Panel Preview: “Between the Public and Its Privates” Plenary Style

Thursday January 7—the second and final day of the 2016 MLA Subconference—will feature our plenary. Unlike the traditional #MLA16 Presidential Plenary, the Subcon plenary will feature eight teachers and activists in a participatory roundtable. Plenary roundtable members will share insights and experiences related to the public and its privates and engage in open discussion with other participants. The plenary roundtable members this year are:


*Joshua Clover (University of California, Davis)
*Brigid Hall & Julia Kranzthor (Workers Defense Project)
*Eileen Joy (Punctum Books)
*Chris Newfield (University of California, Santa Barbara & Autonomous University Reading Group)
*Dan Rudman (Studium)
*Jesus Valles (Akins High School & independent Latinx artist)
*Erin Wunker (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English)


The plenary will revisit core themes of the Subcon and discuss future actions and possibilities. Subconistas are encouraged to come prepared with thoughts, meditations, critiques, questions, interventions, and/or direct actions. Looking back at our call for papers, some points of departure for our discussion might include the following questions:


+How might retaining a language of the public university illuminate or obscure the structural positions of +contingent academic workers and other contingent workers?
+What kinds of political actions and engagements would be opened by resisting the category of the public?
+Can the notion of the public be weaponized, traversed, or mobilized as a form of resistance?
+Is there such a thing as a digital public sphere and, if so, do its valences recapitulate or defy the power dynamics of non-digital experience?
+Is the classroom a public or a private sphere? Both?


Join us in making this year’s MLA Subconference plenary truly “full, filled, greatly crowded; stout, pregnant; abundant, abounding; complete.” And don’t forget to fill yourself with free lunch afterward—it’s not quite luxury communism, but it’s a start.

Date: Thursday January 7, 2016
Time: 10:45 am – 12:30 pm
Place: Cheer Up Charlies