The annual Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference is a bit like the Real World of academia. The weekend-long conference, which takes place in Chicago this weekend, is what happens when highfalutin professors stop being polite and start getting real.
And by “getting real,” we mean pounding shooters, discussing Marcuse’s theory of technological rationality, and getting laid. So like the actual Real World, except without that, um, second part.
Don’t be fooled by events with dry, academic titles like “The Vicissitudes of the Negative in 19th-Century German Humor”: The MLA convention has a long, storied hookup culture.
But one eager conference attendee didn’t want to leave it to chance. Instead, he posted a Casual Encounters ad on Craigslist, complete with an insanely detailed description of his MLA interview fantasy.
Identifying himself as an assistant research professor—36 years old, “fairly fit,” and married but not monogamous—the author opens with the following:
MLA interviews, fraught with tension, can also be thick with eroticism. As a veteran of many (and a current job candidate), I'd like to indulge in a little stress-relief fantasy role-play at this year's conference.
I propose to play interviewee to your interviewer:
I will arrive at your MLA hotel room, in my interview suit, ready to discuss my research, my place in my field, my theoretical approaches, my teaching methods, etc.
You ask me the appropriate questions and listen, interrupt, challenge, acting as a typical faculty member of a hiring committee. (You explain that your colleagues are respectively ill in bed and unable to attend because of personal obligations but, yes, you are authorized to advance my candidacy.)
Over the course of the interview we begin to cast flirtatious sidelong glances, adopt inviting body language and inch toward one other. At the right moment one of us makes the bold move of an innocent touch on the shoulder, followed by leaning in for a kiss. We both know it's wrong, but we're too titillated to stop.
The final outcome is something we can discuss in advance, or figure out on the fly.
Ever the gentleman, he continues by conceding that he is “amenable to flipping the script”:
You arrive at my MLA hotel room, in your interview wear, ready to discuss your research, your place in your field, your theoretical approaches, your teaching methods, etc.
I ask you the appropriate questions and listen, interrupt, challenge, acting as a typical faculty member of a hiring committee. (I explain that my colleagues are respectively ill in bed and unable to attend because of personal obligations but, yes, I am authorized to advance your candidacy.)
The author then goes on to describe himself and his ideal partner, saying that while he’s “open to all sorts of [female] candidates … an actual interviewee is my hope.”
Though he fails to specify his field of study, judging by the incorrect usage of comma splices and semicolons, it most likely ain’t English.
About me: I am 36, fairly fit and usually thought of as attractive, in a committed relationship at home but (by agreement) not beholden to monogamy when on the road, especially at conferences. I'm an assistant professor at a research university with a real degree of success in my field. I prioritize reading and responding to my sexual partners' verbal and physical signals; I am not insistent or pushy. I delight in new sexual experiences.
I am open to all sorts of (female) candidates to partner with here; no particular age or appearance in mind, though an actual interviewee is my hope. Obviously, discretion will be of utmost importance to us both. Exchanging photos would be best, but I am flexible regarding process.
So get in line, ladies. Adjuncts, non-tenure-track faculty members, and other assorted plebes need not apply.
H/T Craigslist | Photo via World Relief Spokane/Flickr