Today was the day for my long-awaited presentation to the national Graduate Liberal Arts Studies Conference (yes, that's me above), which was hosted this year by the MLA staff at East Tennessee State University. I always seem to want to talk about either books or writing, but one has to find an entryway into such a conference's subject matter, so my presentation incorporated some thoughts on the expatriation phenomenon and the American expat writing community in Paris in the 1920s – as seen through Hemingway's eyes.
Hemingway was the one person who chronicled the Paris scene – albeit filtered through his ego and sometimes jaundiced viewpoint. I had a great crowd, with many comments and questions, and I'm immensely grateful for that.
The conference included many fine presentations on compelling and topical subjects. If anyone is wondering whether the interdisciplinary approach to MLA curricula is worthwhile, let me assure you, MLA students in this environment are smart, caring, forward-looking, and they are all in the hands of the most capable of faculties.