Fuck This: On Finally Letting Go (A Roundtable)Sponsor: BABEL Working Group Organizer: Eileen A. Joy (Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville) Presider: Myra Seaman (College of Charleston)
This roundtable garnered a lot of interest and courted a bit of controversy at this year’s Congress with it’s racy title and choice of topic. It was one of a series in the “Fuck” sessions at Kalamazoo. Did I just say that? Yeah, I did.
I would’ve kicked myself had I not attended at least one session to see what all the fuss was about. So how was it? Honestly? It wasn’t as racy as I thought it would be and while some of the papers were funny and witty, some fizzled. Here are the titles of the papers that were presented. There many papers, and they went by so quickly that it’s easier to explain the general idea of the session than repeat what was said verbatim. Some of it felt like a mini-preview for the Pseudo Society.
The papers ranged from talking about scholars having a responsibility to their colleagues and students Splitting Hairs (Elaine Treharne – Florida State University), to letting go of happily ever after (Cord Whitaker – University of New Hampshire), feminism and academic hypocrisy (Martha Easton – Seton Hall University and Maggie M. Williams – William Paterson University), zombies (Carolyn Anderson – University of Wyoming), readership (M. W. Bychowski – George Washington University), historicism (Erik Wade – Rutgers University) and Orientalism (Erin Maglaque – University of Oxford).
My personal favourite? Cord Whitaker’s Fuck Romance, was a great paper about the idea of romance as you become an adult, and how romances are destined to repeat themselves. It was tongue and cheek and very funny. Also up there, Fuck Readers by M.W. Bychowski about grammar, meaning and readership.
I’m curious to see if this session will get another shot next Congress or if it will be a one time event. If anyone attended (this or the other session), I’m curious on your take. Was it just shock value sensationalism that fell flat or did you genuinely enjoy it?