The MLA special session that I helped organized, “Postirony in Theory and Fiction,” has been transforming in the last few weeks. One of our panelists found himself unable to participate in the special session after he got a job with a university press. This forced me to put out a call for papers for a pick-up panelist. I expected maybe a handful of responses, but the response was overwhelming and surprisingly strong. I received 10 very strong abstracts from individuals–graduate students and assistant professors–with projects very much in the orbit of the panel. So our panel, temporarily in crisis, looks as if it’ll come out pretty well. The hardest part has been the process of deciding who to include and who to say no to. Kevin–the remaining co-panelist–and I have more or less decided who we want. We got so many good proposals that we’re actually going to restructure the panel: we’re going to invite two individuals to participate and Kevin is now going to provide a brief response after our presentations. What remains to do is for me to email those whom we’ve selected and get confirmation from them. Once that happens, I’ll post the names of our new panelists and their abstracts. I’ll use this space to give details related to the special session–how we’re preparing, problems that arise, reflections on the concept of postirony, and finally a postmortem on the panel itself.
So: mark your calendars, folks, and be sure to get yourself to Philadelphia on Wednesday, December 27.