book history at mla12

Taking inspiration from Mark Sample’s compilation of Digital Humanities sessions at the 2012 Modern Language Association convention, I’ve compiled a list of book history sessions. My method of madness was to skim the session titles and descriptions and note those that seemed to focus on bibliography, print culture, or textual scholarship. I came up with 70 sessions, including my own roundtable. That seemed like too many to be of interest to many of you, so rather than fill your feed, I put together a separate page listing them all. Check out the offerings and let me know if I’ve missed any. You can browse the entire program and, if you’re an MLA member, create your own personalized schedule of sessions you want to visit (it’s a pretty nice set-up, and yet another way in which the MLA does us proud as our scholarly organization).

As a side note, there are not as many jokey and punning titles as there used to be, once upon a time, which I suppose is a good thing. I like a good pun, but enough’s enough. There were, however, entirely too many titles that gave you no idea what a panel was about, not even a general period or theoretical approach. The best title session, without a doubt, is session 29, “Alexander Pope!” Yup. You read that right. “Alexander Pope!” (It also looks like an interesting discussion and format, so kudos to its organizers. If I didn’t have a meeting scheduled for that time, I would definitely go.)

1 thought on “book history at mla12

  1. Dear Ms. Werner,

    I write to thank you for this very helpful expression of a tension I have sensed as I acquaint myself with the new insurgency of the so-called “digital humanities.”

    As you may know, I’ve recently embarked on an analysis of the movement in my New York Times column (not to say, blog) and the fourth essay in the series — — makes reference to your important corrective to Mark Sample’s desire to enumerate only the digital sessions in literary conferences. Do we, whose interests lie elsewhere, not also “count?”

    Stanley Fish

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