Saving the Best for Last: MLA Day 4

by Anna Blanch on December 31, 2008

Today saw the final sessions of over 800 sessions, discussions, lunches, meetings, and dinners, that make up the four days of MLA. I restrained myself as many of the exhibitors, including numerous publishers, slashed the prices of their remaining stocks or simply gave away books. I picked up a couple of titles I have had my eye on for some time but given the limitation on baggage and a lack of impetus on my part to pick up random titles I did not take advantage of the many free books lying around.

My conference finished on a high. That is, the best session I attended during the conference was the final session I attended. titled “Literature and Religion 34: Then and Now” which offered papers from James Wilson and Kevin Hart on the state and future strands of Literature and Religion (and Literature and Theology) as a discipline. “Literature and Religion 34” refers to the length of time a Literature and Religion division has existed as part of MLA. The papers were both excellent, challenging scholars to take a considered and subtle approach to their analysis of literature writing (in their critical work) as theologians. This is a vast simplification of two significant papers – I am sure both will be seen in print in the near future! Simply put, this session was a great way to finish up the conference.

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