As every English and Literature major knows, the most fun one can possibly have is reading the titles and subjects of conference panels, with MLA often providing the best bits of hilarity. Over the past few years, talks on alien sex have been prominent there and also food theory (one of my colleagues submitted a proposal to one such panel and was informed that her paper lacked sufficient “theoretical basis.”* On food in literature. Seriously.)
Indeed, this is occasionally the only fun we are provided with.
But, my choice for Best Panel Title this year comes not from the realm of the truly weird, but merely the concisely put. So, from College Language Association‘s Call for Papers for 2009, I give you this:
“Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow”: Black Men’s Political Writings”
Now, my friends…quoting Funkadelic in an Academic forum…that is true beauty.
Of course, it also makes me wonder about our political and social climate–might we FINALLY see this in action?
* I mock only because I can. Great and worthy things can be said about food and, by extension, hunger in literature. Read Kafka’s “Hunger Artist” because you should if you haven’t and because it is a text that begs for explorations of hunger (duh). BUT, as with so many of our small stakes in literary theory, the dismissiveness regarding theory was out of line with the significance of the subject.