzer, Tulane Univ.
For abstracts and sound track, visit http://americanroutes.publicradio.org/archives/show/623/ los-angeles-soundtrack-for-the-angels after 31 Dec.
Silence and Signification in Medieval and Renaissance Literatures: Formal Challenges
1:45–3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon A, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Irit Ruth Kleiman, Boston Univ.
1. “Loving the Love of Silence: Material Silence in High Medieval Monastic Books,” Thomas
O’Donnell, Univ. of York
2. “Pilgrims in Jerusalem: Repetition of Silence,” Phillip Usher, Barnard Coll.
3. “‘Mescheance’ and Silence in French Romance,” Irit Ruth Kleiman
Theater and Performance in and of Los Angeles: Alternative Archives
1:45–3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon B, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Drama. Presiding: Ann Pellegrini, New York Univ.
1. “Acting like a Woman: Archival Engagement with the Women’s Building,” Lydia Brawner, New
2. “‘No, I’ve Not Forgotten’: Performance and Memory in Cambodian America,” Josh Takano
Chambers- Letson, Univ. of Cincinnati
3. “Records y Recuerdos: Music and Memory in Butchlalis de Panochtitlan’s The Barber of East L.A.,” Karen Tongson, Univ. of Southern California
Two- in- One: When the Same Individual Writes Both Words and Music
1:45–3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon I, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Lyrica Society for Word-Music Relations. Presiding: Jeff Dailey, Five Towns Coll.
1. “Hildegard’s Own Singing: O Virga ac Diadema,” Janet Youngdahl, Univ. of Lethbridge
2. “Charles Dibdin: Troubled in Mind, like a Rolling Stone,” Betsy A. Bowden, Rutgers Univ., Camden
3. “Composers and Writers and Librettists in Musical Theater of Early- Twentieth- Century Spain: The Cases of Tomás Bretón and Pio Baroja,” Victoria Wolff, Univ. of Western Ontario
4. “Mathematical Music: Bob Dylan’s Extra- lyrical Appeal,” Justin Tremel, Univ. of Texas, Austin
For abstracts, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Literary Research in/and Digital Humanities
3:30–4:45 p.m., Diamond Salon 1, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Libraries and Research in Languages and Literatures. Presiding: James Raymond Kelly, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
Speakers: Heather Bowlby, Univ. of Virginia; Marija Dalbello, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Amy Earhart, Texas A&M Univ., College Station; Manuel M. Martin- Rodriguez, Univ. of California, Merced; Susanne Woods, Wheaton Coll., MA; Abby Yochelson, Library of Congress
Respondent: Robert H. Kieft, Occidental Coll.
This session is the inaugural meeting of a new interdisciplinary MLA discussion group formed by
librarians in the association for the discussion of matters of mutual interest with scholars. Panelists will present current work, and the group will discuss its future and how it can promote the creation and curation of scholarly collections and archives, publications, research data, and teaching and study tools through professional associations and on their own campuses.
For abstracts, visit http://guides.library.umass.edu/MLA2011
Wallace Stevens’s Voices
5:15–6:30 p.m., Diamond Salon 8, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Wallace Stevens Society.
Presiding: Elisabeth Oliver, McGill Univ.
1. “Less and Less Human: Stevens, Gibberish, and the Cry of the Animal,” Thomas Sowders, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge
2. “The War of ‘Of’ and Other Polyvocal Syntaxes in ‘An Ordinary Evening in New Haven,’” David Joseph Letzler, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
3. “The Poet’s Voice in the Echo of Stevens,” Dean Rader, Univ. of San Francisco
Performances of Black Cultural Trauma and Memory
5:15–6:30 p.m., Atrium I, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Lisa Thompson, Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York
Speakers: Herman Beavers, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Diana Rebekkah Paulin, Trinity Coll., CT;
Sonnet Retman, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Valerie Smith, Prince ton Univ.; Lisa Thompson;
Lisa Woolfork, Univ. of Virginia
This roundtable will examine various ways African American novelists, poets, filmmakers, play-
wrights, and other artists engage with and evoke black cultural trauma and memory in their work. The six participants on this roundtable will con- sider how representations of black pain, horror, terror, suffering, violence, and struggle are memorialized, performed, evoked, and fetishized.
Friday, January 7th, 2011
Narrating Illness and Disability: Risks and Rewards
8:30–9:45 a.m., Olympic II, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Ann Jurecic, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
1. “Listening, Telling, Suffering, and Carrying On: Reflexive Practice or Health Imperialism?”
Rita Charon, Columbia Univ.
2. “Life Narratives in the Risk Society,” Ann Jurecic
3. “Narrating Disability inside and outside the Clinic,” G. Thomas Couser, Hofstra Univ.
Respondent: Priscilla B. Wald, Duke Univ.
Planet Wiki? Postcolonial Theory, Social Media, and Web 2.0
8:30–9:45 a.m., 406A, LA Convention Center
A special session. Presiding: Amit Ray, Rochester Inst. of Tech.
1. “Border Politics on YouTube: Heriberto Yépez’s ‘Voice Exchange Rates’ (or the Bodies That Anti- matter),” Tomás Urayoán Noel, Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York
2. “Truths of Times to Come: Deleuze, Media, India,” Amitabh Rai, Florida State Univ.
3. “Remapping the Space In- Between: Social Networks of Race, Class, and Digital Media in the Brazilian City,” Justin Andrew Read, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York
Respondent: Amit Ray
For abstracts and papers, visit https://honors.rit.edu/amitraywiki/index.php/Planet-Wiki
BBC Radio and British Writing
8:30–9:45 a.m., Diamond Salon 3, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Twentieth-Century English Literature.
Presiding: Allan Hepburn, McGill Univ.
1. “Cultural Tectonics; or, Why the BBC Became Afraid: Harold Nicolson and the New Spirit in Literature,” Todd Avery, Univ. of Massachusetts, Lowell
2. “The Listener as Interface,” Debra Rae Cohen, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia
3. “Only Connecting? E. M. Forster, Empire Broadcasting, and the Ethics of Distance,” Daniel
Morse, Temple Univ., Philadelphia
New (and Renewed) Work in Digital Literary Studies: An Electronic Roundtable
8:30–9:45 a.m., Plaza I, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Association for Computers and the Humanities.
Presiding: Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia
Speakers: Ernest Cole, Hope Coll.; Randall Cream, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia; Kathleen
Fitzpatrick, Pomona Coll.; Joseph Gilbert, Univ. of Virginia; Laura C. Mandell, Miami Univ., Oxford; William Albert Pannapacker, Hope Coll.; Douglas Reside, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Andrew M. Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia; John A. Walsh, Indiana Univ., Bloomington; Matthew
Wilkens, Rice Univ.
Projects, groups, and initiatives highlighted in this session build on the editorial and archival roots of humanities scholarship to offer new, explicitly methodological and interpretive contributions to the digital literary scene or to intervene in established patterns of scholarly communication and pedagogical practice. Brief introductions will be followed by simultaneous demonstrations of the presenters’ work at eight computer stations.
For project links and abstracts, visit http://ach.org/mla/mla11
Analog and Digital: Texts, Contexts, and Networks
10:15–11:30 a.m., Atrium I, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Victoria E. Szabo, Duke Univ.
1. “Digital Networks and Horizontal Textuality,” David S. Roh, Old Dominion Univ.
2. “The Work of the Text in Haggard’s She: Full-Text Searching and Networks of Association,”
Robert Steele, George Washington Univ.
3. “Taken Possession Of: What Digital Archives Can Teach Us about Nathaniel Hawthorne, Religious Readers, and Antebellum Reprinting Culture,” Ryan C. Cordell, Univ. of Virginia
For abstracts, visit www.duke.edu/~ves4/mla2011
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 306B, LA Convention Center
A special session. Presiding: Martin McKinsey, Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham
1. “Language Interference in Charles Bernstein’s Shadowtime,” Linda Reinfeld, Rochester Inst. of Tech.
2. “Bilingual Poetics and Representation in Robert Sullivan’s Star Waka,” Katherine Baxter,
3. “Hsia Yü’s Posthumanist Polyglot Poetics,” Pao Chai Patricia Chiang, National Chung Cheng
Univ; James Rollins, National Chung Cheng Univ.
Film Simulations of Disability
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Atrium I, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Disability Studies. Presiding: David Mitchell, Temple Univ.,
1. “Disability Film Festivals and the Politics of Atypicality,” David Mitchell; Sharon Snyder, Brace Yourselves Productions
2. “Faking It: Canadian Identity and Disability Cinema,” Sally J. Chivers, Trent Univ.
3. “Deaf by Design,” Robert L. Johnson, Midwestern State Univ.
4. “Filming Illiteracy: The Pathology of Dyslexia iin Claude Chabrol’s La cérémonie,” Lynn Tarte
Ramey, Vanderbilt Univ.
Satire, Wit, and Humor in the Works of Langston Hughes
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Platinum Salon I, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Langston Hughes Society. Presiding: Sharon Lynette Jones, Wright State Univ.
1. “‘Go Home and Write a Page Tonight’: Sub- versive Irony and Resistant Reading in ‘Theme for English B,’” Daniel Charles Morris, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette
2. “When Music Fails as a Universal Language: The Human Violin in Langston Hughes’s ‘Home,’” Koritha Mitchell, Ohio State Univ., Columbus
3. “A Global Perspective of Jesse B. Semple: Echoes of ‘Bop’ in Ankara, Turkey,” Donna Akiba
Sullivan Harper, Spelman Coll.
For abstracts, visit www.langstonhughessociety.org
Silent Night: The Archives of the Deaf and Blind
1:45–3:00 p.m., Atrium I, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions. Presiding: Marta L. Werner,
1. “Entering the Light: Deaf Studies Digital Journal and the Archives of Sign Language Poetics,”
H- Dirksen Bauman, Gallaudet Univ.
2. “Blindness and Exile in the ‘Dark Blue World’ of Jaroslav Jezek,” Michael Beckerman, New York Univ.
3. “Accessioning Helen Keller: Disability, History, and the Politics of the Archive,” David Serlin,
Univ. of California, San Diego
The History and Future of the Digital Humanities
1:45–3:00 p.m., Plaza I, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the MLA Program Committee. Presiding: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Pomona Coll.
Speakers: Brett Bobley, NEH; Katherine D. Harris, San José State Univ.; Alan Liu, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Tara McPherson, Univ. of Southern California; Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia; Morgantown; Stephen J. Ramsay, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Susana Ruiz, Univ. of Southern California
This roundtable will bring together many different perspectives, from humanities computing to
digital media studies, including senior and junior scholars, research and teaching institutions, and faculty and staff members, so that we might explore the overlap, diffusion, and multiplicity of
views of the digital humanities that result.
Good Vibrations and Globalization: LA Pop and the Urban Crisis
3:30–4:45 p.m., Platinum Salon H, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Shaun Cullen, Univ. of Virginia
1. “Back Door Man: Jim Morrison between Watts and the Summer of Love,” Eric William Lott,
Univ. of Virginia
2. “‘What You See Is What You Get’?: Richard Pryor, Wattstax, and the Secret History of the Black Aesthetic,” Scott Saul, Univ. of California, Berkeley
3. “White Skin, Black Flag: SST Records and the Politics of White Ethnicity,” Shaun Cullen
Rethinking Style: Reinvigorating Writing Instruction with Rhetorical Stylistics
3:30–4:45 p.m., Platinum Salon B, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Rhetoric Society of America. Presiding: Jordynn M. Jack, Univ. of
North Carolina, Chapel Hill
1. “Rethinking Stylistic Pedagogy: Imitation, Sentence Combining, and Generative Rhetoric for
the Twenty- First Century,” Paul G. Butler, Univ. of Houston
2. “Speaking Figures: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Voiced Style,” Richard
Graff, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
3. “Teaching the Art of Amplifying,” Jeanne Fahnestock, Univ. of Maryland, College Pararrating Illness and Disability: Risks and Rewards, For abstracts, visit http://jordynnjack.com/rsa-at-mla/
Textual Scholarship and New Media
8:30–9:45 a.m., Diamond Salon 8, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions. Presiding: Michael Eberle-
Sinatra, Université de Montréal
1. “Comic Book Markup Language: An Introduc- tion and Rationale,” John A. Walsh, Indiana Univ., Bloomington
2. “Crowdspeak: Mobile Telephony and TXTual Practice,” Rita Raley, Univ. of California, Santa
3. “Alternate Reality Games and Transmedia Textuality: Interpretive Play and the Immaterial Ar-
chive,” Zach Whalen, Univ. of Mary Washington
Henry James and Alfred Hitchcock: The Men Who Knew Too Much
8:30–9:45 a.m., Platinum Salon H, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Susan Mary Griffin, Univ. of Louisville; Alan Nadel, Univ. of Kentucky
1. “Awkward Ages: James and Hitchcock in Between,” Mark Goble, Univ. of California, Berkeley
2. “Sounds of Silence in The Wings of the Dove and Blackmail,” Donatella Izzo, Università di Napoli l’Orientale
3. “Hands, Objects, and Love in James and Hitchcock: Reading the Touch in The Golden Bowl
and Notorious,” Jonathan E. Freedman, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
The Institution(alization) of Digital Humanities
8:30–9:45 a.m., Atrium III, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Computer Studies in Language and Literature.
Presiding: David Lee Gants, Florida State Univ.
1. “A Media Ecological Approach to Digital Humanities; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and
Love This Dynamic Field,” Kimberly Knight, Univ. of Texas, Dallas
2. “Power, Prestige, and Profession: Digital Humanities in the Age of Academic Anxiety,” Amy
Earhart, Texas A&M Univ., College Station
3. “Emerging Dialogue: Librarians and Digital Humanists,” Johanna Drucker, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
Narrating the (After)Life of a City: Sighting, Sounding, and Moving in Detroit
10:15–11:30 a.m., Platinum Salon F, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Patricia Yaeger, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1. “Detroit Still Lives: The False Movements of Spatial Stories in Ruins,” Renée Carine Hoogland, Wayne State Univ.
2. “Mean Martha Jean and the Queens of Soul,” Hortense Jeanette Spillers, Vanderbilt Univ.
3. “The Life of the Line: Finally Got the News All Cut Up,” Kathryne Victoria Lindberg,
Wayne State Univ.
Social Networking: Web 2.0 Applications for the Teaching of Languages and Literatures
10:15–11:30 a.m., Diamond Salon 2, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Information Technology. Presiding: Barbara Lafford, Arizona State Univ. West
1. “Writing for Nonprofits in Social- Media Environments,” Sean McCarthy, Univ. of Texas, Austin
2. “The Macaulay Eportfolio Collection: A Case Study in the Uses of Social Networking for Learning,” Lauren Klein, Graduate Center, City Univ. of
3. “Social Media, Digital Vernaculars, and Language Education,” Steven Thorne, Portland State
For abstracts, write to email@example.com
Other Sounds, Other Worlds: Literary Soundscapes in Asian and Transnational Contexts
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 304C, LA Convention Center
A special session. Presiding: Pieter Keulemans, Yale Univ.
1. “Sounding Spaces: The Role of Soundscapes in Amit Chaudhuri’s Novels Afternoon Raag and The Immortals,” Christin Hoene, Univ. of Edinburgh
2. “Auditors Abroad: Defamiliarized Listening in Japan and the West,” Kerim Yasar, Prince ton Univ.
3. “Selling the Soundscape of Beijing: Vendor Calls, Acoustic Attractions, and the Aesthetics of
the Literary Marketplace in Chinese Martial- Arts Fiction,” Pieter Keulemans
The Cold War in Africa
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 301B, LA Convention Center
A special session. Presiding: Gary Rees, Univ. of Houston
1. “South Atlantic Cold War Cartographies: Mapping State Terrorism in the Novels of Nadine
Gordimer and Mark Behr,” Kerry Bystrom, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs
2. “Neoimperialism and the Body Politic: Chinua Achebe’s A Man of the People,” Gary Rees
3. “The Cold War, Radio Diplomacy, and the Works of Naguib Mahfouz: Retelling the Narrative of Suez,” Douglas Eli Julien, Univ. of Minnesota, Morris
4. “Nonalignment and the Postcolony: India and Kenya in the Cold War,” James Daniel Elam,
Technology, Culture, and Authenticity, 1850–1910
5:15–6:30 p.m., Diamond Salon 2, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Douglas Mao, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD
1. “Feeling Real: Technology and the Sensations of Victorian War,” Rachel Teukolsky, Vanderbilt Univ.
2. “Authenticity in Utopia,” Douglas Mao
3. “Nature, Culture, and Technology: The Evolution of Subjectivities,” Regenia Gagnier, Univ. of
Frost and Sound Studies
5:15–6:30 p.m., Diamond Salon 7, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Robert Frost Society.
Presiding: Robert Faggen, Claremont McKenna Coll.
1. “Robert Frost and the Spoken Word,” Tyler Brent Hoffman, Rutgers Univ., Camden
2. “Skillful Breaks: The Cultural Discourse of Frost’s Meter,” Michael L. Manson, American Univ.
3. “Breath Units: Projecting Verse from Robert Frost,” Natalie E. Gerber, State Univ. of New York, Fredonia
Respondent: Timothy Steele, California State Univ., Los Angeles
For abstracts, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Giant Steps”: Jazz and Poetry
5:15–6:30 p.m., Plaza I, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Poetry.
Presiding: Aldon Lynn Nielsen, Penn State Univ., University Park
1. “‘How to Stay Alive’: John Taggart’s Sheets of Sound,” Patrick J. Pritchett, Harvard Univ.
2. “Sex, Gender, and the Jazz Body in Contemporary Poetry,” Meta DuEwa Jones, Univ. of Texas, Austin
3. “‘All Blues’: The Role of Genre in the Poetic Tradition of Vernacaular and Experimental Black
Music,” Michael New, Penn State Univ., University Park
Ha- Ha Hungary: Humor in Hungarian Film and Literature
5:15–6:30 p.m., 304C, LA Convention Center
Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Hungarian Literature. Presiding: Gabriella Kec-
skes, Temple Univ., Philadelphia
1. “Why Laughter? Humor and Mockery in Petöfi and Mikszáth,” Enikö Molnár Basa, Library of
2. “‘Sirva vigad a magyar’: Melancholy Mirth and Witty Woe in Hungarian Literature,” Martha
Pereszlényi- Pinter, John Carroll Univ.
3. “Humor in Hungarian Folktales,” Katherine Mary Gatto, John Carroll Univ.
4. “Male Corpses, Female Voices: Images of European Gender Relations in György Pálfi’s Hukkle and Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver,” Gabriella Kecskes
For abstracts, write to gkecsk02@ temple .edu.
Literature and Sound
5:15–6:30 p.m., Plaza III, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Literature and Other Arts. Presiding: Amitava Kumar, Vassar Coll.
1. “The Vectorized Self: From Space to Sound in Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays,” J. D. Connor, Yale Univ.
2. “Echo and the Siren’s Song: Ann Petry’s ‘On Saturday the Siren Sounds at Noon,’” Jennifer Stoever- Ackerman, Binghamton Univ., State Univ. of New York
3. “Ecstatic Time: The Syncopated Form of Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance,” Matt Bell, Bridgewater State Coll.
4. “Records, Race, and Rape in Wright and Ellison,” Erich Nunn, Auburn Univ., Auburn
Sunday, January 9th, 2011
Writing the City
10:15–11:30 a.m., Atrium III, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Jeffrey Allen Steele, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
1. “The Urban (Un)Seen,” Kimberly DeFazio, Clarkson Univ.
2. “The Mediated City in Sousandrâde’s ‘Inferno de Wall Street,’” Jacob Wilkenfeld, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
3. “In the Heart of the City: Rewriting the Nineteenth- Century City through Adultery,” Vir-
ginia Piper, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
4. “Revisiting the Flaneur,” Dana Aron Brand, Hofstra Univ.
Parsing the Unspeakable
10:15–11:30 a.m., Diamond Salon 1, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Barry George Stampfl, San Diego State Univ.
1. “The Death of Trauma,” Michelle Balaev, Wake Forest Univ.
2. “Unspeakable Fidelities: Violence, Justice, and ‘Being True,’” Naomi Iliana Mandel, Univ. of
3. “Unspeakability and the Rhetoric of Cruelty,” Michael F. Bernard- Donals, Univ. of Wisconsin,
From the New Song and Rock en Español to Spanish and Iberian Pop
10:15–11:30 a.m., Platinum Salon H, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the Division on Popular Culture. Presiding: Silvia Bermúdez, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
1. “Rock ’n’ Road Songs: Traveling New Routes in Spanish Rock Music,” Jorge P. Pérez, Univ. of Kansas
2. “Border Music in a Borderless World: Mapping the Sounds of NAFTA between Mexico and the United States,” William John Nichols, Georgia State Univ.
3. “Raperos, Boleros, and Salseros: Reconsidering the Authentic in Cuban Popular Music since
the Revolution,” Russell St Clair Cobb, Univ. of Alberta
Respondent: Frances R. Aparicio, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
What the Digital Does to Reading
10:15–11:30 a.m., Diamond Salon 8, J. W. Marriott
Program arranged by the MLA Committee on Information Technology. Presiding: Laura C. Man-
dell, Miami Univ., Oxford
1. “What Would Jesus Google? Plural Reading in the Digital Archive,” Daniel Allen Shore, Grinnell Coll.
2. “Social Book Catalogs and Reading: Shifting Paradigms, Humanizing Databases,” Renee Hudson, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Kimberly Knight, Univ. of Texas, Dallas
3. “Illuminating Hidden Paths: Reading and Annotating Texts in Many Dimensions,” Julie
Meloni, Washington State Univ., Pullman
For abstracts, visit www.users.muohio.edu/mandellc/digRdg.html after 15 Nov.
Literature and/as New Media
12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 309, LA Convention Center
Program arranged by the Division on Literature and Other Arts. Presiding: Jon McKenzie, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
Speakers: Sarah Allison, Stanford Univ.; N. Katherine Hayles, Duke Univ.; Richard E. Miller, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Todd Samuel Presner, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Craig J. Saper, Univ. of Central Florida; Holly Willis, Univ. of Southern California; Michael L. Witmore, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
This session engages the nexus of literature and new media from several perspectives, ranging
from emerging forms of electronic literature to computer- enabled modes of literary analysis to
the broader implications of IT and new media for literary and cultural study. In an age of digital
poetry, graphic novels, and iPhone “appisodes,” how useful is the notion of distinct media? In what ways do quantitative methods of “distant reading” and “counting literature” extend traditional forms of analysis, and in what ways do they threaten or simply sidestep them? And what’s at stake in recent calls to critically mash up new media forms and processes in order to reboot the humanities as “new humanities,” “Big Humanities,” and “Humanities 2.0”?
Sound Reproduction and the Literary
1:45–3:00 p.m., Diamond Salon 6, J. W. Marriott
A special session. Presiding: Jentery Sayers, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
1. “Sound as Sensory Modality in Electronic Literature,” Dene M. Grigar, Washington State Univ., Vancouver
2. “‘Cause That’s the Way the World Turns’: John Edgar Wideman’s Sent for You Yesterday and the Mnemonic Jukebox,” Jürgen E. Grandt, Gainesville State Coll., GA
3. “Analog History: Kevin Young’s To Repel Ghosts and the Textuality of the Turntable,” Paul
Benzon, Temple Univ., Philadelphia
Respondent: Jentery Sayers
For abstracts, examples, and biographies, visit www.hastac.org/ after 1 Dec.
Literature and Opera
1:45–3:00 p.m., 304A, LA Convention Center
Program arranged by the Division on Nineteenth-Century French Literature. Presiding: Elisabeth
Akhimoff Ladenson, Columbia Univ.
1. “Otello’s French Connection,” William Germano, Cooper Union
2. “Stendhal’s Ear,” Nicholas Dames, Columbia Univ.
3. “ Saint- Saëns’s Samson,” Kevin Richard Kopelson, Univ. of Iowa