Calendar of Events

Fall 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014
MLA Subconference Organizing Committee Presentation
Competing Utopias and Class Composition
3:30 pm Curtin 175
Recorded video (Mediasite, with slides)
Recorded video (YouTube, without slides)

Between the utopia of academic capitalism, which views privatization and financial speculation as the solution to the crisis in the humanities, and a prelapsarian utopia, which seeks to restore the university of the 1950s while forgetting that it was hierarchized along class, gender, and racial lines, we propose a third possibility—the communizing university. Neither utopia nor topos, nostalgic idyll nor future promise, we aim to think this communizing university through the concept of composition, understood both as an ongoing process and a critical analysis. We consider three aspects of composition that apply to our classrooms, research, and communities: 1) composing a university that does not externalize laboring subjects from the process of knowledge production; 2) the relationship between racial and class composition at the university and its financial and power structures; and 3) a critical mapping and recomposition of those structures through what has been called militant co-research. We conclude with some examples of how this compositional approach could be put to use in the humanities today.

Presenters include Lenora Hanson (graduate student, UW-Madison), Laura Goldblatt (graduate student, University of Virginia), Andrew Yale (graduate student, University of Chicago); Karim Wissa and Bennett Carpenter (graduates students, Duke), Sean Kennedy (graduate student, CUNY) and Mike Strayer (graduate student, Johns Hopkins University).

MLA Subconference 2015
"Non-Negotiable Sites of Struggle"
January 7-8, 2015
Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre
Vancouver, BC
CFP: 500-word abstracts due by October 1, 2014

Feces on the Philosophy of History! A Manifesto of the MLA Subconference
Pedagogy 2014 Vol. 14, no. 3: 381-393
The MLA Subconference presenters wrote this manifesto after the first MLA Subconference (January 2014), and it has been published by the journal Pedagogy. The manifesto is currently available online through Pedagogy via library accounts only, but there should soon be free public access (for six months). We are currently providing a PDF of the manifesto until such time it is available for free via the Pedagogy website.

The MLA Subconference presenters have started a crowdfunding campaign, via indiegogo, to supplement the institutional support they are receiving for the January 2015 Subconference. Details can be found here:

UWM Year of the Humanities

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