[A couple weekends back I was in Niagara Falls for the 54th annual Northeast Modern Language Association Convention. Longtime readers will know well how much I love NeMLA, the organization and the convention alike, and this year was no exception. So as usual, here are a handful of reflections on a great NeMLA convention!]
One of the best parts of the last year has been working with my newest Fitchburg State English Studies colleague, Jennie Snow (whom I helped hire last year, and yes I am patting myself on the back for that excellent choice). I’ve thus heard Jennie talk about her work in many contexts, but hadn’t had the chance to hear a scholarly paper/talk of hers—until NeMLA, that is, where she chaired the panel that featured Toshiaki Komura’s paper (about which I wrote yesterday) but on which she also presented her own work. And a phenomenal presentation it was, linking Eric Nguyen’s novel Things We Lost to the Water (2021) to the evolving mission of the Department of Homeland Security and the many fraught layers to how we define “homelands” (and to the concept of resilience, on which the whole NeMLA conference was focused). Jennie’s presentation made me put Nguyen’s novel on one of my Fall semester syllabi (as the Literature concentration reading in my English Studies Capstone course), and if that isn’t high praise for an academic talk, I don’t know what is!
Next reflection tomorrow,
PS. If you were at NeMLA, I’d love to hear your reflections too!